The Gift that Keeps Giving and Giving and Giving and …

His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” —Psalm 30:5, NIV.

parallelism |ˈparəlelˌizəm|
the state of being parallel or of corresponding in some way.
• the use of successive verbal constructions in poetry or prose that correspond in grammatical structure, sound, meter, meaning, etc.

This verse from Psalm 30 is one of those many biblical examples of parallelism. The difference lies in the perspective from which each phrase is written. “His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime” refers to God. The second phrase: “weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing in the morning” refers to us.

They are connected—they are parallel. They are the same statement from two different perspectives, though we don’t always apply them with that in mind. Our trouble often lies in separating the two phrases with more than a semi-colon. For example, we often use the second phrase when we are comforting someone who has lost a loved one. As a stand-alone, we are being truthful. The time of mourning and sorrow will pass, it is only for a time. But correctly connected to it’s corresponding phrase, the person we are comforting might think that this death is a punishment from God, an expression of His anger. And that is a misconception.

The psalmist is telling is that the sinner weeps when God demonstrates His anger against the sin committed. Joy returns when the sin is forgiven and the relationship restored and God’s blessing is resting on the one who has been forgiven.

And as if that wasn’t good enough news, the psalmist says that the rough parts are much briefer than the smooth parts, and that God’s blessing, His grace, keeps giving and giving and giving, throughout a lifetime.

In the end, the verse is a wonderful comfort to the sinner. Even better than the energy of the Eveready Bunny, God’s grace never runs out. That truth is something to wrap around us every single day of our lives.  


  1. Great post, Lynda. I don't know if you've heard of the ESV Literary Bible, but it presents the Word as literature. Your post here brought that version to mind. Excellent.

  2. Ohh - never thought of/realized that. Great insight, Lynda. THANK you!

  3. We are studying Jeremiah in Precept, and tonight I confessed being fearful of the consequences we may face as a nation. "Liz" reminded us of the joy believers can have, even in the toughest of times, because of our eternal hope. This scripture and your clear explanation affirm that joy truly is ours to have - no matter the circumstances. Thank you!


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