This song comes to mind when I read this Psalm.
There are some conflicting titles to this psalm. The non Scriptural title is: “Thanksgiving for recovery from grave illness”. There is definitely a flow where there is a calling out to the Lord and then there is a recognition that God has answered the prayer and that there is healing. But that is not the Hebrew title, it is one that we have imposed on this psalm. Rather, the Hebrew title is: A song at the dedication of the temple. That context is a little more difficult to decipher, but after a while it becomes obvious.
We need to remember that David never built the temple. He wanted to, but because of his sin he was prevented from building it. His son through Bathsheba, Solomon, ended up building the temple in Jerusalem. So why would this be titled a song at the dedication of the temple when David was not present to dedicate the temple? I am sure that this psalm written by David was used at the dedication even if it was not written for the dedication. We see that in all sorts of different contexts where works are used which were not originally intended for that use. Let’s look at the psalm.
Vss. 4-5 are well known and they are verses which will remain for us eternally. We know that pain is but a moment, but then joy will come in the morning. We know that the difficulties of this life do not last…well, a lifetime. They will last for a moment and then the Spirit of the Lord will break through. Vss. 11-12 are also unique as we see the conversion of mourning to dancing, and sackcloth to joy. They are great images that can remain with us when we face mourning and grieving and know that it can be transformed into joy and dancing. It may take a while, the evening could be a very, very long evening, but we know that morning will eventually come.