Psalm 291NIV New International Version Translations
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever. 11 The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
It is the probable conjecture of some very good interpreters that David penned this psalm just at the time, of a great storm of thunder, lightning, and rain, as the eighth psalm was his meditation in a moon-light night and the nineteenth in a sunny morning. It is good to take time to reflect on the sensible operations of God’s power in the kingdom of nature to give glory to him. So composed was David, and so cheerful, even in a dreadful tempest, when others trembled, that then he penned this psalm; for, “though the earth be removed, yet will we not fear.’’
- He calls upon the great ones of the world to give glory to God (v. 1, v. 2).
- To convince them of the goodness of that God whom they were to adore, he takes notice of his power and terror in the thunder, and lightning, and thunder-showers (v. 3-9), his sovereign dominion over the world (v. 10), and his special favor to his church (v. 11). Great and high thoughts of God should fill us in singing this psalm.
Verse 1: The heavenly being are probably the angels.
Verse 2: Our translation says the Lord is due glory from us because of His splendor.
Verse 3: Probably the Mediterranean Sea.
Verse 5: Lebanon was famous for very large cedar trees.
Verse 6: Lebanon and Sirion mean the mountains in these places. In the storm David thought that they were moving around. Perhaps there was an earthquake or the thunder made the ground shake.
Verse 9: There is some controversy on how to translate “twists the oaks and strips the forests bare “. Some people say it is better to translate it “makes the animals have their babies”. The storm was so bad that the animals were afraid. The ones that were going to have baby animals had them early. The temple here means heaven. All means even the Angels that are in verse 1
Verse 10: We could have spelled Flood with a capital f. This is because it means one special flood. It happened in the time of Noah. Water covered the whole earth. Everybody died except Noah and his family. We know that David meant this Flood because he used the special word that describes the Flood in Genesis. Nobody else uses that Hebrew description in the entire Bible.
Verse 11: After the storm there was peace. Peace is a gift that God gives to his people.
Items for Discussion
- Why do severe storms bring us fear?
- How do storms bring us closer to God?
- Why is the description of a big storm appropriate for describing “God’s Voice?”
- When the storm is over, how does David respond?
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
John wanted his readers to believe ‘that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Son’ (John 20:31). That is why he wrote his Gospel. Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded many miracles in their Gospels. But John chose to record only 7 miracles. He called them ‘signs’. John also emphasised that Jesus was human. John recorded that Jesus was tired (John 4:6). John also recorded that Jesus needed food (John 4:31). Jesus was very sad when his friend Lazarus died. At that time, Jesus cried (John 11:35). On another occasion, Jesus became angry with the people who did business in the Temple (John 2:15). And John also recorded that Jesus was thirsty (John 19:28). Jesus was not half human and half God. He was completely human and completely God, too.
John’s Gospel was the last one written and emphasizes the last few weeks of Jesus’ life. John had watched so many people misunderstand the earlier Gospels that he wanted to clear things up. John and the other disciples had lived with Jesus for about three years. John knew that Jesus was a real man. Also John had seen the miracles that Jesus did. John watched Jesus die on a cross. And John had also seen Jesus after he (Jesus) had become alive again. John knew that Jesus had defeated death. And John had seen Jesus rise up to heaven. So John knew that Jesus was a real man and also God’s Son.
It is very desirable when there is a marriage, to have Christ own and bless it. Those that would have Christ with them at their marriage, must invite him and he will come. While in this world we sometimes find ourselves in trouble when we think ourselves too important.
There was want at a marriage feast. Those who come to care for the things of the world, must look for trouble, and count upon disappointment. In our calls to Christ, we must humbly spread our case before him, and then refer ourselves to him to do as he pleases. In Christ’s reply to his mother there was no disrespect. He used the same word when speaking to her with affection from the cross. Christ’s hour comes when we do not know what to do. Delays of mercy are not denials of prayer. Those that expect Christ’s favors, must observe his orders with ready obedience. The way of duty is the way to mercy; and Christ’s methods must not be objected against. The beginning of Moses’ miracles was turning water into blood, Exodus 7:20; the beginning of Christ’s miracles was turning water into wine; which may remind us of the difference between the law of Moses and the gospel of Christ.
Christ shows us that he cares about our creature-comforts and, for his believers, makes them comforts indeed. Christ’s works are all for our benefit. Has he turned your water into wine, given you knowledge and grace? Therefore, we are called to pray out now, and use it. It was the best wine. Christ’s works are always the best works if when we do not recognize they are from him. What was produced by miracles was always the best of its kind.
Though Christ allows a proper use of wine, he does not in the least do away with his own caution, which is, that our hearts be not at any time overdo it, Luke 21:34.
Items for Discussion
- Why are we a nation of firsts? In other words, why does our society place so much important on something being first?
- What can we tell about Jesus’ character by the fact that His first miracle was turning water into wine?
- How does a relationship with Christ help a marriage?
- What can we tell about how our relationship with our parents should be handled from this story?
- In what ways can we involve Christ in not only our marriages but our general lives?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations