Sermon – The Greatest Reversal in the World… Ever! (Psalms 30:1 – 30:12) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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The Greatest Reversal in the World... Ever!

Tom Sweatman, Psalms 30:1 - 30:12, 12 April 2020

For our Easter morning celebration Tom speaks on Psalm 30, explaining the great reversal brought about by Jesus' death on the cross.

Psalms 30:1 - 30:12

30:1   I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
  Sing praises to the LORD, 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.
  As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
  By your favor, O LORD,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
  you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
  To you, O LORD, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
  “What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
  Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10   Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
    O LORD, be my helper!”
11   You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12   that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

We're reading Psalm 30. You can find the Psalms right in the middle of the bible. Psalm 30, but it will come up on the screen, I think. It's a psalm, it's a song it's a song for the dedication of the temple and it's a psalm of David. First 1, I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemy gloat over me.

Lord, my God. I called to you for help and you healed me. You Lord brought me up from the realm of the dead. You spared me from going down to the pit, sing the praises of the Lord, you, his faithful people. Praise his holy name.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said, I shall never be shaken. Lord, when you favored me You made my Royal Mountain stand firm. But when you hid your face, I was dismayed To you Lord, I called.

To the Lord, I cried for mercy. What is gained if I'm silent, if I go down to the pit, will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness? Here, lord. And be merciful to me.

Lord, be my help. You turned my wailing into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my god, I will praise you forever. Tom's gonna come and open up that magnificent word to us.

Let me add my welcome to you. Good morning and welcome to this Easter service this Easter Sunday morning, resurrection, Sunday, and so pleased you could tune in. My name is Tom Sweetman. I'm the assistant pastor of the church. If you don't know me, And if you could keep Psalm 30 open in front of you in whatever way you can, that would be that would be really helpful.

Let's let's pray together. Father, we thank you for this amazing Psalm, and we thank you for how it tells us so much about David and his life and the experiences that he had. But just like is the case with all of the scriptures. It is not just about him. The story doesn't end with him.

That this song takes us to Jesus and not just generally but to his sufferings and his glory and to his resurrection. We pray now that as we look at it, and we think about our risen king prophesied to all those hundreds of years earlier. That you would warm our hearts and and apply the truth of the resurrection to us this morning in Jesus' name. Oh, men. Earlier this year before the lockdown, I was up in London and I had a bit of free time and so I thought I would visit the British Museum.

And my favorite section there for anyone who has done a bible tour or any kind of tour of the British museum is downstairs to the left. And that's basically all the really old ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Assyria and Babylon and nineveh. There's just amazing stuff in there. And it struck me this week as I was thinking about that visit that museums only exist because kingdoms rise and fall. That ground floor is full of kings who who wrote about themselves in the most bombastic ways.

You know, I am the great ruler. I die the mountains with the blood of my enemies. I am the greatest apart from me, there is no other. They write about themselves in these super inflated terms. But here they are now beaten up relics who would be forgotten if it wasn't for a museum.

Museums tell the story of great reversals, the rise and the fall. And almost to a man, the reason that it happens to these kings and these kingdoms is pride. Listen to Isaiah 47 verse 8 about Babylon. Now, therefore, hear this, you love as a pleasure, who sit securely, who say in your heart. I am and there is no 1 besides me.

I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children These 2 things shall come to you in a moment. What a reversal? I am and there is no other. None besides me overtaken in 1 day. And sadly, that attitude even affected the best of bible characters.

So here's David, in the middle of Psalm 30, the Psalm we just read, here's what he says in verse 6. When I felt secure I said, I will never be shaken. Lord, when you favored me you made my Royal Mountain Stanford, but when you hid your face, I was dismayed. Imagine that. Then if you've ever stood at the foot of a great mountain, it's impossible to move it.

It's so strong. It's been there forever. David's kingdom was like that. He was prospering in every way, but with that came a temptation. Look at this.

I will never be shaken. But Lord, when you hid your face from me, I was dismayed, the rise and the fall. Now what is all of that gotta do with Easter? Well, as you might have noticed in this song, verse 6 is not the only reversal here. There's loads of reversals.

