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The Head and The Heart  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Intro

Storms can be terrifying. They can have such raw power that they can destroy homes, flood neighborhoods, tear down trees, and even cause the loss of life. 
Martin Luther experienced a storm that forever changed his life in 1505. Martin’s dad, Hans, sent him to Latin school and then, when Martin was only 13 years old, to the University of Erfurt to study law. There Martin earned both his baccalaureate and master’s degrees in the shortest time allowed by university statutes. He proved so adept at public debates that he earned the nickname “The Philosopher.”
Then in 1505 his life took a dramatic turn. The 21-year-old Luther was returning from his hometown of Mansfeld, Germany, where he had been visiting his parents, on his way to Erfurt, where he studied and had just successfully passed the magistrate exam and a fierce thunderstorm came out of nowhere!  Picture a young man walking on a nice day and the sun is blotted out by black clouds and it begins to rain. And that rain goes from light to a torrential pour. And there’s loud thunder and flashes of lightning.
When he retold the story he said that there was a lightning bolt that hit near by and he fell to the ground in sheer terror and began to pray saying: “Help me, St. Anne! I’ll become a Monk!”
You see this was before he came to an understanding of the gospel of Justification by Faith Alone which started the revolution that changed the history of the church known as the Protestant Reformation so he thought he had to go through saints to get to God..
Hans sent Martin to Latin school and then, when Martin was only 13 years old, to the University of Erfurt to study law. There Martin earned both his baccalaureate and master's degrees in the shortest time allowed by university statutes. He proved so adept at public debates that he earned the nickname "The Philosopher."
But this is where it all started. Out of fear for his life. Have you ever been in a situation… not necessarily a life threatening situation but one that was not ideal… like facing a test that you haven’t studied for.. And you were like: “God, if you give me a passing grade then I will read my Bible every day this week.” Like God can be bargained with.
This is what Martin Luther did because he was faced with a storm that was so powerful… so terrifying that he feared for his life. Do you remember Irma? Now that was a powerful storm that, if I was honest, inspired fear in me. I remember driving around just to take a look at the damage that storm caused… There were trees and power lines in the road… streets were under water… people’s homes were without power for weeks and some were even destroyed. That was a powerful storm.
And this is exactly how David the Psalmist describes the power of the Lord in our text this morning.
 So if you have your Bibles why don’t you go ahead and grab those and turn with me to the 29th Psalm. If you are using a Bible app, I will be reading out of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
Then in 1505 his life took a dramatic turn. The 21-year-old Luther was returning from his hometown of Mansfeld, Germany, where he had been visiting his parents, on his way to Erfurt, where he studied and had just successfully passed the magistrate exam and a fierce thunderstorm came out of nowhere! Picture a young man walking on a nice day and the sun is blotted out by black clouds and it begins to rain. And that rain goes from light to a torrential pour. And there’s loud thunder and flashes of lightning.
While you’re doing that let me just welcome you here this morning and say that if this is your first time, we are so glad that you are here! If this is your second or one hundredth time here we are also glad to see you (ha ha). But if you haven’t done so already go ahead and fill out one of those connection cards and make sure on of our leaders with the lanyards get that.
Last week, Pastor Barry opened up for us. It’s in this Psalm that David is raising his voice asking God to not be deaf to him. It is here that the voice of the Lord is going to answer. And David describes the voice of the Lord as being something powerful like a great thunderstorm. We’ll talk more about that in a couple of minutes. Before that, there are a couple of observations from this Psalm that I want you to consider.
Okay. You should be in now and this is the big idea for our time together this morning… When the LORD is the object of our worship, it doesn’t matter what kind of storms you go through in life, he will give you the strength to endure and peace in the midst of it because our future is secure in a King who sits on his throne.
When he retold the story he said that there was a lightning bold that hit near by and he fell to the ground in sheer terror and began to pray saying: “Help me, St. Anne! I’ll become a Monk!”
So go ahead and stand with me in honor and reverence to God’s Word as we read together beginning in verse 1...
You see this was before he came to an understanding of the gospel of Justification by Faith Alone which started the revolution that changed the history of the church known as the Protestant Reformation.
But this is where it all started. Out of fear for his life. Have you ever been in a situation… not necessarily a life threatening situation but one that was not ideal… like facing a test that you haven’t studied for.. And you were like: “God, if you give me a passing grade then I will read my Bible every day this week.” Like God can be bargained with.
This is what Martin Luther did because he was faced with a storm that was so powerful… so terrifying that he feared for his life.
This is exactly how David the Psalmist describes the power of the Lord in our text this morning. So if you have your Bibles why don’t you go ahead and grab those and turn with me to the 29th Psalm. If you are using a Bible app, I will be reading out of the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).
While you’re doing that let me just welcome you here this morning and say that if this is your first time, we are so glad that you are here! If this is your second or one hundredth time here we are also glad to see you (ha ha). But if you haven’t done so already go ahead and fill out one of those connection cards and make sure on of our leaders with the lanyards get that.
Okay. You should be in now. So go ahead and stand with me in honor and reverence to God’s Word as we read together beginning in verse 1...

