Year B – Epiphany 6 – Psalm 30

“30:1 I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 30:3 O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. 30:4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.  30:5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.  30:6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 30:7 By your favor, O LORD, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed. 30:8 To you, O LORD, I cried, and to the LORD I made supplication: 30:9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? 30:10 Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper!” 30:11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 30:12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.”

Summary – The psalmist gives praise and thanks for his deliverance from his foes. The psalmist cries out to God for his rescue even from death and he gives and sings praises to God for the same. God is Holy and rescues His faithful ones and the psalmist understanding this acknowledges that weeping as a result of ones sin is a painful reality for the truly repentant but joy come’s to God’s people who cry out to Him in repentance as they are eternally loved and forgiven. While the psalmist experienced a time of suffering God heard His cries and delivered him turning his mourning into dancing! The psalmist reflects and with great joy in his very soul he praises God alone and declares to give God thanks forever!!

Insight – The psalmist speaks of his deliverance as being drawn up as if from a well or pit referring to deliverance from the depths of death (30:3). Throughout Scripture and seen especially in the healing and miracles performed by Jesus God is seen as the great temporal and eternal healer. In referring to “Sheol” the dwelling-place of the dead, “you brought up my soul from Sheol,” the psalmist reveals that the sickness had brought him to the brink of death (Psa. 28:1). He then invites the community of Saints, those who have experienced the covenantal loving-kindness of God to join him in praising the Lord. Interesting note: because of God’s character, anger is a necessary response to sin, but His anger redemptively gives way to the expression of His steadfast eternal love. In other words He does sometimes correct us but when convicted we weep in response because 1. It’s an appropriate response to God’s corrective love and 2. In our heart-felt tears of sorrow for our sins we demonstrate true repentance. Thus, joy is the response to experiencing God’s forgiving love. An important note to consider: When prosperity (wealth) had been the psalmist’s lot his confidence in himself was unshakable (Deut. 8:11ff.). However, with the withdrawal of God’s approval the psalmist’s whole world came crashing down. Our appeal for mercy then must also be based on putting off all self-praise. All of our gifts and abilities, all of our talent and the riches we can earn and store with the work of our hands was and is all from God. He made us, He gifted us, He provided for us and the praise then should be from the deepest part of our soul in response and with praise and thanksgiving for God’s deliverance and provision.

Childs Catechism – When we do well and receive many blessings who shall we thank? We shall thank God because he loves us and gives us everything we need.

Discussion – Why does God get angry? What shall we do when we receive God’s loving correction? How does God correct us? Why is it important for us to hear God’s Word daily?

Prayer – Dear Lord God and Heavenly Father, may we always hear Your loving voice through Your written Word. And as we remember things we should never have done, please O God forgive us and be gentle when You correct us that we perish not but rather that we may all be healed by You, that we may serve only You to Your Glory and in Your Power and to Your praise, serving You alone for ever and ever in Jesus name, Amen.

Contributed by Tom Miller, MA

 

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