Psalm 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.
The musical setting of the KJV of these two verses was one of the first songs I learned when I was exposed to the Charismatic Movement in 1973, and I have loved it ever since. I literally cannot read the passage without it coming to my mind and heart. It is a powerful testimony of joy and gratitude, a fitting follow-up to verse five, which is actually more famous: “Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) The phrase, “joy in the morning,” entered the language from that verse. However, it’s these two verses at the end of the Psalm that tell us how to respond to God’s gracious blessings to us: singing praise and giving thanks. All too often we forget to do that! I really like a refrigerator magnet we had for many years that said, “Happiness is seeing a beautiful sunset and knowing Who to thank.” The greatest source of true joy and happiness is indeed knowing and rightly relating to our Creator. When we fail to be grateful, we lose the majority of the blessings right there. God does good things for us precisely so we can recognize them and through them, recognize Him. He created us for fellowship with Him, and the very fact that He did so is astonishing, when you think about it. We need to get over our astonishment and indeed, praise and thank Him!
As I said, I learned these verses when I was introduced to the Charismatic Movement. One of the greatest benefits of that movement has been the restoration of active praise to the Church. Music has been a part of worship since at least the time of David, but it has gone through many cycles, expanding and deepening with each one. Gregorian chants can be beautiful indeed, but they require a lot of musical ability and training to do properly. Musical performance isn’t bad, but what God wants is for all His people to praise Him. I was raised in a highly musical household, but I am saddened when churches leave the singing mostly up to the “worship team.” I love to praise God in song, and I’ll do it even if I’m the only one, but I want everyone to join me! My aim needs always to praise God in such a way that others are carried along to praise Him too. I don’t want them praising me and not Him!
Father, thank You for the musical gifts You’ve given me, both “nature” and “nurture.” Help me use them not only to praise You myself but to lead others to recognize You and praise You from their own heart, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!