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Psalm 30




SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 30

This Psalm opens and closes with a note of thanksgiving and praise.  Between the opening and closing, however, is a very real look at life. 

As was often the case in David’s life, there were people after him.  In all cases, those folks wanted him to fail and be removed as king.  In some cases, those folks wanted him dead.  That’s part of why we find David thanking God for not letting his enemies gloat or triumph over him. 

In verse 2, David thanks God for healing.  The word used here for healing can refer to physical healing but it is also used to point to emotional and spiritual healing.  Regardless of which one is the focus here, David knew the source of his help and his healing was God.  And so it is with us.

In verse 3, David speaks of the fact that some of those who were opposed to him would have been glad to see him die (go down into the pit or Sheol).  But God rescued him from that.

The Psalm changes a bit in verse 4.  No longer is this just about the praise of God from David.  But now others have joined in.  There is something important at work here.  First, we all need times of private worship but we also need times of corporate worship.  Second, our private worship should always enrich and encourage worship in others.  Said another way our private worship should never take away from corporate worship.  Third, if our private worship does not enhance corporate worship by others, our private worship has a tendency to become about us and that almost always leads to pride and can actually lead to idolatry.

As a part of this corporate worship, worshippers are reminded that there can be tough times in life.  Like any good father, God can be upset with us.  There can be times of sorrow and weeping.  But as children of God, we can rejoice in the fact that all of that is temporary.  Joy comes in the morning!

When we get to verse 6, the focus moves away from corporate worship and goes back to David and his experience.  Here he confesses that in his prosperity (The NIV uses the word secure.  When things are going well in our lives, it is easy to feel secure.)  What we read here is the notion that when things are going well, when we are prospering, when we feel secure, it is easy to make great statements about our stand for God. 

But God has a way of bringing humility into our lives.  It is in the midst of that humility that we realize it is only by God that we are who we are and have what we have.  It is in that truth that David asks God for mercy and for help.

As the Psalm ends, God is responding faithfully to His child.  He has turned David’s mourning into dancing (Maybe David wasn’t a Baptist after all.)  He has turned David’s sackcloth of sadness into garments of gladness.  And David promises to sing of God’s glory forever.

We all go through bad times, sad times, and difficult times.  As hard as those may be on us, we must always remember God’s faithfulness.  And we must always trust that God is still able to take the tears of the night and turn them into joy in the morning.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 29





SCRIPTURE:  Psalm 29

David was a man of the outdoors.  He appreciated creation and celebrated the Creator.  We see both of these concepts in this particular Psalm.  But before we delve into the verses, it might be important for me to remind you that the pagans during David’s time worshipped a false god called Baal.  They also worshipped his female counterpart called Ashteroth or Asheroth. 

Baal was the storm god.  Among other things that means he controlled the rain: when it rained and how much it rained.  In an agrarian culture like one that existed during the time this Psalm was written, rain meant crops grew or the lack of rain meant crops didn’t grow.  So, Baal was also often thought of as in control of fertility.

As you read through this particular Psalm, David simply demolishes any of those thoughts about Baal.  In a myriad of ways, David speaks of the great power of the Creator over His creation.  Indeed as the Psalm opens we read where angels are challenged to ascribe to God glory and strength.  Although it is beyond the limits of our humanity, try to imagine the angels in heaven gathered around God proclaiming His glory and His strength.  The concept of the “splendor of holiness” at the end of verse 2 refers to the attire of the angels.  Imagine what they must look like, how they must be dressed, how much we would be in awe of them.  And, yet, there they are in all of their God-given splendor giving all the glory to God.

When we get to verse 3, I want you to imagine David looking out over perhaps the Mediterranean Sea and watching a thunderstorm move toward him.  As David watched, he heard in the thunder the glory of God.  As the wind in the storm blew across the sea, David saw in the waves the glory of God. 

As David continued to watch this storm, he saw it move ashore and across the Lebanon mountain range.  There the storm blew down some of the huge cedar trees that grew in those mountains.  There are a couple of things about this image that you should think about.  First, the pagans considered the Lebanon mountain range as the home of their gods.  The fact that the glory of God moved over that area and destroyed parts of it are proof that Yahweh is God and Baal is not. 

The second thing about the Cedars of Lebanon is they were often used as symbols of nations and governments.  The fact that some of these cedars were destroyed is symbolic of God’s ultimate power over the nations.

David continues to watch this storm as it moves into the wilderness around Kadesh.  And there David heard God speak in the lightening and in the way the thunder reverberated from the ground. 

As we get close to the end of this Psalm, we find the Lord sitting enthroned over the flood.  There are a couple of ways to think about this image.  One, this could be a reference to the rain that fell during this storm.  Or the rain that fell could have caused David to contemplate the flood of Noah’s time on this earth. 

Regardless, this image proves Yahweh’s superiority over Baal.  He is the One who made it rain.  He is the One who opened up the fountains of the deep.  He is the One that made the rain stop.  Yahweh is the one and only, true God.  To Him belongs all glory and honor!

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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