The Omnipotence of God

Behold Your God: The Omnipotence of God | Psalm 29
Andy Lindgren | November 8, 2020

My name is Andy Lindgren; I’m one of the elders here, for those of you who may not know.

We’re going to be continuing our series on the attributes of God that Pastor Brian has been taking us through, and this morning we’re going to be looking at God’s omnipotence, the omnipotent God, in Psalm 29.

On the morning of June 30, 1908, a Mr. Semenov was sitting in a chair outside of a trading post near the Tunguska River in Siberia, Russia. All of a sudden, he saw what he could only describe as the sky itself being split in two, a light so bright he could barely look at it. Then he instinctively began to tear at his shirt, because he felt a heat so intense he thought his clothes were on fire.

As he was knocked backwards six feet, he heard what he described as a sound of a multitude of cannons firing at once or many rocks falling at the same time. Windows around him shattered, and the earth itself shook beneath him.

Mr. Semenov was 40 miles away from the epicenter of what would later become known as the Tunguska event. The best that scientists could determine was that a meteorite anywhere between 150 and 300 feet in diameter had exploded three to six miles above the surface of the earth, above the Siberian forest. The blast could be seen from up to 500 miles away.

Amazingly, only three people died in the event, due to the area being so sparsely populated. However, the force from the explosion knocked down over 80 million trees over 830 square miles of forest, and it’s estimated that the energy released in the blast was a thousand times greater than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

Mr. Semenov witnessed that day a display of power in nature, and this morning we’re going to look at a psalm where David examines the power of God in nature, in Psalm 29. We’re going to read through it as we work our way through the message. We’re going to be looking at it in three stages:

1. The Worth of God’s Power
2. The Display of God’s Power
3. The Result of God’s Power

1. The Worth of God’s Power

Let’s start with the worth of God’s power, in verses 1-2, where we read, “Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”

Omnipotence is a word that means “all-powerful,” omni meaning “all,” and potens meaning “power.” Theologians have often talked about God’s power by using the term omnipotence.

The fact of God’s power is something we see in the very beginning of pages of Scripture, in the creation account of Genesis, where we read that not only did the Lord God create the heavens and the earth out of nothing, but he did it by his spoken word; simply by speaking he created. A being of immense power.

Then, in the exodus event, when the Lord brought his people out of the land of Egypt, out of slavery, they celebrated that he did it by showing his right arm, his arm of power, and asserting his authority over Pharaoh and working many miracles, culminating in the parting of the sea itself.

A.W. Tozer gives us a characteristically carefully worded definition of God’s omnipotence when he writes, “Since he has at his command all the power in the universe, the Lord God omnipotent can do anything as easily as anything else. All his acts are done without effort. He expends no energy that must be replenished. His self-sufficiency makes it unnecessary for him to look outside of himself for a renewal of strength. All the power required to do all that he wills to do lies in undiminished fullness in his own infinite being.”

Now, we can apply infinitude to God’s power because of the divine simplicity—remember Pastor Brian talking about that a few messages ago—that God is simple, meaning he is not composed of parts and pieces. It’s not like his attributes are these separate compartments inside of him, and sometimes he turns one off, sometimes he turns another one on and turns that one off; but there’s a unity to the being of God. In his essence, he is simple, so therefore, if he is powerful, because he is infinite, he is infinitely powerful. And if he is good, that means his power is good, and it is a righteous power if he is righteous.

Jonathan Edwards, in his book Religious Affections, celebrates this truth. He talks about how wonderful it is that the omnipotent one, that the one being in the universe with all the power, with the ability to do whatever he wills to do, is also all righteous and just and good, and that he will never abuse his power, he will never expend it in a way that is immoral or wrong.

In this scene, David is urging these heavenly beings in heaven to worship and to ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, because he is worth it. It’s the glory due his name, his specific character.

In Isaiah 46:9-10 we read, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.’”

Notice that in this text it’s heavenly beings that are ascribing to the Lord glory and strength and honor. When these heavenly beings show up on earth to give messages to humans, what’s one of the first things they always have to say? “Don’t be afraid,” because their appearance is so intimidating; they’re luminous and they’re shining, and they have so much power that they intimidate us human beings. It’s these beings, these resplendent, glorious beings, who are looking at God’s power in amazement.

