Psalm 30 (NRSVA)
1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,
restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment;
his favour is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
‘I shall never be moved.’
7 By your favour, O Lord,
you had established me as a strong mountain;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I cried,
and to the Lord I made supplication:
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?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!
O Lord, be my helper!’
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing;
you have taken off my sackcloth
and clothed me with joy,
12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you for ever.
I love that the Bible isn’t just a book but books. I love that it is so many genres of book, not just history but also short stories, legends, drama, biography and of course poems and songs. The psalms are sometimes raw and emotional, some repeat a simple feeling over and over, while others dive into metaphors it might take centuries to unpack. We are so lucky to have them written down. It’s like reading really eccentric (and long) vinyl sleeve notes.
Songs have always been a unique insight into people’s minds and lives whether it’s pop songs, sea shanties, operas or ancient ballads. They give us a feeling of the place, the person, the time.
I can rarely remember the name of an artist or when a song was released but can often sing the whole thing regardless. I find myself humming songs, getting one or two lines stuck in my head that makes me ask, why does my brain want to hold on to this bit? Sometimes it's no reason and sometimes its creativity telling me something I need to know.
I’m glad so many of the Psalms have made it into songs again in my day. It means I can get them stuck in my head too and I can begin to ask what I might be holding on to in these ancient words.
Dear God of songs,
Keep inspiring us to sing and write and hum
Please never stop revealing your love to us through old word and new
Remind us all that you are creative and inspiring just as you made us to be