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A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.


[Preliminary Comments: If the title is right and this is for the dedication of the temple it probably refers to the Tabernacle being brought into Jerusalem and is thus more a psalm of testimony: God is deliverer [v.1-3], He may bring discipline in anger against sin, but it is short-lived [v.4,5]. He had felt secure but then God seemed to distance Himself and David was dismayed [v.6,7], and so he had cried to the Lord to have mercy [v.8-10] and the Lord has answered [v.11,12]. Such a sequence seems to fit the circumstances surrounding the bringing of the Tabernacle into Jerusalem – 2 Sam 6 – more than the possibility that David wrote this at the end of his life in preparation for the day when Solomon built the temple.]



v.1-3 David praises the Lord & testifies to His saving him


v.1  I will exalt you, Lord,
    for you lifted me out of the depths
    and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
v.2  Lord my God, I called to you for help,
    and you healed me.
v.3  You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
    you spared me from going down to the pit.


v.4,5 He praises God for His short-lasting anger


v.4  Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
v.5  For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.


v.6,7 He felt secure but when God appeared a distance, he was dismayed


v.6  When I felt secure, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
v.7  Lord, when you favored me,
    you made my royal mountain stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
    I was dismayed.


v.8-10 He cries to the Lord for mercy


v.8  To you, Lord, I called;
    to the Lord I cried for mercy:
v.9  “What is gained if I am silenced,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
v.10  Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
    Lord, be my help.”


v.11,12 The Lord answered (implied) and he now can rejoice


v.11  You turned my wailing into dancing;
    you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
v.12  that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
    Lord my God, I will praise you forever.



[Additional Thoughts: Within the context of this psalm, that we identified at the beginning, there are some very basic lessons:

•  when we sin, God is angry.
•  when we repent He quickly forgives.]



Continue to Psa 31