Thursday 16 December 2010

Bible Book:

so that my soul may praise you and not be silent, O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever." (vv. 11-12)

Psalm 30 Thursday 16 December 2010


Like yesterday's reading, Psalm 30 is something of aroller-coaster ride. The first section (up to the beginning ofverse 7) is full of glorious praise about the great things that Godhas done. The psalmist is so full of praise that he calls on othersto join him in worship and to give thanks for God'sfaithfulness. 

But in a heartbeat the situation dramatically changes and theauthor goes from the heights of a strong mountain to the depths ofsudden dismay as God withdraws from him. 

Sometimes it takes hardly anything at all for us to go from high tolow - an unkind word, a phone call bringing bad news, being letdown by someone you care about... But in today's passage there'ssimply no explanation for the change. Often we can't understand whythings happen, why life can go from good to bad without missing abeat. But the psalmist doesn't dwell on his confusion or thecircumstances that have lead to his despair. Instead, he launchesstraight into prayer - urging God to come to his aid. He even seemsto bargain with God, saying that if he's not saved from hispredicament there will be no one to sing God's praises. 

And then, just as suddenly as before, there's a dramatic shift andour desperate psalmist is no longer mourning, but dancing andpraising God, pledging to worship forever because his joy hasreturned. 

The one thing that is consistent throughout this passage is thatthe psalmist is constantly talking to God. For ten out of thetwelve verses of this psalm, the author is addressing God directly.If he's in a place of despair he's pleading with God to pull himout of it; if he's in a place of happiness, he's crying out wordsof thanksgiving. Prayer seems to be at the heart of everything hedoes, even when things aren't going well. 

To Ponder

Can you remember a time when your life suddenlychanged, for the better or worse? What happened and how did it makeyou feel?

How easy do you find it to talk to God whenthings aren't going well?

What do you find easier - prayers for God to helpyou or prayers of thanksgiving? Why?

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