Happy New Year! May yours be blessed.
Sunday was New Year’s Day, and the Sunset pastor continued our theme, “Jesus Our Shepherd King: Finding Peace in an Age of Anxiety,” with a message, “King Over the Flood.” The text was from Psalm 29:10: “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.”
As the new year unfolds, God will bless his people, but there will also be some trials and challenges.
Here’s a question: Do you face 2017 with confidence or with fear? Are you confident because you know God will be with you, or are you anxious and fearful because you do not know the future, but you do know that bad things can — and sometimes do — happen?
In times like this, I often turn to the quiet—and at times boisterous—assurances of the psalmists. They were primarily worshippers who trusted in God, who knew how to praise him, and who did so regularly, with gusto. I like that model. They did not dwell in fear, because God is not a God who leaves us in fear. God sits enthroned over the flood, and he will carry us through it.
The pastor made three points: (1) Call to Worship; (2) The Storm’s Majesty; (3) The Storm’s Ruler.
(1) Call to Worship. Psalm 29, attributed to King David, is called “A Song of Thunders” because of the seven-fold repetition of the phrase “the voice of the Lord.” The psalm begins with a call to worship God the Creator and Controller of an awesome storm.
He commands three times: “Ascribe to the Lord,” and his address is to the heavenly beings, “O mighty ones”—all God’s angels who do his bidding. He says, “ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, and the glory due his name….”
God calls on us also to worship him for who he is—for his great power and strength, and for what he has done for us. Our worship of God is central to what we do at church and in life: it is never wasted time to spend time in worship.
(2) The Storm’s Majesty. I love storms — the thunder and the lightning revs me up. When our kids were young, and afraid of the thunder, I would tell them not to be afraid, it was only God talking, and it was ok.
The psalmist says, “The God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters, The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning…The voice of the Lord is majestic….”
God speaks in quiet whispers, but He also speaks in thunder.
(3) The Storm’s Ruler. V10, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.” Whatever flood is happening, God sees it and is enthroned over it.
I like to think of the flood in this psalm as not only a physical expression of thunder and lightning which is sent by God as part of the natural order, but also to the other floods of life that may come our way.
I said earlier that in the new year we will experience not only God’s blessings but also some trials and challenges.
In the past 100 years we’ve faced the ravages of World War I, the devastation of the Great Depression, the destruction of World War II, the lostness and rebellion of the 60s generation, and in our day, increasing secularization where Christian faith is not thought of as highly in some places as it used to be. God is with us. He sits enthroned over the flood.
V11: “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” The Lord will give us strength to persevere in spite of the flood which may come. He also gives peace to his people—the blessing of his presence in the midst of any storm.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” [Revelation 21:5]
May our ever-creating God give you a new heart and a new mind this year, a heart that turns toward Him — our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.