(Psalm 30:5, 11-12 ESV) For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
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.
This passage of Scripture is one of my favorites because it encompasses such a broad range of emotions. The writer certainly appears to have a solid understanding of the movements of life. For instance, it is likely we have all felt the anger of God during times of disobedience and rebellion. We don’t like to think of God that way, but Scripture is full of instances where man came face to face with God’s wrath. Thankfully, His anger quickly turns to favor and forgiveness is provided for the repentant heart. McLaren suggests the better translation of this passage is as follows:
“The anger lasts for a moment; the favor lasts for a lifetime.” The perpetuity of the one, and the brevity of the other, are the Psalmist’s thought.
We can also relate to those dark seasons of weeping and the joy that follows as the light of day approaches. The wording here is interesting. It implies an increase of joy that mirrors the increase of light that comes as morning breaks. In other words, joy doesn’t usually just instantly appear. Rather, it grows in intensity with the change of circumstances.
Verse 5 is written in the present tense. The writer feels the anger of God turning into a lifetime of favor. He is currently experiencing the pain that is evidenced by a night of weeping. And by faith, he is expecting a sense of relief accompanied by joy as the morning breaks forth!
The tone and the tense changes in verses 11 and 12. The words “have turned” indicate an action that is already complete. The mourning has already given way to dancing. The Psalmist has already changed out of his funeral clothes (sackcloth) and put on his party pants! His voice cannot be kept silent and his glory offers songs of praise.
In describing the word “glory” Barnes writes, “the expression seems to be equivalent to “my highest powers” – all the powers and faculties of my nature. Let all that is capable of praise within me, all my powers, be employed in celebrating the goodness of God.
Finally, we must notice that the Psalmist announces two “lifetime guarantees.” First, His favor is for a lifetime. And in response to God’s blessing, the writer affirms, “I will give thanks to You forever.”
An old Bee Gee’s song says, “You should be dancing, yeah…dancing, yeah!” Isn’t it good to know that because of God’s goodness we are “dressed up and ready to dance?”
PRAYER: Father, thank you for the many blessings You provide. I look forward to dancing throughout my lifetime due to the favor that comes from being in relationship with You. Amen.