Intro: Psalm 30 was written for the dedication of the temple. It is fitting that at the dedication of the temple, which is to be a house of prayer, David bring forth a song about the Lord’s faithfulness to answer prayer.
A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
3 O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment,
and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 By your favor, O Lord,
you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
I was dismayed.
8 To you, O Lord, I cry,
and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
9 “What profit is there in my death,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
O Lord, be my helper!”
11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Main Point: Psalm 30 praises the Lord for the way that he has saved David. It seems that while verses 1-5 give us a report of the Lords faithfulness, verses 6-7 speak of David’s arrogance that lead to his trouble. Verses 8-1o record his prayer to God, and verses 11 and 12 again turn their attention to the Lord’s faithfulness and singing the eternal praises of the eternal God. The point of it all: The Lord is gracious and faithful to answer the prayers of his saints when they humble themselves and rely on him.
Interesting Points: I think this psalm was put in close proximity to Psalm 28 for a reason. Psalm 28 is a psalm that pleads for the Lord to have mercy on David to deliver him from the hands of his enemies. Anyone who was reading these psalms one after the other would see how Psalms 29 and 30 flow from the answered prayer of 28. David specifically mentions going down to the pit and dying in this psalm as he did in Psalm 28. He also talks about his enemies as he did in 28.
David takes time to remind us of the Lord’s generous grace when he says in verse 5 “For his anger is but for a moment and his favor is for a lifetime.” The difference in magnitude between his anger and favor is striking. He is angry for but a “moment.” Ponder that next time you are smacked in the face with your sin, and you wonder if the Lord could ever forgive you. His anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime.
David again uses great word pictures to aid his prayers. He reminds us that sorrow will pass away as surely as the night gives way to the dawn. Darkness is always driven out by light. The morning always overcomes the night. Always.
He also uses the imagery of mourning vs dancing, and being clothed in sackcloth verses being clothed with Gladness. I can almost feel the rough sack cloth on my skin, and while I don’t know that being clothed in gladness would feel like, I would like to imagine it as a warm blanket on a cold day.
Also, David’s boldness in the case he presents before God. He shows us that the worship of those who are in covenant with the Lord is important to him. He reminds the Lord that if he perishes there will be one less person to praise him on Earth. Given the way that David wrote a great deal of the psalms that the nation of Israel would use in their worship this would seem especially important to the Lord. I don’t think I could see myself being so bold, but it does teach us how much God values our praise. David reminds the Lord of his unique ability to tell other of his faithfulness.
I think boldness comes from relationship. The better you know someone you are more able to be bold without coming of as weird and aggressive. May we know the Lord as well as David did, that one day we can be so bold in our prayers.
Emotional reactions: Because of the great word pictures in this Psalm it helps me relate very quickly. The knowledge that the Lord’s anger last but for a moment, and then a lifetime of favor follows brings joy, relief, excitement, and a desire to praise God.
The idea of the Lord clothing me in gladness makes me feel tranquil, and warm. It is like the Lord surrounds me, and protects me. This brings a sense of ease and rest.