One of my favorite illustrations of this idea of someone using their power to accomplish a saving purpose is in the 2013 film Man of Steel, which is a retelling of the Superman origin. In this particular scene in the movie, these villainous Kryptonians from Superman’s home planet have come to earth, and they want to remake earth into Krypton. Krypton has a heavier gravitational center to it than Earth does, so what they do is come up with this plan: they have these two ships, one’s hovering over the city of Metropolis on the eastern seaboard, and the other ship goes all the way to the opposite side of the earth, over the Indian Ocean.

Once both of these ships are activated, they will work in tandem to send this powerful, pulsating gravity beam through the center of the earth, back and forth. As this does this, it destroys things around it, and it will eventually make earth completely uninhabitable for humans, and every human being is going to die.

Superman’s only been on the scene for a few days; he just learned to fly a few days before. He’s the only one that they can trust with the power to stop this from happening. So he flies over the ship over the Indian Ocean, and he tries attacking it from various angles, and he gets repelled by the defense mechanisms of the ship. Finally, he gets stuck under the gravity beam itself, and it’s just pulsating and pushing him down. He has a tremendous struggle trying to get free.

Finally, there comes this moment when he’s able to lift himself up off the ground and look upwards, and he propels himself up. He flies, and he turns his body into a projectile that smashes through the ship, destroying it, and immediately on the side of the world, Metropolis, the beam stops and the dust settles.

He had power to accomplish his saving purpose. He was unique. He was the only one that could have been able to do that. How much more our God?

That leads us to ask the question, do we really understand the power standing behind the promises God gives to us? As Christians, we live a life of faith. God gives us promises, and the whole life is faith in the one who makes those promises. The one who tells us in Romans 8 that all things work together for the good of those who love God is the omnipotent one, the one with all power to accomplish anything he wills to do.

It’s so important as we read the Scripture and we read the promises that the Lord gives us to connect that with the character and the being of the one who’s making those promises. He can do what he tells us he’s going to do, and he invites us to trust him, to place our faith on the solid foundation of the omnipotent one.

2. The Display of God’s Power

Next, we come to verses 3-9, where we see a display of God’s power. David turns from the scene in heaven to looking at earth, as these worshippers in the temple observe this storm. I want you to listen now and to just try to imagine this scene, as we read these words, penned by the poet David and inspired by the Holy Spirit.

He writes,

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

“The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

“The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’”

We see God’s power in this storm. The storm starts over the Mediterranean in the west and moves over Lebanon and works its way into the desert of Kadesh, heading east. It begins over the sea, and this is significant, because remember, for the Hebrews, the sea represented chaos, the untamed forces of the world that were a threat to their safety, a threat for their preservation. Here we have God, in this theophany of this thunderstorm, asserting authority over the sea, over the chaos, over the waters.

His voice in the thunder breaks even these mighty cedars of Lebanon, that are celebrated as majestic trees in Scripture. It makes even the land itself, Lebanon, leap up, and Sirion, which is another name for Mount Hermon, a mountain, to jump. His voice flashes in lightning and shakes the desert wilderness of Kadesh, stripping the forest like that meteorite exploding over Tunguska. And those in his temple can’t help but cry, “Glory!”

About four years ago, my family and I were camping at Warren Dunes State Park, and one of the afternoons we went down to the beach to swim, and it started mostly sunny, there were a few clouds on the horizon. But as the afternoon went on, the clouds became denser and darker and started to move towards us.

Finally, it came to a point where it was like, “It’s probably time to go,” because the sky looked like that. I looked up and saw that, and all of a sudden the wind started to pick up and the sand was stinging our legs; it was hitting us really fast. By the time we made it out to the van to leave, there was a porta-potty that was skating its way across the parking lot, being carried by the wind, jumping up and down. I can tell you, at that moment I felt pretty small and pretty tiny.

Haven’t you had an experience like that, of a display of power in nature that just makes you feel small? What are we to make of such experiences?

I think that’s one of the things David is walking us through here in this passage, what we do when we experience the power of God as displayed in nature. That is, we need to recognize God’s presence in his world as he sees God’s presence in the storm.