THE VOICE OF THE LORD

A psalm of David.

1 Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

worship the LORD

in the splendor of his holiness.,o

3 The voice of the LORD is above the waters.

The God of glory thunders—

the LORD, above the vast water,

4 the voice of the LORD in power,

the voice of the LORD in splendor.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

and Sirion, like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD flashes flames of fire.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth,w

and strips the woodlands bare.

In his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;

the LORD sits enthroned, King forever.

11 The LORD gives his people strength;

the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Ascribe to the LORD Glory

29 A PSALM OF DAVID.

1  Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.

3  The voice of the LORD is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the LORD, over many waters.

4  The voice of the LORD is powerful;

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

5  The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

6  He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,

and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7  The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

8  The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9  The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth

and strips the forests bare,

and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10  The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;

the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

11  May the LORD give strength to his people!

May the LORD bless his people with peace!

This is the Word of the Lord. Let’s pray.
This is the Word of the Lord. Let’s pray.
Father you are Holy. All of the earth proclaims your glory. All creation declares the majesty of who you are. Lord, we praise you for you are all-powerful and you sit on your throne as King of the Universe. We praise you for coming off your throne to meet us where we are in the person of Jesus. That he didn’t just leave us where we were but he redeemed us and made us children of God. Holy Spirit, we invite you here to convict us of sin and to make us sensitive to your Word. Be our Teacher now… It’s in the name of Jesus we pray… Amen.
Alright you can be seated.
Alright you can be seated.
There are three sections in this Psalm that I want us to look at this morning in regards to this theme of Worship. And this is the first thing…

Point I: The Call to Worship (vs. 1-2).

If you haven’t noticed, we talk about worship a lot. The word “worship” can easily lose it’s meaning if we don’t revisit it often. We can begin to think of worship as being a genre of music on Spotify… We lose sight of the one that we worship because we get lost in doing the church thing, as weird as that sounds.
The reality is that we were all created by God to worship him. This is our ultimate purpose. The answer to the first question in the Westminster Catechism is that “man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
Paul writes in his epistle to the Colossians…
16 For everything was created by him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things have been created through him and for him.
So we were all created by God to worship him. To glorify and praise him forever. Take a look at verses one and two in
Look at verse 1 and 2 with me… David says:

1 Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;