And the others tend to move in the opposite direction. Not from pride to humility, but from sorrow to dancing. From weeping to rejoicing, from silence to proclamation, from anger to favor, from sackcloth to joy from death to life. And although in the first case. They describe David in his life.

These 1 80 reversals don't end with him. Like all of the Scriptures, they take us to Jesus and not just in a general sense. These reversals in this song throw us forward into the greatest reversal of all. Good Friday to Easter Sunday. Let's see it together in 3 short points, 3 reversals.

Here's the first 1. From death to life. Have a look at verse 2. Lord, my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. You Lord brought me up from the realm of the dead.

You spared me from going down to the pit. Now, we don't know the exact situation here. And what David is describing. Maybe he was sick. Lots of people think that he was sick and on death's door, or maybe he felt like he was going to die because of the enemies surrounding him.

But whatever the case it was deadly serious. I was down in the depths, he says. I had been lowered into the realm and place of the dead. But then you drew me up. And that is a really colorful word.

It's often used of water being drawn out of a well. So you can imagine yourself standing over 1 of those old style wells, stone wells, and looking down the well into the shadowy place. Into the earth itself, into the heart of the ground. And then the water is drawn up. It is pulled up out of the shadows and into the sun.

This is the language of a king who has been raised from the shadow lands. A king who has tasted something like, death and resurrection. And that first reversal It's such an obvious window into Easter, isn't it. Have a listen to this from Matthew 27 verse 57. As evening approached, there came a rich man from Aramotheiah named Joseph who had himself become a disciple of Jesus.

Going to pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb. And went away. The gospel writers labor this point, that Jesus died and was lowered into the place of the dead.

He was placed into the tomb. But then, Matthew 28 verse 2 at dawn. On the first day of the week. There was a violent earthquake for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, and going to the tomb rolled back the stone and sat on it. And the angel said to the women who were there, do not be afraid.

For I know that you were looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen. David said, oh Lord, you have drawn up my soul from the realm of the dead. That's how he felt.

But Jesus actually went there. A Messiah laid into the tomb. But risen. And as Christians today, that story is our story, isn't it? That is our reversal.

Unless Jesus returns a time is coming when we will all be lowered into the pit. Now for the Christian, it's more like falling asleep than dying because in Christ we already live, but we will all taste it. And yeah, on the great day of the Lord, all who have trusted in Jesus will be drawn out. To a brand new everlasting resurrection life. And at the moment, where people are perhaps more aware of their own frailty than ever before.

When we actually wait for death statistics every day, that is a message worth shouting about. That's the first reversal. The second is this from anger to favor, death to life, from anger to favor. Have a look at verse 4. Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people.

Praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night but rejoicing comes in the morning. When I felt secure, I said I will never be shaken. Lord, when you favored me, you made my Royal Mountain stand firm, but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

So as we saw at the beginning, at 1 time, David was enjoying the favor of God. But when he fell into pride, the Lord hid his face. There was this moment of discipline, this moment of fatherly anger before he was restored. So do you see it's another 1 80 reversal, isn't it? From favor to dismay and back again.

Mark 14, verse 33. At noon, darkness came over the whole land until 3 in the afternoon. And at 3 in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Eloy, Eloy, lemmer sebak tonight. Which means my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Now just to be clear, unlike Davis, Jesus never became arrogant in that way.

Never became proud and self sufficient. He was only always the humble servant of the lord. But on the cross, something amazing. He offered himself for our sins. Can you think of a greater reversal than that?

The King of Glory leaves behind the wealth and the riches of heaven and goes to the place of curse and the place of sin. He goes to a place where the father hides his face Psalm 30. Jesus Christ on the cross was crying out from the pit. Why have you forsaken me? A horrifying reversal.

But in it, amazing grace. Jesus took the anger of God for a moment so we could have the favor of God for a lifetime. Just let just let that sink in. Jesus took the anger of God for a moment. So we could enjoy the favor of God for a lifetime.

And I don't know who's watching but if you're tuning in today and you're not a follower of Jesus. If there's 1 thing this virus should lead us to do it is to repent. To see the shortness of our lives, to imagine a lifetime under God's anger. And then to turn because the great news is the reversal of this song can be ours. If we cry out to the Lord, he will hear and answer with mercy.

