The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.
The voice of the Lord features prominently in the Bible, from “Let there be . . . !” in Genesis 1 to “I am coming soon!” in Revelation 22. Like any voice, the voice of the Lord can whisper or shout. In 1 Kings 19, a gentle voice consoles the prophet Elijah, whose spirit is in turmoil. Psalm 29 describes a roaring voice that rips forests apart.
The voice of the Lord speaks to Jesus when he is baptized. It says, “You are my Son, whom I love” (Mark 1:11). That’s an echo of Psalm 2 and Isaiah 42. And it assigns a destiny to Jesus. He will be a king who rules as a servant. Jesus embraces that destiny in obedient, faithful trust.
In Psalm 29 the powerful voice of the Lord breaks cedars in pieces, “twists the oaks,” and “strips the forests bare.” Following the voice that calls to him, Jesus himself will be stripped bare and twisted. He will be broken in pieces on a tree. Crowned with thorns, he will be God’s suffering servant, the Savior of the world.
The voice of the Lord still speaks. If we listen carefully, we can hear it. From the cross the voice of the Lord whispers, “This is what power looks like.”
Lord Jesus, you heard the voice of God, and you followed. When we hear your voice, help us to follow too. Amen.