His Anger is For a Moment,
But Joy Comes in the Morning

Psalm 30: 1-12

A psalm, and a song, of David for the dedication of the Temple.

DIG: For what reasons does David praise God? How does he account for why ADONAI allowed this time of discipline to come about? What error did David make? What do you learn about the LORD’s anger? About His mercy? How did David argue that God should spare him? What did this indicate about his view of the afterlife? Had the Temple been built yet? Why would this psalm be appropriate for the dedication of the Temple?

REFLECT: Is security important to you? How much of your time goes toward renting an apartment or buying a house? Medical and life insurance? Savings? Where does your security lie? Has God turned your mourning into a time of dancing? Was it sudden, surprising you with joy? Or did your mood swings level out more gradually? How is the theme sorrow producing joy developed in the B’rit Chadashah (John 16:19-22; Second Corinthians 4:16-18)? Are you in mourning now? How long has your weeping in the night been? How long until morning comes, do you think?

David’s pride led him to sin and the nation was under the penalty of death (see Ek – David Counts the Fighting Men). But ADONAI answered David’s plea for deliverance, and His anger lasted for only a short time.

A. Praise for God’s Wonderful Acts: Because of his pride, the plague sent by God had taken seventy thousand Israelites. Sick of his sin and in fear for his people, David interceded and prayed: Please! ADONAI my God, let Your hand be against me and against my father’s family, but do not let the plague remain on Your people. I have sinned, I, the shepherd, have done wrong. Therefore, as a result of David’s change of heart from pride to repentance, the Angel of the LORD stopped at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (Second Samuel 24:16b-17). He prayed: I will extol you, O Lord, for You have lifted me up and have not let my foes rejoice (Hebrew: samach) over me. The enemies of Isra’el would have rejoiced over the downfall of King David. O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You have purified me (Hebrew: rapha) purified me. David praised God for answered prayer: O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sh’ol: You restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit (Psalm 30:1-3 ESV).498

B. God’s Anger and His Favor: These verses are full of contrasts: anger and favor, weeping and joy, night and morning, firm and struck with terror. They express the depth of God’s care and the benefits of dependence on Him. Sing praises to the LORD, O you faithful of His and give thanks to His holy name. David’s praise arose for two complementary reasons: forgiveness and restoration. First, the LORD forgives. For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the mourning (Psalm 30:4-5 ESV). The roughest edges are smoothed by time. Sorrow slips away and another sits in her place. Once I was prosperous and used to say that nothing could ever shake me. Second, the LORD restores.It was a favor of ADONAI that he was restored. When You showed me favor, ADONAI, I was firm as a mighty mountain. But when You hid Your face, I was struck with terror (Psalm 30:4-7 CJB). David knew he couldn’t change on his own because he was sinful from the day he was born (Psalm 51:5). The word favor signifies a renewal of love, forgiveness, restoration and blessing. In his strength he was weak, but in God’s purification, he regained his strength. Then when he was weak, then he was strong (Second Corinthians 12:10).499 So are we.

A. Praise for God’s Wonderful Acts: When God brought the plague, David called to ADONAI pleading for mercy. The imperfect tense of the Hebrew verbs may better be translated as: I kept on calling . . . I kept on crying out for mercy. David reflected again on the desperate situation in which he found himself. What advantage is there in my death, in my going down to Sh’ol? Can the dust praise You? Can it proclaim Your truth? If he had been overcome by his suffering and had died, the wicked would have had occasion to gloat. Hear me, ADONAI, and show me Your favor! ADONAI, be my helper! Out of concern for God’s name, David asked to praise the name of the LORD so that all people would know that he was faithful. Based on the covenantal promises of God, David called on Him for mercy and help. As Simon Peter would say to Yeshua in the future: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life (John 6:68). There is no one else! And ADONAI was faithful in changing David’s circumstances. You turned my mourning into dancing! You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy (Hebrew: simchah), so that my well-being can praise You. Such is the goodness of God. Because of the mercy of ADONAI, David vows to continue to praise the LORD and not be silent. This was an expression of true repentance. ADONAI my God, I will praise You forever (Psalm 30:8-12).500 So the praise, which has the enthusiasm of dancing, also has depth to it, and persistence. More persistence, perhaps, than David himself could guess when he included the word forever.501


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