Daily Devotion – June 23, 2021 – Dr. Pat Taylor Ellison

Psalm 30
30:1 I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
30:2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
30:3 O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
30:4 Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.
30:5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
30:6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”
30:7 By your favor, O LORD, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
30:8 To you, O LORD, I cried, and to the LORD I made supplication:
30:9 “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
30:10 Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper!”
30:11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
30:12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

This psalmist credits the Lord for everything – for making life prosperous and good, then for hiding from the psalmist and causing woe, and then for bringing victory and not letting foes rejoice and win.

The psalmist understands that for times in our life, God hides from us. This is one of Luther’s deep beliefs as well: we have a hiding God. Sometimes God just hides to see if we notice, but sometimes God hides so that we do not see and experience God’s anger, which could kill us.

But even this the psalmist praises. Look at verse 9: What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?” The writer is saying that God continually saves him in order that he can give praise of God so that others will hear.

Perhaps the Lord does not bless us in many ways just so that we will be blessed. God blesses us, saves us from danger, so that we can still work for God, still tell of God’s mighty deeds to save us.

Have you been blessed by God? How many people have you told? How many times have you praised God, in the company of believers or especially in the company of not-yet believers, those who might benefit from knowing there is such a blessing-filled God?

Gracious God, thank you for loving us. Thank you for the blessings you continually shower over us, even the ones we never even acknowledge have come from you. Help us to praise you, both in the company of those who already believe in you and in the company of those who might be longing to know there is such a generous and loving God.    Amen.