Weds 23 September - Psalm 30
1 I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favour lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favoured me,
you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.
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Meditation on Psalm 30
Although we don’t know the exact circumstances surrounding this Psalm, it is clear that David has been afflicted by a serious illness - he says, verse 2, ‘you healed me.’
The Psalm is full of contrasts:
- ‘illness’ – ‘healing’
- ‘anger’ – ‘favour’
- ‘weeping’ – ‘rejoicing’
- ‘momentary’ – ‘lifetime’
- ‘secure’ – ‘dismayed’
- ‘wailing’ – ‘dancing’
- ‘sackcloth’ – ‘garment of joy’
The Psalm opens and closes with praise.
The reason for praising the LORD is that ‘you lifted me out of the depths’.
This reference to ‘the depths’ is expressive of many human experiences and we see it in other Psalms also:
e.g. Psalm 69:2
As David is rejoicing that the LORD has lifted him out of the depths, so too, we can rejoice that the Lord has lifted us out of the depths – Psalm 40:1-3
His enemies would have been so pleased to see him wallowing in the depths.
But David knew where to turn – verse 2 – ‘LORD my God’ – he has a personal relationship with the LORD – ‘I called, He answered, He rescued me.’
He longs for others to exalt the LORD.
To exalt Him is to raise Him to the highest place in our lives.
Remember, God exalted Jesus to the highest place and made Him Lord over everything - Philippians 2:9
He calls on the LORD’s faithful people’ to praise the LORD; to praise His holy Name. What a joy it is to be with the Lord’s people and to praise Him together. Whilst there are many challenges at the moment, we can look forward to that great and glorious day when nothing will stand in the way of our being able to praise Him throughout all eternity.
God sometimes has to get angry with us because of our sin but this lasts only for a while. When we are ‘sorry for all our sins’, His mercy and grace are ours for our lifetime.
We must always guard against complacency.
When we think we are as a solid as a mountain, we are strong in Him; but when He hides His face – cf. Psalm 13:1 – I lose my bearings.
David opens his heart as he calls out to the LORD.
- “I called”
- “I cried for mercy”
- “Hear me LORD”
- “LORD, be my help”
Don’t we often get to that point in our lives?
David seems to be reasoning with the LORD about staying alive. He asks a series of questions, starting with, “what is gained if I die?”
Paul had a similar problem of double-thinking – Philippians 1:21-23
“I am torn between the two. I desire to be with Christ which is better by far but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”
David gets through his questioning and comes to the conclusion that he wants to sing the praises of the LORD.
We, too, have many reasons to praise the LORD, so we shouldn’t remain silent.
Billy Bray was a converted, Cornish drunkard (that’s some combination!) and, as a preacher in the 19th Century, he was known for his loud voice and his singing everywhere he went. When people opposed and persecuted him for singing and shouting so much, he said, “If they were to put me into a barrel, I would shout glory through the bung-hole! Praise the Lord!”
“LORD, my God, help me to praise you forever.”
Thursday 24 September - Psalm 31
Friday 25 September - Psalm 32
Saturday 26 September - Psalm 33
Sunday 27 September - Psalm 34
Monday 28 September - Psalm 35
Tuesday 29 September - Psalm 36