The most repeated word in this psalm—it’s repeated 18 times—is the word “Yahweh,” and in our English Bibles that’s portrayed as the word LORD, in all capitals. Now, remember, all of the psalms were sung, and it actually was not uncommon to find a Hebrew that would have all 150 psalms memorized, simply by singing them so many times. If a Hebrew would have heard this psalm for the first time (if they had Spotify back then or if they radio back then), they may have known it as the “Yahweh song” simply because that’s the word repeated so often.

Why is this? Why is God’s name repeated so often in this psalm? I believe it’s because David is trying to drive the point home to his people that it is Yahweh that is behind the power of the storm, and not Baal. Baal was a storm-god, a god who was thought to control the weather. He was called the cloud-rider, one of his many names.

You have to remember, the Israelites were an agrarian culture. The weather meant everything to them. No crops—they die. They needed rain, they needed storms, they needed sunshine. So there was this temptation from the nations around them to worship Baal. “Baal will give it to you. You give Baal what he wants, he’ll give you what you need in the weather back.”

David is saying, “You’re wrong! It’s not Baal. You’re attributing what you see in nature—you’re attributing this vast power to something else than what it really is. It’s not Baal; it’s Yahweh.”

The second most repeated word in this psalm is “voice.” That shows up seven times. There’s this personification going on. It’s not just this blind force. There’s this connection the Hebrew’s making behind the personal God who led them out of Egypt and this presence that’s apparent in this storm with such power. In Psalm 135:7 we read, “He causes the clouds to rise from the ends of the earth; he makes lightning for the rain, and brings the wind from his storehouses.”

Derek Kidner, commenting on this psalm, says, “The storm is not an outbreak of meaningless or hostile forces, but the voice of the Lord heard in all his works.”

The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, “For his invisible attributes—namely, his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made.”

God is present in the world that he made. He didn’t just make it and leave it, but he animates it. The God who created by his word also upholds by his word. You remember in Hebrews 1 what the author wrote there about Christ? “He upholds all things by—” what? “By the word of his power.” Not only did God create through his word, through the agency of his eternal Son, but he upholds all things by that same word, and he is present in his world.

We have before us this challenge to see God in his works. Do we recognize the powerful working of God in his world like David did and like the psalmist did, to the degree that they did? Back then, the competition was Baal, but today we hear other things, like, “Oh, that’s Mother Nature, or that’s the universe, or that’s the laws of nature, or the laws of physics, or it’s chance.”

A.W. Tozer is helpful for us once again in thinking about this point. He says, “One cannot long read the Scriptures sympathetically without noticing the radical disparity between the outlook of men of the Bible and that of modern men. We are today suffering from a secularized mentality. Where the sacred writers saw God, we see the laws of nature. Their world was alive and personal; ours is impersonal and dead. God ruled their world; ours is ruled by the laws of nature, and we are always once removed from the presence of God. What we see in nature are simply the paths God’s power and wisdom take through creation! The uniformity of God’s activities in his creation enables the scientist to predict the course of natural phenomena. Religion is interested in primarily the one who is the source of all things, the master of every phenomenon.”

The ancient Israelites were not ignorant about how the water cycle worked. Granted, they didn’t have as much scientific knowledge as we do nowadays, but they understood secondary causes. But they did the right thing with those secondary causes: they recognized that they were authored by the Creator, and that he was the power, he was the force behind it, he was the one governing it. If we find our worship of God slipping, if we find our view of God too low, it may be because we’re not aware enough of God’s activity in his world.

There’s a determined philosophy that tries to reject God from everything that happens in nature, where you’ll have people in articles and documentaries praising the wonder of the universe and the power of the things we see, but not saying one thing about the Creator, not connecting that! Where the psalmists did it constantly. They were always seeing God in his works.

Now, before we proceed, we do need to address one question. What about those who die in the display of God’s power in nature? What about those who lose life or property in storms and in hurricanes? Now, that’s a deep question, and a full-orbed answer to it would take longer than I have time to address this morning, but I just want to make a few comments before we move on.

