OUR LORD'S VOICE BREAKS THE CEDARS
Psalm 29 verse 3 - 9 describes the voice of the Lord with stunning imagery the evokes a sense of great and awesome power. The passage reads like this.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The start of this passage likens the voice of the Lord to the sound of thundering mighty waters. His voice would sound like gigantic ocean breakers rolling up to land and crashing against the shore. This would be powerful and majestic as the psalmist declares.
The passage also graphically illustrates what effect God's voice has by using visceral natural phenomena that we sometimes experience in the world to describe God's voice.
The voice of the Lord is described to break the cedars which are huge trees. These trees, large as they are, break to pieces under the power of God's voice. Trees in the scriptures are often symbolic of administrative organizations (for example, the kingdom of God is likened to a mustard tree). The ability of the voice of God to break cedars tells of the power of God's voice to shatter kingdoms and other structures of administration.
The passage continues on to describe God's voice as striking like flashes of lightening. Lightening strikes are among the most fearsome phenomena experienced by humans. The core of a lightening bolt can exceed 50,000 degrees farenheight which is 5 times hotter than the sun's surface. Here, God's voice is likened to an extremely swift and exceedingly dangerous occurrence that speaks of the refinement and judgement that the voice of God brings.
The voice of the Lord also shakes the desert with earthquakes. The amount of energy that earthquakes contain is unimaginable. To consider a voice that can trigger geologic shifting that cause earthquakes is sobering. This shaking of the earth's surface also represents the power of God's voice to shake kingdoms either to re-awaken them or bring them to ruin.
The last phenomenon mentioned in the passage is the voice of God that twists the oaks and strips the forests bare of foliage. This describes a atmospheric occurrence of a tornado that violently rips through a forest and twists the sturdy trees and tears off all the leaves. The imagery of a violent twister slashing through a forested area describes the culling and pruning that the voice of God can do in the hearts of men to remove the dross of impurity and uproot the unfruitful works of men.
The voice of the Lord will break the cedars.
The administrative structures of men will be broken down in pieces from their lofty places