Vs. 1-2 give praise to God;
Vs. 3-9 emphasize listening, for God speaks;
Vs. 10-11 show God is superior
Verses 1-2 were spoken by David on the occasion of the ark of God being set in the midst of the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 16:1, 25-29). In praise of God, David acknowledged God’s superiority of His: 1) glory; 2) strength; 3) Name; 4) beauty of holiness.
1) God’s glory to the Israelites on Mount Sinai was “like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain” (Exodus 24:16-17), and is the brightness of Heaven, itself (Revelation 21:23). At Jesus’ birth, this brilliance surrounded the shepherds (Luke 2:9) and will accompany Jesus’ Second coming (Matthew 25:31). By obeying the Gospel (Acts 18:8), the Corinthians (and all saints! 1 Corinthians 1:2) enable God’s glory to shine in their hearts (2 Corinthians 4:6).
2) God’s strength is unmatched, for He is the strength: of Israel (1 Samuel 15:28-29); of Jesus Christ (Micah 5:2-4; Matthew 2:4-6); and of a Christian’s human effort to love God (Mark 12:30).
3) God’s Holy Name had been profaned by the house of Israel in their land, so God removed them from it. He returned them to it in Ezra-Nehemiah, to “sanctify My great name” (Ezekiel 36:16-24). In Ezekiel 36:28, God promised them, “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.” (This last phrase is used of God’s people in the church of Christ (2 Corinthians 6:16).) The Israelites dwelt in that land when Jesus was born and baptized of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2, 15-16). When Jesus’ kingdom was established (Colossians 1:13), the Gospel was “for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16-17). The Gospel of Christ gave the Jews opportunity to be spiritually circumcised when they were baptized into Christ (Colossians 2:11-12) and correct their sinful ways (Romans 2:23-24, 28-29).
4) Since God is holy (“untouched by evil”), the high priest under Moses’ Law wore it on a forehead plate when he approached God’s presence (Exodus 28:36-38); today, Jesus Christ is our holiness (Hebrews 7:26-27); thus, Christians should try to live apart from sin (1 Peter 1:13-16). The expression, “His holiness,” is only used of God, Himself (Psalm 60:6; 108:7; Amos 4:2; Hebrews 12:10), and should never be used for, or accepted by, any human on earth! It is “profanity” to so do!
Verses 3-9 are similar to 1 Chronicles 16:30-33, and demonstrate ways the “voice of the LORD” is like the fury of a rainstorm:
1) It is “powerful” and “majestic” like “thunder” (John 12:27-30);
2) It can make even Lebanon’s cedars “splinter” and “skip;”
3) It can strike like lightning;
4) Its instruction brought water from rock in Kadesh (Exodus 17:1-7)
5) It can cause animals to birth, denude forests, and create awe in humans.
Verses 10-11 remind us that the God who destroyed the world by flood in Noah’s day (Genesis 6-9), has never been dethroned as Ruler of the world (Daniel 4:28-37), uses His power to also strengthen His people, and let them live in peace (1 Chronicles 22:7-9). There is NO reason to believe human government has (or can!) replace God in these matters.