That is, we have to remember that God is governing a fallen world; that we, by our sin as humanity, we dissolved the correct relationship between nature and mankind. There’s a hostility there. God subjected the world to futility and hope because of the presence of sin in it. This world is a mixture of wheat and weeds, and God is doing so many things behind the scenes that we just don’t know all the answers to this side of eternity. We brought the disintegration, but he’s governing it. He in mercy didn’t forsake us; he’s still present in his creation. But there’s this hostility between the relationship between man and the world. There is a hidden will in God that we’re not privy to.

For help in this, we need to turn to the book of Job, where we see that Job’s friends had correct kernels of theology. Not everything they were saying was false, but the problem is they were making logical conclusions, they were taking trajectories from their theology and they were applying it too rigidly to a situation, where they just simply didn’t know all of the reasons for what God was doing.

Or remember in John 9, when Jesus healed the man born blind, and they were like, “Okay, Jesus. Who sinned? Because if he’s blind, that means either his parents sinned or he did, so who sinned?” Jesus said, “That’s not why he’s blind! It’s so that the works of God may be displayed in his life.”

Or in Luke 13, where Jesus is talking about this tower that fell on these people. Out of nowhere, this tower fell and killed them. He said, “Don’t think that they were worse sinners than you are, because unless you repent, you too will perish.”

So don’t make this one-to-one correlation between a storm hitting this city or that city, and, “That city must have been more sinful than all the other cities in the world!” Scripture warns us against that, and it’s Christians who should be the first to respond to natural disasters and the first to help, following the Lord’s command to love and to help in these situations, and to help give money to rebuild properties that have been decimated, holding in tension our love and compassion for people while also not abandoning the scriptural truth that it’s the Lord who speaks in the storm, and he’s the one that rules, and he is not absent from his world. His power is a reminder to us all that we will face this powerful God one day, and to take advantage of this precious opportunity to repent and be reconciled through Christ while we still can.

3. The Result of God’s Power

Lastly, we come to the result of God’s power in verses 10-11. David writes, “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people; may the Lord bless his people with peace!”

First, we see the result of God’s power in his reign over us. God’s enthroned; he’s king; he’s reigning; and his power relates to people in either judgment or peace. We get judgment from that word “flood.” This Hebrew word for “flood” only appears one other time in all the Old Testament; it’s in the narrative of the account of Noah’s flood in Genesis, where, Derek Kidner reminds us, it is the supreme example of natural forces purposefully unleashed. God was using the creation at his disposal to judge sin, to judge wickedness. God’s enthroned over these flood waters of judgment. He is dispensing justice as he sees fit.

God’s power means he is king forever. There is no one that can usurp his throne, no one that can kick him off. He is sovereign in heaven, as we saw the angels worshipping him there, and now he’s working out his purposes by his power on earth. As king, he judges the rebellious, but at the same time he blesses and empowers his people, even in the midst of his judgments.

Kidner once again comments that “the psalm ends by showing God’s power, not as naked force, but as the instrument of judgment and salvation.” He gives strength to his people and he blesses them with peace. Well, how exactly does he do that? The full answer to that question doesn’t come until the full revelation that we get in the New Testament.

First, his strength in us. In 2 Peter 1:3 we read that “his divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life.” In Ephesians 3:16 Paul says, “According to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” It’s the Holy Spirit inside of the person, inside of the believer, that gives them power in their life. Their soul is strengthened, able to apprehend God, able to know him. Philippians 2:13, “It is God who works in you…” God! The God who presides over the meteorite that exploded over the Siberian wilderness with a thousand times more power than a nuclear weapon—it’s that God who works in you, “both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

Listen, if you’re not a Christian this morning, you can have power over the sin that’s having such destructive influences in your life, that’s causing friction in your relationship with your family and your friends and your loved ones, that’s keeping you distant from God and unable to know him, that’s messing up your life. You can have power over that, because if you belong to Christ, he gives his Spirit in you, and God is in you through the mediation of the Holy Spirit to work and to will for his good pleasure.

Scripture describes the person who is not a Christian yet in slavery to sin, in bondage to it. Sin has a power over you that you are not able to break on your own strength! Yes, you may make moral improvements, but sin is still in control, and it will crop up in one way or another. If it is drug addiction, it will crop up in the form of self-righteousness and pride. You have no power over sin apart from God’s Spirit working in you through Christ, and you can have freedom from that slavery.

