Strength and Peace (Psalm 29:11)

The LORD will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Psalm 29:11

Come this time of year, I think we can all use this reminder tucked away in the psalms. This is yet another of David’s psalms. The psalm begins by instructing the sons of the mighty to give God the glory due to Him. The psalm then goes on to describe the power of the voice of God. David then wraps the whole thing up with this morning’s verse.

David knew the value of these; of strength and peace. David had stood in front of Goliath and needed both in that moment. He had been in fear for his life for years and had hidden among the enemies of Israel. He had gone into battle on multiple occasions and had seen God’s judgment come on Israel. In all of these, David needed strength and peace and he received them.

It occurred to me to wonder how the voice of God connects with God strength and peace to His people. As I considered this, two instances of the voice of God giving either strength or peace or both came to mind. The first instance is when Joshua was preparing to lead Israel against  Jericho. Joshua was out walking — troubled and scared. Jericho was a walled city. What you could race on top of those walls is debatable, but most everyone agrees that something could be raced on those walls. Joshua has a bunch of wilderness wanderers at his back while Jericho has beefy walls and trained soldiers. It is in this place that Joshua meets with God. God doesn’t give Joshua miracles or signs, but God does give Joshua battle plans and encouragement and the text records Joshua going away from that conversation with God ready to take on Jericho (Joshua 5:13–6:5). The second instance is Jesus being in the boat with His disciples during a storm. The disciples are freaking out, thinking the boat is going to sink and they’re going down with it. They wake Jesus up and He goes to the front of the boat and tells the storm to knock it off (I’m paraphrasing). In this case, it seems that the sea is what receives the peace while the disciples receive strengthening. They start to think more deeply about Who Jesus is and it will, eventually, bolster their faith (Matthew 8:23–27). There are far more examples than this, but these came to mind.

And this means what to me today? It means that my weakness will be strengthened by God. I am feeble in so many areas of my life, but God is aware and He wants to give me strength. And He strengthens me by His Word. It means that my chaos will be pacified. My heart is easily troubled. Things come up and I go from calm to crazy in less time than I can think. By the grace of God, it does not always manifest in outward appearances, but it is nonetheless chaos; a storm that needs the voice of God to speak peace to it. And He does. God gives strength and peace. Though there are people who seem strong, they will break while God will not. Though there are people who seem to be at peace, the wrong mix of circumstance will strip away the veneer of serenity on their life while God remains able to give peace in every circumstance, because He is our peace.

Strength and peace — God’s word; God’s voice offers both.

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