Give honor to the LORD, you angels; give honor to the LORD for his glory and strength. Give honor to the LORD for the glory of his name. Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. - Psalm 29:1-2
Historically, worshipers have expressed their praise, raised their petitions, communicated their message, and encouraged their hearts with music. But musical styles change, so music as worship has taken many forms. Accordingly, music has often been the center of controversy. This was true even at the time of the Reformation—the Reformers, who agreed on many things, did not arrive at a consensus on the subject of music. And at the present time, the struggle over what constitutes worshipful music is so severe in some quarters that people talk about “worship wars”!
In the nineteenth century, William Booth burst on the church scene in England. In response to the economic and spiritual degradation rampant in his homeland, he founded the Salvation Army, a vibrant, aggressive, avant-garde ministry that reached out to the poorest of the poor with a holistic message of salvation through the Lord Jesus. Booth was no stranger to controversy. Among other things, he adapted secular tunes to evangelistic and worship uses. To those who questioned him, he proclaimed, “Why should the devil have all the best tunes?”
Surprisingly, there are reasons to believe that David expressed similar sentiments when he composed Psalm 29. Scholars tell us that this psalm bears evidence of having been used originally in the worship of Baal, a false god in ancient Palestine. Should that be true, King David and General William Booth had more in common than we had realized!
What can be said with confidence is that the Baal worshipers attributed to Baal attributes that David knew belonged exclusively to the Lord. The Lord was God of creation and Baal was not. Therefore, David exhorted worshipers to recognize that “the voice of the Lord echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders” (Ps. 29:3). These words pointed out that in nature, particularly in the violent storms common to Palestine, there is a reminder that “the voice of the Lord is powerful: the voice of the Lord is full of majesty” (29:4).
Reverent souls recognize that the Lord’s hand is to be seen in all his handiwork, and his voice is to be heard in the mighty and subtle sounds of nature. Such souls have no difficulty turning their hearts to worship. In David’s case, he encouraged the angels to join him in giving “honor to the Lord for his glory and strength,” and he called on both angels and mortal beings to “worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” (29:2).
We need more men who, resenting “other gods” being honored with the honor due only to the Lord, will unabashedly give him glory and will insist that others join in the worship. Why should the devil have all the best tunes—and why should false gods get all the glory?
For Further Study: Psalm 29
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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