For the Christian, this is the great promise we must return to when we struggle with temptation, is to remember that God’s power is unleashed inside of us through the Holy Spirit.

Lastly, we see his work for us. There’s no greater display of the omnipotence of God in the history of redemption than in the life of Jesus. The eternal word, the second person of the Trinity assumed human nature onto himself.

You remember what the angel said to Mary when he announced this to her? “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” It was by the omnipotent power of God that Christ was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary, that his human nature took form.

When he began his ministry, he was anointed with—what? The Holy Spirit and power! He had miraculous power, unprecedented, even greater than Elisha, greater than Elijah, greater than Moses! He walked around healing people left and right. There was nothing he couldn’t heal. He healed people who were born blind; they had been blind their whole lives, and he healed them. He resuscitated people back from the dead, brought them back from the dead. He had such great power that a woman with faith, when she touched his cloak in a crowd, he actually felt power leave him. He could tell that it left.

He had power over the natural world. He actually walked on the sea, representing Yahweh’s dominion over the forces of chaos, that he is the king of nature, that nature does his bidding. Remember in the boat, when the disciples were caught in the storm, Jesus was sleeping in the midst of it. When they woke him up, all he had to do was say a word, and it stopped. He had power over nature.

He had moral power. He was able to go through his entire life without committing one sin, without giving in to one temptation! He had a soul of steel that was able to resist all the temptations that were hurled against him.

He had a power of communicating truth. Remember what the crowds said when they heard him preach? “We’ve never heard anyone speak like this man.”

He also had the power to bear the omnipotent wrath of God against sin, when on that cross, that lightning rod of the cross, it attracted the lightning of God’s judgment. Because he was truly God and truly man, only his soul had the power to bear that wrath to satisfaction for his people. There was never a greater display of power than in the life of Jesus and in the death of Jesus. After bearing the wrath of God, he went on to defeat death itself for his people.

Death is the biggest enemy we have. I mean, you can be a citizen of Metropolis and Superman can save you a thousand times, but once you die, Superman can’t do anything about that! That’s not his territory anymore.

That’s one of the most amazing things attested to about Christ, is he defeated death himself, death itself. Death itself is personified throughout Scripture; actually it seems to take the form of this personal force, in some sense. He did this by defeating death from the inside out.

This idea of defeating something from the inside out shows up in movies a lot, often in completely ridiculous ways that defy the laws of physics, but the idea shows up nonetheless. I remember at the end of the 1997 sci-fi/comedy/action film Men in Black, Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith play these federal agents who supervise alien activity on earth. It’s at the end of the movie and they’re fighting this gigantic, slimy bug-alien thing. They have these laser cannons, and they’re about to fire at it, and this bug swallows their weapons whole in one gulp; they lose their weapons. Tommy Lee Jones says, “I’m going to get my gun back.”

So he stands in front of the alien, starts taunting it, mocking it, until the alien has enough. He swallows Tommy Lee Jones whole, in one gulp. Will Smith is standing there horrified, trying to delay, trying to buy time; until, inside the gut of the alien, he hears the cocking of a weapon, and the gun firing up. Tommy Lee Jones fires, and the alien splits in two; and he came out, he got his gun back.

Or in the ’98 science fiction action movie Armageddon, there’s this huge asteroid coming to earth, and the scientists are debating, “What are we going to do about it?” They only have a limited amount of time, and one scientist says, “Okay, we have to take a shuttle up there close enough, and we have to nuclear missiles on the shuttle,” and they can just fire the missiles from the shuttle.

This other scientist said, “No, that’s never going to work. You’re just going to scorch the surface.” They kept having a debate about it, and he said, “Listen, if you put a firecracker on my hand, if you ignite it, what’s going to happen? I’m going to burn the skin on my hand. But, same firecracker, and I make a fist around it—no more hand. We have to drill inside of that thing and plant the nuclear weapon in the middle of it and blow it up from the inside out. That’s the only force powerful enough to take care of it.”

My personal favorite, at the end of the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix, when, in the hallway of the heart of the city hotel, Neo takes a running leap at the computer program, Agent Smith, and destroys it from the inside out.

