Reading Psalm 30, I became very aware of the value of this life, here on earth. And the more I read the Psalm, the more it seems like a joyful song of praise to God, where the psalmist rejoices in God’s wonderful gift of life.
Life is good, because death, the opposite of life, is dreadful and frightful (cf verses 3 & 9). Where death reigns there is mourning and sackcloth (verse 11).
Life is good, because God healed him/ her (verse 2). Therefore there is now dancing in stead of mourning. God “removed my black clothes and dressed me with joy” (verse 11 – NIRV).
Life is good, because it is a symbol of God’s favour that lasts a lifetime, while his anger lasts a moment (verse 5a). And when the morning breaks with joy after a night of weeping, you know that life is a precious gift of God (verse 5b).
However, although experiencing God’s favour may create the impression that you stand firm on a strong mountain (cf verse 7a), it is wrong and dangerous to think that you are invincible (cf verse 6). Life is precious, but it is fragile. The moment God turns his face away all confidence is removed and fear returns (verse 7b).
Life continues to be good in the presence of the living God. In his presence there is dancing and joy (verse 11). Therefore the psalmist sings to God and thanks Him (verse 12).
Maybe this is the reason why this Psalm was used for the dedication of the temple (cf the title of the Psalm) – if we want to live the good life that God gives to us, we need to worship Him and live in his presence.
Reading this Psalm reminded me that I have been privileged to learn in person – from people living with HIV – how precious indeed, and also how fragile, the gift of life is.
To think about or discuss: How does the thought that “life is a precious gift of God” change the way we worship God? How does the thought that “life is fragile” change the way we conduct our daily lives?