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Word Pictures from Psalm 30


This week I spent some time in Psalm 30, and during my study discovered a couple of really interesting word pictures that I’d never seen before. The first one came in verse 3, which in the NLT reads, “You have brought me up from the grave, O Lord…” The imagery here by David is that of drawing water from a well.

This discovery took me back to my childhood. As a kid my parents would take me to visit my maternal grandparents who lived a very simple rural life. In fact they didn’t have indoor plumbing until I was in junior high. With no rural water co-op available, they had a well from which they drew their water. I remember watching my dad and my uncle dig the well. My grandfather, believe it or not, used a water witch to find the spot where he wanted the well dug and then the shoveling commenced. Once they dug the well they lined it with old brick and capped it with a hand crank pump. I remember taking the water bucket to the well and cranking that pump until water began to dribble out of the spout. The dribble turned into a trickle, followed by a steady stream. That picture of drawing water from a well is how David described his deliverance from illness. God “drew him up” from his sick bed and restored his health.

The second word picture came as a pleasant surprise from the most famous verse in the Psalm. Verse 5 says, “”Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning.” In this verse, weeping is presented as an unwelcome overnight guest that rises and departs with the break of day. The ESV captures this a bit better, translating the verse, “Weeping may tarry for the night…” This imagery changes the focus of the verse from weeping to the source of weeping, and reminds the reader that while we may experienced problems in life, those problems are temporary; they come and go. Grace is forever.

Categories : Bible Study, Psalms

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