When I was in grade school, every day the teacher would go up and down the aisles. She would make us hold out our hands. First, with the palms up to make sure our hand were clean. Then with the palms down to make sure our fingernails were clean. Of course, none of us liked this, because little kids would much rather have dirty hands.
Psalm 28 talks a great deal about hands. The psalmist lifted up his hands. The enemies were doing evil work with their hands. But God had His hand at work as well. “Give to them [the enemies] according to their deeds, and according to the wickedness of their endeavors; give to them according to the work of their hands” (v. 4). There are wicked people in this world, and they have dirty hands. Some people defile everything they touch. Of course, that hurts us. We are grieved at this, especially when they want to touch our lives and defile us.
What did David do? He saw his enemies’ evil hands, and he lifted up his hands. “Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You, when I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary” (v. 2). When the Old Testament Jew prayed, he didn’t fold his hands. He lifted them up to God in praise and expectancy that God was going to do something. When you see the evil hands of Satan’s crowd doing their defiling work, don’t put your hands on their hands. You’ll be defiled. Lift your holy hands to the Lord, and trust Him to work. “Because they [the enemies] do not regard the works of the Lord, nor the operation of His hands, He shall destroy them and not build them up” (v. 5).
God’s hand is at work today, and the restul of this is praise (v. 7). Do you need help today? Lift up your hands to the Lord in supplication and in expectation, and soon you will lift up your hands in jubilation and celebration.
The Voice in the Storm
I don’t know how my psychologist friends will analyze this, but for some reason, I enjoy a rainy day. I really do. I especially enjoy it if I have a day off and can just stay home. I find it soothing to stand at the window and see the clouds and the rain and even hear the thunder. If I were out delivering milk or mail or something, I’m sure I wouldn’t want to see a rainy day come.
Psalm 29 is a description of a storm. It is one of the most beautiful poetic descriptions of a storm found in any literature anywhere. I suppose David was out in the fields or in a cave somewhere when the storm came along. He saw the power of God in the storm. Before the storm started, he said, “Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (vv. 1,2). He was concerned about God’s glory. Perhaps he saw the clouds gathering. When you see clouds gathering and know that a storm is about to come into your life, do you think about the glory of God? David did. So often we don’t We think of escape rather than the glory of God.
In verses 3-9 David described the storm. “The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; . . . the voice of the Lord is powerful” (vv. 3, 4). He saw the lightning and heard the thunder. A sequence here is rather interesting. “The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, . . . the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; . . . the voice of the Lord makes the dear give birth” (vv. 5, 8,9). God’s voice can make and break and shake. David saw God’s power in the storm. He ended the psalm by acknowleding God’s sovereignty. He’s King forever. “The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood, and the Lord sits as King forever” (v. 10). God is sovereign today. Don’t be afraid of the storm. Just look for His glory and His power.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).