Read Psalm 30
An interesting conversation based on a relationship between God & David (or us). An intimate vibrant, honest, reciprocal, essential relationship.
As your read the Psalm, take note of the specific words and images David uses about God
In the NIV:
God: lifted, healed, brought me up from dead, spared me from the pit, doesn’t stay angry, favors me, granted mercy, is faithful, removed my sackcloth, clothed me with joy,
If this was the only Psalm you read, isn’t the picture it paints of God irresistible and amazing?
Just taking time to Pause… and really look at these words and actions deepens my love for God.
- Sometimes I get lost in the countless adjectives and attributes of God:
- Sometimes I read them with an over familiar, quick perusal and miss their weight and magnitude
- Sometimes I am struggling to put my thoughts and prayers into words AND a Psalm like this one is exactly what I need!
Can you relate?
Our role in this Psalm is quite interactive. Read it again and substitute yourself for David, as if this was a conversation you were having with God
we: exalt God, call to Him, sing His praises, speak the truth, call to Him, cry for mercy, challenge and question, praise Him forever
Read through Psalm 30 in your bible and mark in 2 different colors words about God/ words about you. Whenever I do this, it gives me a visual picture of the passage. (Yes, you can write in your Bible!)
Can you see the back and forth? The interaction?
And it is not all flowery, praise.
In verse 9, David says to God: “who will praise You, if I am silenced?” David is literally saying, “You need to grant mercy to me God and save me from the pit SO that there will be someone to praise You!!!”
- I love that David is not shy and he doesn’t hold back.
- He is forthright, almost demanding that God see, hear and agree with his point and take the requested action!!
Throughout the Psalms, David has ongoing, intimate, “rubber meets the road,” no holds barred conversations with God.
- David is not disrespectful. He always returns to the TRUTH that God Is God and regardless of the “outcome of their conversations” David affirms his trust in the Lord and continues to sing praises and remain obedient to God.
- At the same time, David is raw and profoundly honest about his feelings, needs, reactions and thoughts.
I love that these are not mutually exclusive concepts. David is not a “yes, man!” He tells it like it is!!
And… God calls the book of Psalms a Book of Worship!!
I was so excited when I realized this fact!
- I am always up for a debate, lively conversation, even heated at times! There is an entire book of the Bible, a book of worship songs no less, containing every emotion I feel, expressed with passion by a man God calls, “one after My own heart!” (1 Samuel 13:14).
- This fact makes it safe for me (and you) to do the same thing!
- It was a life changing, relationship with God altering concept!! I no longer have to be ashamed of what I am really thinking and feeling, or try to hide from God or pretend. (Silly, me, like that is even an option!)
In fact, what if part of what makes us “one after God’s own heart” is our willingness to be as honest as David was, while continuing to trust and praise God?
Psalm 62:8 says, “Trust in Him at all times; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
- Wow!! God wants us to share our hearts, emotions, real and uncensored, in honest communion with Him!
- Ultimately, we must remain humble, grateful servants of God, choosing to trust Him and Praise Him.
- BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t tell Him all that we think, feel, need, struggle with, question or even want God to do differently!
- When we pour out, speak aloud, give voice to all our worries, complaints, questions, anger, bitterness, fears and struggles, we aren’t telling God anything He doesn’t already know!
The point is: God want all of us!!
Not just the cleaned up versions!
We can argue, dispute, appeal, question, and even make our case before him, just as David did!
And God calls this worship!!??!!
What are your thoughts and reactions to this? Is it refreshing? A relief to hear or a strange concept?
Does it feel inviting and intimate, or irreverent?
Are you eager to tell God all that you are feeling, struggling with?
- Can you imagine “letting it ALL out” with Him?
- If not, take some time to read Psalm 30 again, and see if you can put your own words to what David is saying. Begin to share your thoughts and feelings in a more authentic and uncensored way. God knows what you are thinking and feeling anyway, it’s not like we can hide from Him by saying the “appropriate” thing!
God can handle it! He wants you to be transparent, uncensored before Him. Honest, intimate relationship with you is His deepest desire!
Read Psalm 30 in different translations and note the words and images for God and David’s part of this interaction/relationship.
- Are their different word pictures, emotions you can relate to in these different translations?
- How does this expand you conversation with God?
Check these out:
Leadership Journal Article: “Being Honest with God.”
A Call to Worship based on Psalm 30 used as part of celebrating Easter:
Praying is conversation with God, so this overview may add context to today’s devotional as Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church talks about “Praying the Psalms”
Daily Lectionary Readings:
Isaiah 65:17-21; Psalm 30; John 4:43-54
If you want to read through the New Testament during Lent (about 1/2 hour a day)
Read on Day 27: Roman 1-8