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The Roaring of the Lord

God's glory is terrifying and yet worthy of praise.


This morning, in a very unique way, each one of you will have to be the preacher, or there'll be no sermon. The sermon that you are going to have to preach will not be on one or two verses, but a whole psalm, and remember—a psalm is a poem. This particular psalm is one of the oldest, at least as old as the archaic liturgies of the Phoenicians—that is, from before the time of David. That's why in the first line you hear the phrase, "Give unto Yahweh, O ye sons of the gods."

And if you're going to preach it, you'll have to look at the format—that it begins with a prelude of four lines called the "Gloria in Excelsis," and concludes with a postlude of four lines, what we would call the creed, or the benediction. So we begin with the call to worship, then comes the creed and the benediction, and in between lies the real body of the poem—three strophes of five lines each, very symmetrically put together. Within those three verses you will hear the phrase qol Yahweh—"the roaring of the Lord"—seven times. That's why it's called the Psalm of the Seven Thunders—seven repetitions of this qol Yahweh, or "roaring of the Lord." 

We must come to worship with the right attitude.

Now let's focus on what it's about. The Psalm starts with one choir coming down the esplanade of the temple, singing, "Give unto Yahweh, O ye sons of the gods." It's then joined by another choir coming from the east, singing, "Give unto Yahweh power and strength," and another coming from the west that adds, "Give unto Yahweh the glory of his name." All three choirs converge and come in to worship Yahweh.

But what are the people in the choirs going to get out of that? You don't come to church for nothing. I saw an ad recently—half-page ...

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I. We must come to worship with the right attitude

II. The glory of the Lord is revealed in the storms

III. We adore God as we see his terrifying ways in the world