The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for April 8th, 2013

St Augustine’s Notes on Psalm 30

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 8, 2013

“A Psalm and a song at the dedication of the house of David.”  A Psalm of the joy of the Resurrection, and the change, the renewing of the body to an immortal state, and not only of the Lord, but also of the whole Church. For in the former Psalm the tabernacle was finished, wherein we dwell in the time of war: but now the house is dedicated, which will abide in peace everlasting.

It is then whole Christ who speaketh. “I will exalt Thee, O Lord, for Thou hast taken Me up” (verse 1). I will praise Thy high Majesty, O Lord, for Thou hast taken Me up. “Thou hast not made Mine enemies to rejoice over Me.” And those, who have so often endeavoured to oppress Me with various persecutions throughout the world, Thou hast not made to rejoice over Me.

“O Lord, My God, I have cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed Me (verse 2). O Lord, My God, I have cried unto Thee, and I no longer hear about a body enfeebled and sick by mortality.

“O Lord, Thou hast brought back My Soul from hell, and Thou hast saved Me from them that go down into the pit” (verse 3). Thou hast saved Me from the condition of profound darkness, and the lowest slough of corruptible flesh.

“Sing to the Lord, O ye saints of His.” The prophet seeing these future things, rejoiceth, and saith, “Sing to the Lord, O ye saints of His. And make confession of the remembrance of His holiness” (verse 4). And make confession to Him, that He hath not forgotten the sanctification, wherewith He hath sanctified you, although all this intermediate period belong to your desires.

“For in His indignation is wrath” (verse 5). For He hath avenged against you the first sin, for which you have paid by death. “And life in His will.” And life eternal, whereunto you could not return by any strength of your own, hath He given, because He so would. “In the evening weeping will tarry.” Evening began, when the light of wisdom withdrew from sinful man, when he was condemned to death: from this evening weeping will tarry, as long as God’s people are, amid labours and temptations, awaiting the day of the Lord. “And exultation in the morning.” Even to the morning, when there will be the exultation of the resurrection, which hath shone forth by anticipation in the morning resurrection of the Lord.

“But I said in my abundance, I shall not be moved for ever” (verse 6). But I, that people which was speaking from the first, said in mine abundance, suffering now no more any want, “I shall not be moved for ever.”

“O Lord, in Thy will Thou hast afforded strength unto my beauty” (verse 7). But that this my abundance, O Lord, is not of myself, but that in Thy will Thou hast afforded strength unto my beauty, I have learnt from this, “Thou turnedst away Thy Face from me, and I became troubled;” for Thou hast sometimes turned away Thy Face from the sinner, and I became troubled, when the illumination of Thy knowledge withdrew from me.

“Unto Thee, O Lord, will I cry, and unto my God will I pray” (verse 8). And bringing to mind that time of my trouble and misery, and as it were established therein, I hear the voice of Thy Firs-Begotten, my Head, about to die for me, and saying “Unto Thee, O Lord, will I cry, and unto My God will I pray.”

“What profit” is there in the shedding of My blood, whilst I go down to corruption? “Shall dust confess unto Thee?” For if I shall not rise immediately, and My body shall become corrupt, “shall dust confess unto Thee?” that is, the crowd of the ungodly, whom I shall justify by My resurrection? “Or declare Thy truth?” Or for the salvation of the rest declare Thy truth?

“The Lord hath heard, and had mercy on Me, the Lord hath become My helper.” (verse 10).  Nor did “He suffer His holy One to see corruption ” (Acts 2:27).

“Thou hast turned My mourning into joy to Me” (verse 11). Whom I, the Church, having received, the First-Begotten from the dead,(cf., Col 1:18; Rev 1:5)) now in the dedication of Thine house, say, “Thou hast turned my mourning into joy to me. Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” Thou hast torn off the veil of my sins, the sadness of my mortality; and hast girded me with the first robe, with immortal gladness.

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Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 30

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 8, 2013

A SONG OF THANKS FOR RESCUE

THE singer was at the point of death when he was rescued. In his great need he prayed, and his prayer was heard. For this he thanks, and will always thank, his Helper, God. There is nothing in the psalm to exclude Davidic origin. It may be a song of thanksgiving arising out of some situation of David’s career. Possibly it deals with the deadly peril which overshadowed Israel in the pestilence by which David’s overweening pride
(cf. verses 7-8) was punished (2 Sam 24). During the pestilence David and his household wore the garment of mourning of which verse 12 speaks (1 Chron 21:16). The psalm would, in this view, deal rather with the griefs of the nation Israel, than with the personal experience of the poet. The words of the title: Canticum (more correct than Cantici) in dedicatione domus (A psalm for the dedication of the Temple) are a late addition, due, probably, to the circumstance that this psalm was sung at the Feast of Dedication established by Judas Maccabeus in 165 B.C. (1 Macc 4:48-59; cf. John 10:22). There is nothing in the psalm to show that it was written for that Feast.

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