So that we can pass from death to life, but also from God's anger to the joy of his favor. That can be our reversal. Then it's the second 1 in this psalm. Thirdly, verse 11, sadness to joy, death to life, anger to favor Lastly, sadness to joy. You turned my wailing into dancing.

You removed my sat cloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. It's similar to the end of verse 5, isn't it? We ping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. And the sense of that phrase is is just is just awesome. The sense of the phrase is that weeping is like a lodger who comes and stays for a night, but joy belongs to the morning.

It is the difference between staying a night in a b and b and owning a house. There is a time of sadness but it's not a permanent resident. It's here for the night but in the morning on resurrection morning at the dawn of a new day that dawn owns the joy. It's not a lodger. It owns it.

It owns the joy forever. And here we have David who went through this time of sadness. He put on sackcloth for repentance. He needed to repent. He wept for a night.

But on the other side was forever joy. And because of Easter, That is true for all of God's people. Here's John 20 verse 11. Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw 2 angels in white seated where Jesus' body had been 1 at the head and the other at the foot.

They asked her woman why are you crying? They have taken my Lord away, she said. And I don't know where they have put him. Weeping comes in the night. But verse 12, at this verse 14 month.

Sorry. At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked a woman why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for? Thinking he was the gardener.

She said, so if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I'll get him. Jesus said to her, Mary, she turned toward him and cried out in Arabic, rabbonae. Joy belongs to the morning. There is a time to cry. The Savior went into the tomb.

That's the time to cry. There is a time to repent because our sin held him there, but resurrection morning owns the joy. That is the day of forgiveness. It is the day of new beginnings. And look in some ways, we are in a day of mourning, aren't we?

With a kind of season of mourning. As the world is ravaged by this disease and as people lose loved ones, it there is a time to mourn. But the truth is even on the other side of coronavirus when it's mostly forgotten, we will still be in this day of weeping. There will still be suffering, there will still be sin in my own heart, the weeping will still be here. But Easter Sunday says, it is only a lodger.

Easter Sunday says, a day is coming when we will throw off the clothes of sadness, the day will be, but the night will be past, and we will put on our dancing shoes forever. Because weeping is a lodger, but joy belongs to the morning of resurrection. Here's what Paul says in 2 Corinthians for. Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. It's the same logic as Psalm 30, isn't it?

Light and momentary, weighty and eternal. The only reason he can say that with confidence is because of resurrection mourning. Weeping for a night, joy forever. That great reversal is all of our hope and all of our joy. And so verse 1 of this Tsar, I will exalt you Lord.

For you lifted me out of the depths. Verse 12, Lord, my God. I will praise you forever. 3 reversals from an ancient song to Easter Day and how should we respond Lord, I will praise you forever. I will exalt you.

I will lift you up It's like what a parent would do when they've just seen their kid cross the finish line and win first place. They run over, get the kid on the shoulders, lift them up for the adoring crowds to see and cheer. That is what we want to do with the name of the victorious lord. To lift him up and to praise him because of these reversals. The king died but he has risen.

And so Lord, my God, I will praise you forever. Jesus took our anger so we could have his favor. Lord, my God, I will praise you forever. Weeping is for the night, but joy belongs to resurrection day. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Praise the Lord for these wonderful reversals which are ours in Christ. Happy Easter. Let's pray Lord Jesus, we thank you that you are risen from the dead. That though for a night you went into the darkness and you experienced and tasted the anger of your father that it was only for a moment. And you rose again bringing hope and life and joy to all who would trust in you.

We thank you lord that we do not have to face your anger. Jesus did it for us so that we could be welcomed into your favor. We you lord that through faith we go through this same reversal. Thank you lord that although this is the day of weeping that weeping is only a lodger and that 1 day we will be welcomed into a forever eternal joy. Thank you that these truths are ours because of Jesus, and we ask that you would help us to praise your name forever, amen.

Preached by Tom Sweatman
Tom Sweatman photo

Tom is an Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone and lives in Kingston with his wife Laura and their two children.

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