[Today] Psalm Twenty-Nine/Thirty: Music, Praise and Jubilation to God. In Psalm 29, and 30 we find David dedicating two houses. In psalm 29 he dedicates the Tabernacle of David which was an open air tent that held the ark of the Covenant. David wanted the presence of God and the glory of God close to him so he pitched this tent on Mount Zion near his residence. Psalm 29 was his dedicatory psalm over this tabernacle that the prophets declared would be descriptive of God’s purposes in the end time. Psalm 30 is also a psalm of dedication written as a “house cleansing” after David is restored to his palace after the defeat of Absalom.
[Psa 29:1-11 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm of David.]] Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. 2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. 3 The voice of the LORD [is] upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD [is] upon many waters. 4 The voice of the LORD [is] powerful; the voice of the LORD [is] full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. 6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. 7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. 8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of [his] glory. 10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. 11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
This is a wonderful psalm that scholarship suggests was written just after the tabernacle of David was erected on Mount Zion. Ancient versions of the scriptures consider this psalm to be a prophecy of David over the ark of the Covenant. The ark of the Covenant is the dwelling place of God with man. For us it is not a box overlaid with gold but rather the Spirit of God taking up residence in our hearts.
Now again what was the tabernacle of David? The tabernacle of David was an open air tent pitched near David’s residence. The only article contained in it was the ark of the Covenant. By David’s appointment it was surrounded by Levitical singers and musicians who were to praise and worship before the Lord 24/7. It was intended to make the presence of God available to David as king on a moment’s notice. It’s entire purpose was to facilitate worship and intimacy with God insofar as it was possible under the Old Testament economy. When David spoke in Psalm 17:8 of being “under the shadow of His wings” he is speaking quite literally of sitting in the shadow of the wings of the cherubim above the mercy seat. This psalm therefore is a dedicatory psalm of the Tabernacle of David.
This is more than just a curiosity for us because the prophet Amos spoke of this tabernacle being restored in the end times:
Amos 9:11 In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.
In Acts 15:16 Peter quotes Amos 9:11 to the Jewish believers as an explanation for allowing non-Jews to become Christians. It is all about access to God not through a religious infrastructure or culture but through personal worship and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
In verse 1 when David commands the “mighty ones” to worship the Lord some ancient manuscripts read this as “angels”. This being the case David is orchestrating not only the Levites but choruses of angels as well. Still other writers believe that David wrote this psalm during a thunderstorm which would indicate that he saw the turbulence of the heavens above the tabernacle of David to be the gathering of angels to the ark of the Covenant. In the book of Revelation angels press in to the throne crying “Holy, Holy, Holy”. Wherever the presence of God is found you will see angel activity. When angels are in proximity to you they are not just interested in you – they are guardians of the glory of God that they see on the inside of you.
Verse 3 tells us that the voice of the Lord is upon the waters. The waters are representative of the soul and the whole of humanity. It is God’s voice that causes all things to cohere and have continued existence. Col. 1:17 tells us that by Him all things consist. Scientists really don’t know what keeps atoms from flying apart and dissipating into nothingness. The bible declares that it is God’s voice. The voice of the Lord goes out over all humanity and all creation causing the atoms and molecules of our bodies to continue to cohere to one another and give us ongoing existence.
[Psa 30:1-12 KJV] 1 [[A Psalm [and] Song [at] the dedication of the house of David.]] I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness. 5 For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning. 6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved. 7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled. 8 I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication. 9 What profit [is there] in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? 10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Psalm 29 is understood to be a dedication of the Tabernacle of David that was pitched near David’s residence. Finding out this information is helpful to us by comparing the timeline of David’s life to the time that he writes the psalms if we can find it out. This psalm is a dedicatory psalm for David’s house, or personal residence. Some scholars believe it was written as a spiritual cleansing of David’s home after he was ousted from it by Absalom. After deposing David Absalom committed incestual relations with several David’s concubines on the roof of the house in full view of the city of Jerusalem. Upon David’s return he would have wanted to do a cleansing of the home and apparently this psalm was written for that purpose.
David begins the psalm by glorifying God for lifting him up again and restoring him to the throne. When David fled Jerusalem he was vilified and pilloried by the people. He refused to allow his soldiers to do anything to defend him rather looking to God for his defense and ultimate return to Jerusalem. Therefore in verse 3 he declares that it was God Himself and not man that brought him out of the pit of difficulty represented by the rebellion that Absalom initially led successfully against him. Throughout David’s life he was careful to always pause even in battle to make sure whatever his response was that he was giving deference to the hand of God. He delighted to see God move in circumstances in such a way that man could not take credit for the victory that would come in David’s circumstances.
In verse 4 David turns to the people who have witnessed David’s restoration and exhorts them to give praise to God and to take his personal testimony as their own. What David has experienced at the hand of God is not something David feels is exclusively the favor of God toward him. He was constantly seeking to give away the goodness of God to others and to encourage them to expect God to move in their lives as they had seen Him move in David’s.
In verse 7 we see that it is the favor of God that occasioned David’s deliverance and not any other thing. God doesn’t act in our defense because we are good or deserving. He doesn’t move in our lives because of His innate sense of justice or vindication. The blessing of God in delivering us is not with the intent to punish our detractors or enemies. David understood that the strongest aspect of God’s character was one of favor toward His people and not any other attribute.
In verse 9 David observes that God finds no pleasure in seeing man suffer in the pit of despair. Many believe in modern theology that God uses suffering, setbacks and sorrow and actually finds pleasure in putting us through such things. My reply would be along with David “are you volunteering…” People that think God puts a premium on suffering always make this assertion as applies to OTHER PEOPLE’S suffering and not their own.
Finally David rejoices that his mourning has been turned into dancing. David was a dancer. He loved to move and be jubilant in his person in giving praise to God. His first wife Michel despised him for dancing before the Lord and became barren as a result. David praises God for taking his garments of sackcloth and girding him instead with gladness and rejoicing. Sometimes we go through prolonged times of stress and it affects our personality. We become somber and dark in our thoughts even after the trial is relieved. David never allowed heaviness to linger in his person. He was always looking for opportunity to rejoice and dance and move in jubilation and praise to God.
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