Posted in theology

Psalm 50:3- God’s ‘Terrible majesty’

By Elizabeth Prata

Think of who God really is. Over the years through sermons, pamphlets, Sunday School curricula, podcasts, and books- we see repeated whittling of our august, holy God down to a weak boyfriend pleading with people to walk down the aisle and “accept Him,” or a heavenly butler willing to tolerate anything we say or do and give us our 3 wishes. No.

Psalm 50:3 says He is a tempest!

Barnes’ notes says,

And it shall be very tempestuous round about him – The word used here – śa‛ar – means properly to shudder; to shiver; and then it is employed to denote the commotion and raging of a tempest. The allusion is doubtless to the descent on Mount Sinai Exodus 19:16, and to the storm accompanied by thunder and lightning which beat upon the mountain when God descended on it to give his law. The whole is designed to represent God as clothed with appropriate majesty when judgment is to be pronounced upon the world.

This scene is going on right now in the throne room of heaven. Isaiah was given a vision of it in Isaiah 6:1-4

In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim were standing above Him, each having six wings: with two each covered his face, and with two each covered his feet, and with two each flew. And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of armies. The whole earth is full of His glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke.

Yet for all that, if you are a true believer, you are a son of God, His child, given privileges of approaching Him boldly, says Hebrews 4:16.

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

What grace! To go from His enemy, shaking at His thunder and smoke, standing at the bottom of the quaking mountain, but being WITH Him at His throne, worshiping in love, making petitions, and seeking His guidance via the Holy Spirit. He is not a weak boyfriend, nor a heavenly butler, but a powerful God, Providentially bringing all His plans to fruition, one of them being to sanctify His children and bring us to His dwelling place someday. Amazing!


Christian writer and Georgia teacher's aide who loves Jesus, a quiet life, art, beauty, and children.

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