The mighty one, God the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes and does not keep silence,
before him is a devouring fire,
and a mighty tempest all around him.
4 He calls to the heavens above
and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
6 The heavens declare his righteousness,
for God himself is judge. Selah – Psalm 50:1-6
Unlike most Psalms, it is God who addresses his people in Psalm 50:1-6. In this Psalm God is seen in the language of a thunderstorm theophany – the visual manifestation of deity to human beings.
As a child, I remember being terribly frightened by thunderstorms. I remember running to my parents for protection whenever a storm was brewing. Some of those feelings are with me even today. Whenever I hear a loud crack or see a brilliant flash, I sometimes flinch or even gasp out loud, unknowingly.
While God is not a storm, these fierce thunderstorms during the summer months in Tampa, the lightning capitol of North America, always remind me of the mighty power and awesomeness of our great God. And, these storms confirm in me that I worship a God who is way more powerful than a thunder storm. In these moments, I realize just how small and powerless I am without him.