MOURNING INTO DANCING
Lord, You bring joy into my life.
Read PSALM 30
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.
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 favor 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 favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] 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.
a Psalm 30:1 In Hebrew texts 30:1-12 is numbered 30:2-13.
b Psalm 30:1 Title: Or palace
c Psalm 30:7 That is, Mount Zion
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Begin by praising God. “Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness” (Psa. 150,1,2).
Although the introduction to this psalm notes that it is a song for the dedication of the temple, since David himself was not alive when the temple was built, this could be referring to David dedicating himself to the Divine. David reflects on how God has saved him from his enemies (1), as well as how much God deserves David’s praise (4,12). How could those two themes be appropriate for such an occasion?
I’m always struck by how much trouble David has experienced in his life. Even though in God’s eyes he was “a man after my own heart,” we know that he has messed up more than once and spent a lot of time on the run. We also know that King Saul and other powerful people were trying to kill him. David has compounded the problem by committing some substantive offenses that exceed simply messing up. Maybe that is on his mind as he begins, “I will praise you, Lord! You saved me from the grave and kept my enemies from celebrating my death” (1, CEV). It is precisely because of those things that his worship is so exuberant. It reminds us that the best worshipers, then and now, are those who have a fresh understanding of God’s salvation and forgiveness.
Another interesting feature of this psalm is that David seems to be referring to past and present difficulties at the same time. For him, worship isn’t just some grand, corporate theater. It is, rather, the personal response of a man for whom God has transformed times of mourning into joyful dancing (11) over and over again. That’s what will generate authentic worship.
Has God ever transformed a season of mourning into a time of dancing for you? A hard time that became a blessing? Remember what happened and thank God.
Lord, Your ability to turn a misfortune into a benefit for me is beyond comprehension. Thank You for being on my side.