Psalm 30 vs 1 - 3
"1 I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.2 Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit."
In the early days of the pandemic it really seemed that we had experienced some kind of awakening towards others around us. We spoke to people we met as they passed by. We took time to chat where once we would have passed by without a word. For a time I was hopeful that the change would be permanent but recently, well I think that we have all fallen back into our old patterns of behaviour. It seems there is no lasting change and we have again become less polite and more inconsiderate. It often irks me that we, have forgotten even the basic courtesies of saying please and thank you.
In this psalm the writer David basically says thank you to God for a life of blessing and times of deliverance. It is a song of praise and thanksgiving but if we didn’t have the heading to the psalm we could not have guessed the circumstances, “A song for the dedication of the temple.” When we remember that David did not actually build the temple, that though he gathered the resources, God directed that his son Solomon should build the temple after David’s death, it suggests to me that David had prepared in advance, perhaps late in his life, as he recalled a lifetime of blessing. So David, if we have understood the heading correctly was not alive when it was sung and that adds certain poignancy to it and to the call of verse 4 for the faithful people of God to praise his name. We could rightly say of David as well as Abel “through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. ” (Hebrews 11:4)
We may not always get exactly what we want in life and sometimes life is an outright disappointment but as we individually look back over the course of our lives, do we not find much for which to praise God? It has never been a favourite song of mine and that’s a bit of an understatement but there is still a certain truth in the old words “count your blessings name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Maybe we should spend more time doing the maths!