March 18, 2015.
Daily Reading: Psalm 30-32.
Background: Psalm 27-29.
Concepts and Connections.
Joy in the Lord: This psalm is indicated that it was used at the dedication of the temple by David (see II Samuel 5 and I Chronicles 22). It is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving, giving credit to the Lord for pulling the psalmist out of his distress, answering his prayers in his time of need. By the Lord’s favor he has been made strong, not by his own might, and when the Lord hid His face from the psalmist, he was dismayed. David uses his praise as somewhat of a bargaining chip with God, making the point that if he was in the grave, what profit would that be to the Lord? If he were dead, he could not praise Him (at least not in the concept of the afterlife that seems to be presented here). But the Lord is merciful, and He hears the pleas of His people. He turns our mourning into dancing, just as David says here. His lips would sing praise and not be silent. This psalm of praise would have indeed been well fitting to dedicate the temple, ascribing all worship to the Lord God. May a song of praise be ever on our lips!
The Lord, our Rock and Fortress: Throughout the psalms, especially those attributed to David, we find a constant theme of taking refuge in the Lord when things get rough, and a song of praise when deliverance comes. This psalm too follows this pattern, calling the Lord a Rock and Fortress that the psalmist takes refuge in. This concept of refuge is further amplified by the fact that Christ seems to quote a verse in this psalm while on the cross, crying out “Into your hand I commit my spirit” (see Luke 23:46). He was taking refuge in His Father, giving His spirit into His hand. What a great example that is set before us, seeing that even in our deepest time of need, God is there that we may take refuge in Him. Just as the psalmist says here, we should too trust in the Lord, for He is our God. His steadfast love endures forever. All we who wait on the Lord, let us take to heart what this psalm says, being strong and of good courage, trusting in Him who created all things, and who is so rich in steadfast love and mercy.
Blessed is the one who’s transgression is forgiven: These are the words that David begins this psalm with, the same words that Paul quotes in Romans 4:7-8 describing the blessing of the forgiveness of sins that is not based on works of the Law. Notice the wording of the psalm, placing the work on God, attributing forgiveness and the covering of sins to His doing and not our own. This forgiveness is not without confession and repentance (v. 5, 10-11), but it is something that no work that we do could ever accomplish. Confession indeed was a major part of the process, for when he kept his sin to himself, the psalmist’s bones wasted away and his strength was dried up, for the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him. However, when he confessed his sins and did not hide them, the Lord forgave him completely, for this is the character of God. David then goes on to encourage everyone else who is godly to do the same, confessing their sins to the Lord that He might forgive them and grant them relief. As with many other psalms, this one ends in praise, rejoicing in the Lord for what He has done in showing His steadfast love and mercy to those who are called by His name. Let us not hide our iniquities from the Father (as if we could hide anything from Him…), but let us rather confess our sins to Him and rejoice in His forgiveness. Praise His name, all who are upright in heart.
Tomorrow’s Reading: Job 22.
Glory be to God.