worship the LORD

in the splendor of his holiness.,o

What this is here is David is giving a call to worship. He’s calling all of creation to worship the Lord. He says ascribe to him all you heavenly beings. In other words, praise the Lord. Worship the Lord. Give glory to the Lord. He’s calling angels to praise and worship the Lord. These heavenly beings are angels that are around the throne of God who day and night all they do is sing praises to God. We read about them in Isaiah 6 and in Revelation.
The NASB, KJV, and NKJV translate the Heavenly Beings as the Sons of the Mighty. Some commentators and translators think that David is talking about the stars when he says heavenly beings. Others say it is the angels. Still others, and I think that I agree with this, are saying that it is the rulers of men. Guys that were in authority... kings and people of prominence. Whichever it may be the implications are the same. All men... even the most highly respected and most well of people should worship the Lord.
The worship of the Lord is not just for when you are in trouble. Sometimes when things are going well it is harder to worship. It’s harder to stop and pray... to be in our Bibles regularly. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this or not but I have.
Yeah when something bad happens and we have nowhere else to turn... our knees is where we go. But what about when we got plenty of money left over at the end of the month? Or when our relationships are all going well? Or when we finally get our dream job?
It can be harder. Two weeks ago we had our second little girl join our family. So far she is completely different from how Lydia was when she was a baby. I mean yeah, Rory cries in the middle of the night needing a diaper change or needing to be fed but that’s all normal with babies. With Lydia... She didn’t care if she had a clean diaper or she just feasted... she was screaming. You can ask Emily. It was a trying time for us to keep our sanity. Day or night that girl was screaming if she was awake.
Now with Lydia... I spent a lot of time asking the Lord for grace and I really saw my need for Jesus. But with a baby that is a little easier to handle... getting in the Bible before the Lord seems more like work. And it’s okay for it to seem like work as long as you do it because after a while of doing it... it stops seeming like work and becomes something you want to do.
Now with Lydia... I spent a lot of time asking the Lord for grace and I really saw my need for Jesus. But with a baby that is a little easier to handle... getting in the Bible before the Lord seems more like work. And it’s okay for it to seem like work as long as you do it because after a while of doing it... it stops seeming like work and becomes something you want to do.
And if our hearts are filled with pride then we won’t worship. This is what John Calvin thinks that David is getting at in his commentary. He says this...
And if our hearts are filled with pride then we won’t worship. This is what John Calvin thinks that David is getting at in his commentary. He says this...
David only intended to humble the princes of this world, who, being intoxicated with pride, lift up their horns against God. This, accordingly, is the reason why he introduces God, with a terrific voice, subduing by thunders, hail-storms, tempests, and lightnings, these stubborn and stiff-necked giants, who, if they are not struck with fear, refuse to stand in awe of any power in heaven.
David only intended to humble the princes of this world, who, being intoxicated with pride, lift up their horns against God. This, accordingly, is the reason why he introduces God, with a terrific voice, subduing by thunders, hail-storms, tempests, and lightnings, these stubborn and stiff-necked giants, who, if they are not struck with fear, refuse to stand in awe of any power in heaven.
Our pride keeps us from our knees before God but the power of God destroys our pride when we are faced with it. And that’s what David says at the end of verse one. He says, “worship the Lord because of his glory and strength!”
David is saying to lay aside your own strength and glory... to humble yourself before God because of his strength and glory. And then he says in verse 2 to worship him because it is due his name. In other words, he is the one who deserves to be worshipped as is made evident by his power... and not only because of his power and glory but because of his holiness David says at the end of verse 2.
Our pride keeps us from our knees before God but the power of God destroys our pride when we are faced with it. And that’s what David says at the end of verse one. He says, “worship the Lord because of his glory and strength!”
Holiness is another one of those words you’ll hear a lot when you’re around Christians. And it can lose it’s meaning. The reality of God’s holiness is incredibly weighty and it will cause us to stand in awe of who God is. God is without sin and he will not tolerate sin.
R.C. Sprout wrote probably my favorite book on the Holiness of God. In it he describes God as a King and our sin as Cosmic Treason. He says this...
“Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, “God, Your law is not good. My judgement is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do.”
And this realization of God’s perfect holiness has only one appropriate response and it is this: worship out of humility.
Do you remember Isaiah’s vision of the throne room of God in Isaiah chapter 6? You can turn there if you want. Isaiah was a Prophet in Israel and when God called him to his ministry, he was given a special view of God’s throne. Listen to Isaiah’s response to seeing the Holiness of God...
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a high and lofty throne, and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2 Seraphim[a] were standing above him; they each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 And one called to another:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Armies;
his glory fills the whole earth.
4 The foundations of the doorways shook at the sound of their voices, and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said:
Woe is me for I am ruined[b]
because I am a man of unclean lips
and live among a people of unclean lips,
and because my eyes have seen the King,
the Lord of Armies.
So what does it mean that God is holy? Simply put it means that he is unlike anything on this world. He is totally separate. His very name: Yahweh... I AM that I AM implies that there is nothing or no one like him.
The Holiness of God drives us to worship him. Because he deserves to be worshipped. And this next part in Isaiah 6 is how we can worship him...
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, and in his hand was a glowing coal that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said:
Now that this has touched your lips,
your iniquity is removed
and your sin is atoned for.
He has forgiven us! He has made a way for us to worship him and to have perfect forgiveness when we believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ!
So there is a call for all of creation to worship the Lord. A call for the mighty to lay down their pride and stand in awe of the strength, glory and holiness of our God. Now this is the second thing that I want us to look at this morning and it is this...

Point II: The Object of our Worship (vs. 3-9)

Look at verses 3-9 back in ...
Psalms 29:3-9 (CSB)
3The voice of the Lord is above the waters. The God of glory thunders — the Lord , above the vast water,
4the voice of the Lord in power, the voice of the Lord in splendor.
5The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion, like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire.
8The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the woodlands bare. In his temple all cry, “Glory!”
I can imagine David watching a storm as he is writing this and it reminds him of the power of his God. The Voice of the Lord is powerful. It’s like a fierce thunderstorm that rumbles the earth and uproots old cedars. It can be terrifying. This is why Isaiah fell down like a dead man when he was before him. David says that his voice flashes like flames of fire. It is like lightning that strikes from the sky and destroys what it hits.
But here’s the thing... He is not only capable of destruction. You see verse 9? He makes the deer give birth. Yes his voice is like a thunderstorm that can destroy anything in its wake but he is also gentle and involved in the most delicate things in nature like a deer giving birth. He makes the deer give birth and he strips the woodland bare.
God has revealed himself in creation. Paul says in Romans 1...
“For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭CSB‬‬
The Lord is the object of our worship. Many commentators and scholars believe that This Psalm is in direct comparison to some Ugaritic Mythology about Baal the storm god. This is the god that the pagans would pray to and worship when they needed rain to help their crops grow. The worshippers of Baal give the people of God a lot of trouble in the Old Testament.
If you haven’t read the account of Elijah against the Prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 you should. It’s great. But Baal isn’t the point. The point is this: Who or what is the object of your worship?
Just worship isn’t enough because we’re all going to worship. Because it has been hardwired into us. God created us to worship. But because of the Fall and sin... We don’t worship the Lord apart from the Holy Spirit changing our hearts.
John Calvin said “Man's nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols.” Our hearts are idol factories. We are going to worship something. It can be relationships or hobbies or jobs or grades. It can be anything. This is one of those things where we have to constantly and regularly check ourselves and repent.
So we have seen that there is a call for all men to worship the Lord in verses 1-2... and then we saw that it is the Lord and him only that we are to worship because he created all things through his powerful voice... and he can destroy all things through his powerful voice... and this is the last thing I want us to see this morning... and this is the best part...

