Psalm 30:1-12 is a gem of Praise! Because of the relationship between God and man, there will always be lots of reasons to praise God. He is omnipotent and all-powerful. Quite often we are not even potent, and very often weak. He is omnipresent and is everywhere at the same time. We are so restricted to the present that we frequently forget the recent past and don’t have a clue about the future. We can be only in one place at a time, and that is a very small space. God is omniscient and knows everything… dawh! What else do you expect. He made all things, and without Him, there is nothing made that was made. Therefore He must know all things. Do I need to remind you how little we know… especially when we are trying to remember the little we learnt the night before for an exam the following day.
My point is that there is such a huge and permanent gap between our abilities and God’s abilities, that we will be forever dependent on God. And that is how it was intended to be. He does not mind being depended on, and in fact loves the reality. But He wants us to acknowledge our dependency and enjoy it. That is the motivation for prayer, praise, thanksgiving and worship.
But there is more. In addition to all our outright deficiencies when compared to God, we use the little strength we have and the little knowledge we have to attempt to fight against God and to disrespect Him and to disobey Him. He then has to use all the self-control He has to prevent Himself from squashing us like the pathetic bug we must appear to be in those moments. But for Him, this is easy, because in addition to His huge superiority over us, He is also our Creator… and somewhere, built in to that Creator profile is a Creator’s Love… so strong that when we rebel… instead of eliminating us, His loving heart can only think of redeeming us. That has always been the plan… and over 2000 years ago that plan was consummated on the cross of Calvary when the God of the Universe became man without sin, and sacrificed His life for sinful man. Today, we have the greatest possible motivation for praising Him… Having created us, He redeemed has redeemed us. He has adopted us and made us like His own Son – far beyond our original status as just another created being.
So, like us, the Psalmist David had many reasons to praise God, and he used them all. In Psalm 30:1, he speaks of God having lifted him out of the “depths”. Don’t be too concerned about the “depths” were for David… Instead, think of what your depths are. And the important part is that God “lifted him out”, and He will also lift us out. Had God not come to his rescue, and had God not lifted him out of the bad situation in which he found himself, then his enemies would certainly have gloated over him… and that would be like adding insult to injury.
In Psalm 30:2, David cites another reason to praise the Lord. He called to God… and God not only helped him, but healed him. Psalm 30:3 implies that the sickness, injury or peril that attacked him was potentially fatal, and almost claimed his life. But God… But God intervened and reversed the situation… Remember, this is not about David. Are you thinking about how all this has played out in your own life? And, rest assured, if it has not done so already, it will one day.
It is only after we have experienced the rejuvenating power of praise born out of our real-life experiences that we can encourage others to praise the Lord as David does in Psalm 30:4.
Then comes what many see as the climax of this passage in Psalm 30:5. Part one of the verse speaks to God’s condition, but remember that God’s condition is a reaction to our condition.
David is here expressing the profound truth that God’s default attitude to us is favor and not anger. His favor lasts for a life-time… but His anger for only a moment. The good news is that we are the ones who trigger His anger. Perhaps we need to do something about that. The second part of the verse follows upon the first… When God is angry with us, rest assured… we will weep. When he displays His favor in us we will rejoice… And here is a bonus from me. We are always the beneficiaries of God’s favor. Doubt me? Try taking a deep breath. Did it work? Now just imagine what would have happened if you could not breathe… and the ability to breathe is a manifestation of God’s favor… one of the many that we take for granted.
David understands that God owes us nothing. All we can ask for is mercy (Psalm 30:8, 10), and in that attitude of asking for mercy, we prostrate ourselves before Him and repent, and worship. In Psalm 30:9, David proceeds to put argument to God… a dangerous practice that should only be done by the clean of heart, and obviously he qualified. God referred to David as a man after his own heart… something to which we all should strive.
Finally, in Psalm 30:12, as he began in Psalm 30:1, David repeats the conclusion to which he has arrived after consideration of all the facts. “Lord my God, I will praise you forever.” What about you?
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