“Give Jehovah his due, you sons of mighty ones, give Jehovah his due for his glory and strength. Give Jehovah the glory due his name. Bow down to Jehovah in holy adornment.”
What do you give to the man who has everything? That is an oft-used expression. Of course, there is no man (or woman) who has everything. True, some people may have more money than they could ever spend. They might have fame to go with their fortune. They might even be happy. Their family might be well and happy too. But eventually, everyone must leave it all behind and go to the Grave.
God, on the other hand, literally has everything. He has a happy family of sons in heaven. He is called the happy God. And he has no limitations whatsoever and cannot die by any means. So, what do you give to a God who really does have every thing? Simple, respect, praise, and thanks. That is really all God is asking. Surely, that is his “due.”
Years ago when I was just studying the Bible I had a conversation with a family member who was offended that God demanded our worship. In her opinion, a god who would make such unreasonable demands would be egotistical. (She was really describing Satan) But is it really because the Creator has a superego? Consider it from a human standpoint. Most inventors and creators put their personal names on their work. Painters usually sign their work down in the left or right corner. Authors usually plaster their personal names on their books. People even pay more for an autographed copy. Music always has the name of the songwriter and copyright holder. Why is it untoward and unseemly for the Creator of every living thing as well as every inanimate thing and system, to desire to be given the glory due his name?
My family member was wrong in another aspect. God does not demand our worship, respect or thanks. He allows humanity to do as they please with no regard for him—at least for the time being. Jesus said God even provides rain and sunshine for the godless. Of course, most religious people have some form of worship but it is not based on truth and has no spirit behind it. Jesus, who knows Jehovah better than anyone, once told a Samaritan woman that God was looking for people who are inclined to worship Him in spirit and truth. Think of it! Worshipping God is a privilege that God only extends to persons who have the right kind of heart.
Giving Jehovah the glory due his name brings up an important issue. Since Jesus said God only accepts worship that is based on truth that means that any Christians who disregard God’s personal name cannot give Jehovah the honor due his name.
There is an enemy of God who knows very well God’s name and he despises him. Satan has long sought to prevent people from knowing God’s personal name. Shortly after the Bible was completed copyists began removing the Tetragrammaton from the Greek Scriptures. And although the YHWH appears nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew text modern translators have betrayed their anti-God bias by removing the name of God from the entire Bible.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have at least given Jehovah the honor due his name by restoring God’s name to the book he inspired and speaking the truth about Jehovah’s purpose and his special relationship with Jesus.
A word on “holy adornment.” There is an old expression that someone has put on their “Sunday best.” That is because people typically wore their best clothes to church as a way of showing honor. That is not much the case nowadays as churchgoers show up in casual dress. As much as I loathe putting on a suit and tie and combing my hair I would never go into a congregation meeting dressed in casual clothes. It is not about pleasing men. It is about giving Jehovah his due respect—at least it should be.
“The voice of Jehovah is heard over the waters; the glorious God thunders. Jehovah is over many waters. The voice of Jehovah is powerful; the voice of Jehovah is splendid. The voice of Jehovah is breaking the cedars; Yes, Jehovah shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, And Sirion like a young wild bull. The voice of Jehovah strikes with flames of fire; the voice of Jehovah makes the wilderness shudder; Jehovah makes the wilderness of Kadesh shudder. The voice of Jehovah makes the deer shudder and give birth and strips bare the forests. And all in his temple say: “Glory!” — Psalms 29:3-9
No one alive today has heard the voice of Jehovah. Once when Jesus was in the temple courtyard Jehovah spoke from the heavens and the Jews imagined that it had thundered. But the power of God can be perceived in the creation. As Paul said in Romans: “His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship…”
The power of nature is an expression of God’s personal power. A huge ocean wave crashing on the rocks, a waterfall surging with a thunderous roar, and a rumbling thunderstorm shaking the earth, all testify to the power God possesses. Indeed, “give Jehovah his due for his glory and strength.”
The cedars of Lebanon were renewed in Bible times. They were massive. The mountainous region was forested with these majestic giants. Perhaps Jehovah shattering the cedars of Lebanon was a reference to storms that may have fallen some of those otherwise sturdy cedars.
As far as hearing the voice of Jehovah we may expect to figuratively hear Jehovah roar when the day and hour arrive for the judgment to begin. “And Jehovah will roar out of Zion, out of Jerusalem he will raise his voice. And heaven and earth will rock; but Jehovah will be a refuge for his people…” — Joel 3:16
The concluding verse of the 29th Psalm harmonizes with the prophecy of Joel. “Jehovah sits enthroned above the flooding waters; Jehovah sits enthroned as King forever. Jehovah will give strength to his people. Jehovah will bless his people with peace.”