This is a highly dramatic prayer of praise and thanksgiving. The psalmist has undergone a dangerous situation—perhaps a wound or perhaps a disease. To add insult to injury, an enemy was gloating over the psalmist’s predicament. He recalls how dangerous it was. He was on the brink of falling into Sheol (the pit of death), a shadowy existence that can hardly be called life. It was a place where one wondered if God were available.
All this happened when the psalmist felt invulnerable: “I stood like the mighty mountains.” But then his life fell apart: “But when you hid your face, I was struck with terror.”
It was then that the psalmist came to his senses and cried out for mercy. The result: “You changed my mourning into dancing. With my whole being I sing endless praise to you.”
As we pray this psalm, we might remember a time when we had a similar experience. If not, we can think of all the people in the world who are living and dying in horrible situations. We can take them into our hearts and pray the psalm for them.
photo credit: www.photoxpress.com / Margaret M. Stewart