Point III: The Blessings of Worship (vs. 10-11).

Look down at verses 10-11...
Psalms 29:10-11 (CSB)
10The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever.
11The Lord gives his people strength; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
This is some good stuff. When he says that the Lord sits enthroned over the flood, he is eluding back to the flood from Noah. You know… when God destroyed the world with a great flood because of the wickedness of man? He only saved Noah and his family on a great boat. What’s the significance of this?
Well, the flood represents chaos. A great destructive power that doesn’t stop but just keeps destroying until everything is dead. But the Lord sits enthroned over that meaning that he has authority and power over it.
We serve a king who has power and authority over the chaos in our lives and here’s the best part… the second part of verse 10… forever.
This means that he is always in control… he will always have the power and authority regardless of what we go through.
What storms are you going through right now? Maybe it’s something serious… whatever it is… here’s the thing… you can trust that the Lord has power and authority over that. That doesn’t mean that he will always take it away. A lot of preachers say this and it’s true… “You have either just been through a storm… are going through a storm right now… or are about to…” It happens to all of us. No one is exempt from it.
Look at verse 11… 11The Lord gives his people strength; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
The Lord gives us strength to face storms and he gives us peace in the midst of the storm. It doesn’t matter what kind of trials you are going through! It could be an illness or a break up or people slandering you or whatever! We have a God that gives us strength and peace!
We don’t have to understand why we go through the things that we do but we can trust and worship the Lord that preserves our life. The Storms of this life prove the strength of our anchor and that is why God is worth worshipping.
We’ve talked a lot about storms today. About God’s power being like a powerful storm... about how we go through storms in this life with the help of God strengthening us and giving us peace... it reminds me of the story about Horatio G. Spafford. Have you ever heard the Hymn, “It is well with my soul?” Spafford wrote that.
Spafford was a successful lawyer and businessman in Chicago with a lovely family - a wife, Anna, and five children. However, they were not strangers to tears and tragedy. Their young son died with pneumonia in 1871, and in that same year, much of their business was lost in the great Chicago fire. Yet, God in His mercy and kindness allowed the business to flourish once more.
On Nov. 21, 1873, the French ocean liner, Ville du Havre was crossing the Atlantic from the U.S. to Europe with 313 passengers on board. Among the passengers were Mrs. Spafford and their four daughters. Although Mr. Spafford had planned to go with his family, he found it necessary to stay in Chicago to help solve an unexpected business problem. He told his wife he would join her and their children in Europe a few days later. His plan was to take another ship.
About four days into the crossing of the Atlantic, the Ville du Harve collided with a powerful, iron-hulled Scottish ship, the Loch Earn. Suddenly, all of those on board were in grave danger. Anna hurriedly brought her four children to the deck. She knelt there with Annie, Margaret Lee, Bessie and Tanetta and prayed that God would spare them if that could be His will, or to make them willing to endure whatever awaited them. Within approximately 12 minutes, the Ville du Harve slipped beneath the dark waters of the Atlantic, carrying with it 226 of the passengers including the four Spafford children.
A sailor, rowing a small boat over the spot where the ship went down, spotted a woman floating on a piece of the wreckage. It was Anna, still alive. He pulled her into the boat and they were picked up by another large vessel which, nine days later, landed them in Cardiff, Wales. From there she wired her husband a message which began, “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Mr. Spafford later framed the telegram and placed it in his office.
Another of the ship’s survivors, Pastor Weiss, later recalled Anna saying, “God gave me four daughters. Now they have been taken from me. Someday I will understand why.”
Mr. Spafford booked passage on the next available ship and left to join his grieving wife. With the ship about four days out, the captain called Spafford to his cabin and told him they were over the place where his children went down.
According to Bertha Spafford Vester, a daughter born after the tragedy, Spafford wrote “It Is Well With My Soul” while on this journey.
When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
In the midst of the worst tragedy he would possibly imagine... God gave him peace... God gave him strength to face it.
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