Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
I love the hope and determination of this passage. For most of my life, its application worked pretty well on a 24 hour basis. However, the world is fallen and finite, God is holy and infinite. He is not bound by our time constructs.
Psalm 30 is all about the praise due to God because of His eternal, redemptive faithfulness, revealed in regular deliverance. More specifically, it’s a Psalm written by David to be used in the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem. If you remember, though, David had too much blood on his hands (1 Chronicles 22:8-9) and was not going to be allowed to build the temple, Solomon would have the responsibility. This God-ordained fact did not deter David from writing songs of praise. He knew the Temple wouldn’t save. He knew the Temple couldn’t provide shelter. He knew that God ALONE delivers and saves.
David had known deliverance time and time again. His troubles went on for days and weeks and months. He mourned for extended periods of time. He felt God’s anger through resultant guilt of sin as well as God’s anger being extended in a fallen world, and David was feeling it’s sting. Regardless, weeping tarried for the night, and his “night” was most often a season of nights. Joy would come, and it would come in the morning, but that “morning” was more a day of deliverance than literally the next dawn.
There is a measure of joy at 6am.
Even though difficult circumstances can extend day after day, sometimes without any seeming relief, there is joy that can be had each and every actual morning. You may not know the full relief of your difficulty, but David’s previous Psalms remind us again and again that joy is not dependent upon our present circumstances as much as a future hope. There is joy knowing that eternal relief is coming, that God will bring peace.
These recent days of the butchering of biblical marriage and unborn children, makes joy in the morning difficult. There seems to be a complete lack of justice, or those in “power” championing justice for the weak, particularly the unborn. Every morning new social media reports are made, and news outlets report (or don’t), revealing just how evil and fallen the world is in which we live. It feels, honestly, hopeless.
On a more personal level, a season of unemployment weighs heavy. While some writing, teaching, and preaching have continued, it has been an immense challenge. The mandate/tug to provide for my family drives me to consider various types of employment, however I know where my gifts and passions lie…in serving and shepherding a people with the Word. At this point, we are still waiting. While we have not asked anyone for financial help, except God Himself, we keep being provided for…again and again. For no other reason, but His loving mercy, He keeps lifting our heads to wait longer.
As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
The fact that God has continued to provide housing and finances has brought a great relief, and seriously aided our battle against being despondent. Yet, I have, at times, felt despondent, but not so much about provision. There have been times in this I felt that God has hidden His face from me. Nothing feels more desperate. Yet, that desperation is like the tilling up of soil to be planted for a season of fruit-bearing. There is something hopeful about knowing that temporal prosperity will not give the greatest hope, nor will it’s temporal removal cause the greatest depression. God’s presence, alone, is my hope…and yours.
This is the case with the future (to David) construction of the Temple. It is the God who inhabits the people who gives mercy, brings deliverance, and promises hope.
In John 1:14, John tells us that God in the flesh, Jesus, “tabernacled” among the people. In Matthew 21, we have the record of Jesus cleansing the Temple. He drives out money-changers, who place their hopes in temporal prosperity, and says (even screams) that it is to be a place of pleading, of praying, for the nations to find their joy in God alone. He had said that the “temple” will be torn down and built back up in three days (John 2:19-21), referring to His body. Later (Matthew 24), Jesus speaks of the future destruction of the actual Temple as a sign of His coming again. After His ascension, Christ is said to be the cornerstone of the temple of His people, the church (Ephesians 2:19-21), where each believer is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 7:19-21).
The Temple has always been about His redemptive presence.
Ultimately, Jesus came to be God’s ultimate temple in the presence of His people to deliver them and make them a holy temple in which He would dwell. We are His dwelling place. As a believer in Christ, for that reason, and that reason alone, there is cause to rejoice.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
David died without seeing the temple, but David had seen God and the glory of His saving grace.
Knowing that there will be THAT morning coming when all “nights” will be dispelled, and all mourning crushed, should bring a measure of great joy, even at 6am tomorrow.