It is most interesting that this Psalm, which by its title seems to indicate it was designed to be sung at the dedication of the temple to come, David celebrates the spiritual work and restoration of the individual rather than the whole of Israel. Although Israel was bound together to a specific covenant made between the nation and God, the work of the Temple always functioned to address the needs of the individual.
Read verses 1-5
Q: What does “extol” mean?
A: It is actually the same Hebrew word most often translated as “exalt”. (“ruhm”, #, 7311) the English translators choose to also use “extol”.
Q: What ate the things God has done for David which cause him to extol the Lord?
(v.1) “…You have lifted me up…”
(v.1) “…have not let my enemies rejoice over me.”
(v.2) “…You healed me.”
(v.3) “…You have brought up my soul from Sheol…”
(v.3) “…You have kept me alive…”
(v.3) “…I would not go down to the pit.”
Q: What do these combine to describe?
A: God saved David’s life.
Q: In v.4, does David call anyone and everyone to praise the Lord and give Him thanks?
A: No, he stipulates “You His godly ones”.
Point: Holiness is required to properly recognize holiness. Although the modern way of doing church describes the entire Sunday morning gathering as a “worship service”, such can only really be undertaken by the gathering together of His devoted followers.
Q: What is the comparison to “His anger” and “His favor”?
A: “…but for a moment…” vs. “…a lifetime…”
Q: What is the parallelism to “anger” and “favor”?
A: “Weeping” (and “the night”) and “a shout of joy” (and “the morning”).
Application: God’s rescue is quick when compared to the eternal working of His favor.
Read verses 6-9
Q: What is basically taking place in v.6-7?
A: David’s confidence in the Lord led to self-confidence at which time the Lord had to remind David of the spiritual and literal reality.
Q: What did David do when he realized his error?
A: According to v.8 he called on the Lord and “made supplication”.
Q: What, exactly, is “supplication”? Is this just a synonym for prayer?
A: It is prayer, which is focused on seeking God’s favor, in seeking His grace.
Q: And what is the meaning of v.9?
A: A reminder that should David die, there will be one less living person on earth to praise God. It is David’s way of stating that he is going to return to total confidence in the Lord alone, continually crediting Him for the results rather than David taking the credit as discussed in v.6-7.
Application: Testing often comes because of personal pride.
Read verses 10-12
Q: What is significant about v.12? How does it tie into the beginning of this Psalm?
A: The request to “be gracious” and “be my helper” is the remedy to the issue of self-confidence which brought on the Lord’s rebuke.
Q: In v.11, what does “mourning” and “sack cloth” indicate?
A: It is the Old Testament way of describing authentic repentance. This indicates David’s spiritual restoration as they are turned into personal “gladness” and “dancing”.
Q: According to v.12, what does authentic repentance result in?
A: Continual praise and thanks.
Application: Authentic spiritual restoration will be accompanied first by biblical repentance followed by continual praise and thanks.