Then we come to the resurrection. Oh, how the omnipotence of God was exhibited in the resurrection! Listen to what Paul writes in Ephesians 1:19-20, where he talks about “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, “according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” Or Romans 1:4, where we read that “Christ was declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by his resurrection from the dead.” Or Colossians 2:12, where Paul exhorts us to have faith “in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.”

Listen, the display of God’s omnipotence in the resurrection of Christ was such a convincing display of his power that it convinced a bunch of monotheistic Jewish people to start worshipping a carpenter named Jesus from Nazareth as God. You remember the apostle Paul, who wrote those words, who had that miraculous sight of the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus—completely changed his entire theology of how God was working in history, of how the promises to Israel will be fulfilled, on what the resurrection was going to be like when it happened. The genius Paul completely flipped his views on its head, and you can read those in his letters in the New Testament, where he’s grappling with this mind-boggling reality of the resurrection of Christ that he saw with his own two eyes. He saw the risen Christ!

One of my favorite lines attributed to Jesus in the entire Scriptures comes in Revelation, where he says this: “I died, and behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades.”

Listen, Jesus knows not only what it’s like to die, he knows what it’s like to be dead. Remember, he was separated from his body for three days. He said, “The Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days,” and his soul was with the righteous dead, but his body was in the tomb. There was a separation there.

Now, should the Lord tarry, everyone in this room is going to have a much longer separation than that between soul and resurrected body; but Jesus knows what that experience is like, and he came out of that experience victorious. He came out with the keys of death and Hades, with the key ring, twirling it around on his finger and tossing it up in the air and catching it, and tucking those keys away in his cloak, saving them for later. He has absolute authority over the realm of death and Hades, and that’s why when the believer dies, to depart to be with Christ is far better, because he is there, and that place is called paradise, because he reigns there in authority, waiting for his children until they are resurrected.

Lastly, we see this in our own resurrection and glorification that he is going to work for us. In 1 Corinthians 6:4, “God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” The same resurrection power applied to Christ, applied to his human body, will be exerted to the bodies of believers one day. In 1 Corinthians 15:54-56, “When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”

Death swallowed Jesus, but because Jesus was God, Jesus swallowed death instead. We will be given this imperishable body that will have the power to dwell with the omnipotent God for all eternity and to see his glory and power unveiled, and to be able to bear it and stand it, enjoy it. This imperishable body that has the power to enjoy our powerful God and worship him for eternity.

I love the way that Augustine sums up the result of God’s power exerted in the life of the believer, where he writes, “When life’s last day finds a man in such advancing and increasing, firm in the faith of the mediator, the holy angels will be waiting to bring him home to the God whom he has served, and by whom he must be perfected, and at the world’s end he will receive an incorruptible body, not for punishment, but for glory. For in this image the likeness of God will be perfect only in the perfect vision of God, where we will be made like him because we will see him as he is.

This psalm opened with angels in heaven, and then, if you noticed, it closed with people on earth worshipping. But one day heaven and earth will be united, and redeemed humanity will be worshipping alongside angels, when heaven is joined to earth, in the new heavens and the new earth. Both angels and redeemed humanity will be rejoicing in God’s power together, because he will have brought us there by his power, by the exercise of his omnipotence.

There will be a sound that dwarfs that sound that Mr. Semenov heard that summer morning in 1908, when, as Revelation 19:6 says, “And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, ‘Alleluiah! For the Lord God omnipotent reigns!’”

Father, we stand in awe this morning of your power, Lord, your power that is a wise power and a good power that you have exercised on behalf of your people, Lord, to save us from sin, to save us from your judgment; Lord, to save us from death itself and to bring us home to you that we may enjoy you forever, Lord. We are so grateful for your power, Lord. We ask for your help to behold your power in the world and to not think, after the pattern of this world that tries to divorce the power that we see in the natural from you, Lord, but to recognize that it’s your voice in the thunder, Lord, and it’s your power exerted in the thunder and lighting, that we may continually worship you and adore you and be in awe of you.

Lord, we ask that the rest of our service this morning that our worship would be acceptable to you and that you would continue to work in the hearts of everyone listening. In the name of Jesus we ask these things, Amen.