But Psalms 30 and 31 show a different side of David, who seems caught in the Cycle every bit as much as we are. He affirms faith over and over, almost as wishful thinking, but realizes how close to hell he has come.
We too keep repeating the Cycle, from unity with God to repentance and restoration, only to disobey his commandments through temptation and disobedience, warnings and judgment!
Can the Cycle ever be broken?
David appeals to God desperately and perceives that there is a Savior, a Redeemer.
Jesus, born a thousand years or so after David, paid the price of restoration for us – he endured the agony and paid the price for redemption of us all.
Don’t miss this grouping of some of the most famous phrases in the Bible from these psalms:
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” (29:2, ESV).
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning” (30:5).
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God” (31:5).
The first part of Psalm 31:5 above are the very words spoken by Jesus as he died for all of us.
Yes, we keep repeating the Cycle, but it is important to make it to the repentance part and to make sure we are not trying to push the “reset button” of cheap grace.
Spend some time this week asking if we appear to God like David appears to us in these psalms. Do we bounce from powerful, poetic worship to proud declarations of our innocence, or are we truly on an upward spiral, learning from each failure in the Cycle, and repenting so powerfully that we feel the never-ending love of God literally pouring through our veins?
Cries for relief from suffering are the common human plea. But in Jesus we hear the tender voice of Jesus (contrast to the voice of God in Psalm 29) “softly and tenderly…calling to you and to me.”
Footnote: At the same moment I wrote the above paragraph Thursday morning, even as I was remembering the old hymn quoted just above, my 96-year-old dad was suffering a massive stroke, and Jesus was calling to him, “Come home, come home…” Twenty-four hours later on Friday morning, after a long and extremely difficult all-night vigil, in which Sue and I kept repeating Psalm 30:5 (see above) over and over just to survive what turned out to be a botched drug regime that increased rather than relieved his suffering, Dad went home in peace, exactly at the moment the sun peaked above the horizon. There had been tears all night, but joy came in the morning.
This describes our time in this life very well. We have tears in the dark nights of our lives, living the Cycle over and over, but we know the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who brings us joy in the morning of our spiral upward toward God, where we will spend eternity with no darkness of night at all.