“The Lord sat enthroned at the flood; the Lord sits enthroned, King forever” (Psalm 29:10 HCSB).
Have you ever really considered the details of the flood? The Lord examines the human race and finds them to be continually evil. This is not hyperbolic language either. Their sin and wickedness so grieves Him that He chooses to wipe the vast majority from the face of the earth. God sovereignly chose the means of a deluge to end the lives of all humanity but eight. Water is used for our hydration. In fact, no one can live longer than three days without water. It is also used to cleanse things. In the case of the flood, the Lord was “cleansing” the earth of its uncleanness with the waters. Immediately following the departure of Noah’s family from the ark, we are reminded that sin is still present in the human race (Gen. 9:20-23). The flood waters did not eradicate sin. As long as unglorified humanity lives on this planet, sin will be present.
Why should we consider the flood beyond a cursory glance? First of all, the LORD is the One who was actively ruling over creation and the events of the flood. The worldwide event known as the flood was the act of an all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful God. He sat enthroned at the flood. The Creator chose by His own purpose and will to end the lives of the majority of humanity because He could not and would not tolerate their willful rebellion against Him any longer. God has a holy hatred for sin. John Stott wrote God’s wrath, “does not mean… that he is likely to fly off the handle at the most trivial provocation, still less that he loses his temper for no apparent reason at all. For there is nothing capricious or arbitrary about the holy God. Nor is he ever irascible, malicious, spiteful, or vindictive. His anger is neither mysterious nor irrational. It is never unpredictable but always predictable, because it is provoked by evil and by evil alone” (The Cross of Christ, p. 173). The flood was not an accident or simply a natural disaster. The flood happened because God was provoked by the evil actions of humanity and could tolerate it no longer.
Secondly, the flood is a reminder of what is to come. Scripture reveals that the Lord will judge all who rebelled against Him and rejected His Son (Rev. 20:11-15; 2 Peter 3:10-13). God is just and cannot perpetually overlook the offense of sin. He is patient but His righteousness brings about an end to His withholding of judgment. We must remember how repugnant and odious sin is to a holy God. This knowledge of the Lord’s holy hatred of sin is essential to our progress in personal holiness and our proper understanding of the necessity of divine wrath. Some ignore or redefine portions of Scripture detailing divine wrath and God’s holy hatred of sin. They find these essential attributes of God unfit for their enlightened sensibilities. The holiness of God and His just wrath are not attractive to the unbelieving mind, especially when the wrath is directed at their own personal sin.
Psalm 29:10 is a comfort for believers. You may wonder at such a statement. It is a reminder that no matter what may occur: the spread of persecution against Christians, plagues, earthquakes, war, disease, cancer, famine, drought, etc… our God is King! There is no time in which He ceases to be King! He is in complete control of everything in this universe. He is not the creator of sin. He has never sinned, nor will He ever. When God allows pain and difficulty to occur in the life of a Christian, He has a holy, God-glorifying purpose for them. We need not be afraid when the darkest night (sometimes week, month, or year) occurs. Does that mean we won’t be afraid? No, most likely we will be afraid. But, it should drive us to our knees in prayer. It should drive us to the Word of God and its promises. Psalm 29:11 says, “The Lord gives His people strength; the Lord blesses His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11 HCSB). Our lives intersect with trials and loss because of the fall (Gen. 3). The trials and loss we experience bring out the need for divinely bestowed strength and peace. This is why Paul wrote, “I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9b HCSB).
What a comforting thought, in the chaos of the floodwaters, the Lord was King! When the Lord and Savior of the world hung on the cross forsaken by the Father, the Lord was King! When thousands upon thousands of Christians died at the hands of their persecutors, the Lord was King! In the chaos of a rapidly changing world, the Lord is King. In the uncertainty of a post-Christian United States, the Lord is King! In the midst of a terrifying diagnosis, the Lord is King. In the midst of death, the Lord is King! Christian, find comfort in the fact that our God reigns in the past, present, and future. He is in control of your life and circumstances. He is able to redeem even the most painful moments His people experience (Gen. 50:20).
If you haven’t repented of your sin and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, Psalm 29:10 is a clear reminder of the future judgment that will fall upon all who refuse to repent and believe (cf. John 3:16-18, 36; 1 John 5:12-13). The question of your life is, what will you do with Jesus Christ? Christian, how will you pray for those who need to be reconciled to God through the gospel? How will you share with those who need to be reconciled to God through the gospel?