January 11 2023
Today, Wednesday January 11
“Clothed With Gladness”
“Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved." LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. I cried out to You, O LORD; And to the LORD I made supplication: "What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy on me; LORD, be my helper!"
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”
It seems like there are some lessons in life we must keep learning over and over again. As I read and think about the last verses of Psalm 30, I am reminded that one of the biggest problems, (probably the biggest), that I have is dealing with the sin of pride of my heart. It appears that this sin resurrects every morning when I wake up. This is what David is writing about in verses 6 through 10.
This is where the story really began, for it was David's pride that made it necessary for the Lord to chasten him (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22). David said in verse 6: “Now in my prosperity I said, "I shall never be moved." "Prosperity" means "careless ease, a carefree self-assurance because things are going so well." This is frequently the attitude of the unbeliever (Psalm 10:6; 73:12; Luke 12:16-21), but it is also a constant temptation to believers also. God had warned Israel about this very thing in Deuteronomy 8 just before they entered the Promise Land.
One reason the Lord permits trials is that we might not get comfortable in our faith and stop growing. "I was at ease," said Job, "but He shattered me, and He has grasped me by the neck and shaken me to pieces: He has also set me up as His target" (Job 16:12). Prosperity without humility can lead to adversity. David's mountain, his kingdom, seemed strong, but the Lord showed David how weak he was.
When God's face is shining upon us (Numbers 6:23-27), then we enjoy His rich blessings; but when we rebel, He may hide His face, and this causes trouble (Psalms 10:11; 13:1; 27:9; 88:14; Deut. 31:17-18; 32:20). The Hebrew word translated "troubled" describes "intense agony, terror, anguish." It's used in 1 Samuel 28:21 to describe King Saul's feelings in the house of the witch.
David, knowing he had sinned, kept crying out to the Lord for mercy and even debated with Him. "Am I more useful to you in the grave than I am alive on earth? Can the dead praise you and serve you?" (Psalm 88:7-12; 115:17; Isa. 38:18-19.) David was a great king with a strong kingdom, but he was only dust, one short breath away from the grave. He humbled himself and confessed his sin, and the Lord mercifully forgave him and restored him.
Seven times in this Psalm David wrote "You have" (vv. 1-3, 7, 11), bearing witness to the strong and gracious hand of the Lord working on his behalf. Even God's chastening of David was an expression of His love. We read in Hebrews 12:5-6: “And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” Once David knew he was forgiven and accepted, he moved from the funeral to the feast. He took off the sackcloth of sadness and put on the garments of gladness. In Scripture, a dramatic alteration of one's life was often marked by a change of clothing (Gen. 35:2; 41:14; 45:22; Ex. 19:10, 14; 2 Sam. 12:20; Luke 15:22).
"My glory" means "my heart, my soul." David was singing to the Lord from the depths of his being. He realized that he would be singing praises to God forever (v. 12), so he wanted to start getting ready now! Every difficult experience of life, and David had many of them, is an opportunity to have a "pity party" or attend a rehearsal for singing in the choirs of heaven!
We have a lifetime of grace (v. 5), to prepare us for an eternity of glory, where we will sing praises of thanksgiving forever (v. 12). How are you handling your adversity today? Pity or praise? It’s your choice!