Dance for Joy (Even though life didn’t turn out the way you expected)
Psalm 30:11-12 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!
If you have your Bible open to this Psalm right now you may notice that the heading at the beginning of the Psalm says, A Psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the temple. King David wrote a song for an event that he would never see. David knew that he was not being allowed to build the temple in Jerusalem and that his son Solomon would have that honor. It had been David’s one main ambition in life to build the temple for the worship of God, but because of his sin and warring ways God had said no. David was heartbroken. His dreams were shattered. His life would be unfulfilled.
But David did not rebel against the will of the Lord. He did not turn away from the plan to have a temple built. He did not choose to go into a corner and pout leaving all of the work to others. In essence, he didn’t takes his toys and go home just because he wasn’t allowed to play his games his way. Instead, David made great preparations for the building of the temple so that his son Solomon would be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently. He made incredible financial contributions from his own wealth. He designed the whole building. He arranged for all of the materials that would be needed. He organized all the work crews. He even planned the music for the dedication ceremony, and Psalm 30 was the theme song.
Of all the things David could have written for the theme music, he wrote about the infinite love and faithfulness of God. He wanted the people to remember for all time that God is all about rescue, reconciliation, and restoration. No matter how severe the trial or tribulation, God will lift us out of the depths.
The temple was to be a place of worship, and the theme of the worship was to be the salvation God provides for us. This Psalm was probably written near the end of David’s life, after he had rebelled against God by numbering the people. (Read 2 Samuel 24 for more details) God punished David by bringing a pestilence against the land, and 70,000 people died. Then, just as the Angel of the Lord was about to destroy Jerusalem, God’s mercy intervened and the Angel was stopped. The city and David were spared. In response to that event, David writes this song, proclaiming the faithfulness of God to save us from our sin.
When we come into a place of worship, either in our home or in our church, we should come to exalt the Name of Jesus, who in His love and faithfulness has saved us from our sin. We should worship like David because our lives are just like his…
- We know what it is to be in the depths of despair, and we know how to worship the One who lifts us out of them (vs. 1).
- We know what it is like to be wounded in spirit, and we know how to worship the One who heals our spirits (vs. 2).
- We have faced the reality of death, and we worship the One who has spared us from ever experiencing it (vs. 3).
- We have experienced the anger of God against our sin, yet we worship the One whose anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime (vs. 5).
- We have cried throughout the night because of the pain of earthly circumstances, yet we worship the One who brings rejoicing in the morning (vs. 5).
- We have endured the hopelessness of life’s possibilities and in worship we dance with enthusiasm before the One who has given us eternal hope (vs. 11).
- We have mourned over the loss of life and love on the earth, but we are moved to worship the One who restores unto us the joy of our salvation (vs. 11).
- In all of this we worship the Lord our God and give thanks to Him forever (vs. 12).
It might be a good thing to memorize these phrases –
- God’s favor lasts a lifetime;
- Rejoicing comes in the morning;
- God turns wailing into dancing;
- God clothes me with joy;
- I will give God thanks forever.
– then use them as the basis for your worship to God every day. If we do, I am convinced we will experience a major attitude adjustment, and it will be great to see so many doing the dance of joy!