“Sing praises to YHWH, O you His saints, and give thanks to His holy name! 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.” – Psalm 30:4-5
Much to see here! First, notice that this entire Psalm was written—under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit—for the dedication of the temple (see superscript). So, this was intended to be sung as a way of inaugurating, recognizing, establishing the newly built “house of YHWH.” In light of that, it is very interesting that almost the entire Psalm deals with the raising up of the singer and the saints out of darkness, out of suffering, out of “Sheol” and into the joy and light and morning of God’s presence.
Why is this pattern of “raising up” so intriguing for a Psalm written to dedicate the temple? Because, according to John’s gospel, we ought to think of Christ’s resurrection (the climactic instance of the Holy One of the Lord being raised up out of darkness into light)—we ought to think of Christ’s resurrection as the raising up and establishing of the True Temple (John 2:19-21).
The resurrection of the Son of God—the “dedication” of the Climactic Temple—is the fulfillment of this Psalm. At the resurrection the Father answers the Son’s “loud cries” that He would be preserved from death (Hebrews 5:7) by lifting Him out of the grave and into resurrection life. And, at the resurrection the prayers of deliverance by all that saints in all times and places are finally and irreversibly answered in the affirmative. Because we are united to Christ, His story is now our story and to know Him is to know our own future. We too will walk with our Lord through suffering into glory.
But that brings us to the text quoted above. All I want to—all too briefly—note this morning is these beautiful words:
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.
What is it that causes the singer to say this? What has happened that has so moved his soul to make this sure confession? What has YHWH done that gives this singer the confidence to say that His anger is a moment but His favor is a lifetime, and that weeping may last for a night but joy will come with the morning?
I think we have to conclude that it is the building of the temple. The fact that YHWH has given His people a temple where His Name will reside in their midst, the fact that this temple exists is proof of YHWH’s steadfast love and faithfulness and so moves the singer to say these things.
The glory is this: How much more confident can we be that these things are true in light of the raising up and “dedication” of the True Temple, of Jesus Christ? The resurrection of God the Son proves Psalm 30:5 to be invincibly true. It is an assurance handed down to us from the throne of God, sealed by His own blood. It cannot be made un-true, it cannot be revoked. THIS is the narrative arc for ALL those who are trusting in the Son who was raised up from Sheol by the glory of the Father: wrath gives way to favor, night dissolves into morning, and weeping turns into joy. Hallowed be His name!