1. (with emphasis) Psa 30:11-12
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
2. These words express the joy that I could not suppress. I could not wait to get into the church office. I jumped so high that I though my head would go through the ceiling. I jumped over and over again. "Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord!" It had been a rough two weeks I have shared this time with you before. As a student pastor I was thousands of miles away from home. My worship leadership and preaching was dry and empty. I questioned why I was going into ministry. Each day I cried before God. And then, that 3rd Sunday, after humbling myself before God, He brought life to the service. I felt Him in me and speaking through me. And I was overwhelmed with joy. My wailing, my mourning was turned to dancing.
3. This morning David shares such an experience with us. And as he does I ask you if you have ever shared in his, in my experience. Do you remember when you rejoiced in what God had done for you? If not, as we see what happened to David, may we reflect on what God has and is doing for us. And may we too be filled with a desire to dance before the Lord.
4. The entire psalm is a song of praise and thanksgiving to God. It is also a public sharing of what God has done. A estimony that is shared in public worship. Something I wish we would make a regular part of our worship services.
5. David is joyful and praises God. But he had felt just the opposite. He had been in the pit, in the depths. All was dark and he felt fully discouraged.
6. David’s kingdom had grown. Israel was a mighty and powerful and prosperous nation. As a result he felt secure and said "I will never be shaken." As an act of pride, he took a census of the people. Joab, his commander, knew this was evil & tried to convince David not to do this evil thing.
7. In 1 Chronicles 21, we read that God punished David and his people. He sent a plague and 70,000 people died. David and elders dressed in sackcloth and mourned this loss and asked God to remove this plague before more would die.
8. And God listened and withheld his hand from killing more of the people. In 1 Chronicles 22, we then read how David helps Solomon prepare to build the temple. And it is at the dedication of the plans or materials for building the temple that David presents this psalm.
9. He looks back at what happened. He realizes that his suffering was due to his own sin. He had been praising himself rather than God.
10. In vs. 9 he asks:
"What gain is there in my destruction, in my going down into the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?"
Some suggest this question is sarcastic. For he learned that there was gain in going to the pit. By being humbled, being brought down, he again learned to praise God.
11. How does this apply in our own lives? It means that we will have times of suffering or adversity. But God uses that adversity to lead us to where he wants us to go.
12. C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity compared God’s use of adversity to walking a dog. If the dog gets its leash wrapped around a pole and tries to continue running forward, he will only tighten the leash more. Both the dog and the owner are after the same result, to move ahead, but the owner must resist the dog by pulling him opposite the direction he wants to go. The master, sharing the same intention, but understanding better than the dog where he really wants to go, takes an action precisely opposite to that of the dog’s will. It is in this way that God uses adversity." We want to go a certain way, we don’t understand, and we don’t like it, but the master know better and pulls us the other way.
13. Important thing we need to realize. Suffering and difficult circumstances come to us as a result of sin. This can happen in three ways:
a. Overall, all suffering in the world is a result of man’s fall. If Adam, and through him, we, had not sin at all, there would be no suffering in the world
b. 2nd - suffering can be a direct consequence of a specific sin in our lives. Smoking does lead to lung cancer and suffering. If you are lazy and do not work, you may go hungry. Even if we are forgiven, we still suffer the consequences of what we do.