This is a Psalm of thanksgiving for the great deliverances which God had wrought for David. He penned it on the dedication of his house of cedar. This Psalm teaches us to remember with thankfulness any similar deliverances God works for us. We are to stir ourselves up to praise Him and be engaged in dependence upon Him. The Blessedness of Answered Prayer.
Psalm 30 – A Psalm of David
I will exalt You, O LORD, for You have lifted me up and have not allowed my foes to rejoice over me. O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. O LORD, You pulled me up from Sheol; You spared me from descending into the Pit. Sing to the LORD, O you His saints, and praise His holy name. For His anger is fleeting, but His favour lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay the night, but joy comes in the morning. In prosperity I said, “I will never be shaken.” O LORD, You favoured me; You made my mountain stand strong. When You hid Your face, I was dismayed. To You, O LORD, I called,
and I begged my Lord for mercy: “What gain is there in my bloodshed, in my descent to the Pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it proclaim Your faithfulness? Hear me, O LORD, and have mercy; O LORD, be my helper.” You turned my mourning into dancing; You peeled off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks forever.
Devote our all to His glory
Henry says – When a house was built, it was the practice of the day to dedicate it to God, Deut. 20:5. David did this when his house was built, and he took possession of it (2 Sam. 5:11). Royal palaces need as much of God’s protection, and are to be at His service, as ordinary houses. The houses we dwell in should, at our first entrance upon them, be dedicated to God, as little sanctuaries. We are to solemnly commit ourselves, our families, and all our affairs, to God’s guidance and care. In praying for His presence and blessing we devote our all to His glory.
David gives thanks to God for the great deliverances He had worked for him (Ps. 30:1): “I will extol You, O Lord! I will exalt Your name, will praise You as one high and lifted up. Whatever I can do to advance the interest of Your Kingdom among men, I will do. I will extol You, for You have lifted me up, not only up out of the pit in which I was sinking, but up to the throne of Israel.” He raises up the poor out of the dust. In consideration of the great things God has done to exalt us, both by His providence and by His grace, we are bound, in gratitude, to do all we can to extol His name.
Let every cry be a cry to Him
David cried unto God. Every hint of trouble should be directed to God, and every cry be a cry to Him. This will ease a burdened spirit. “I cried to You, and You have not only heard me, but healed me. He healed the dis-eased body, healed the disturbed and disquieted mind and healed the disordered affairs of the kingdom.” This is what God glories in, I am the Lord who heals you (Exod. 15:26), and we must give Him the glory for it.
David was brought to the last extremity, dropping into the grave, and ready to go down into the pit, and yet he was rescued and kept alive, Ps. 30:3. The more imminent our dangers have been, the more eminent our deliverances have been. They bring us all the more comforts and are all the more illustrious proofs of the power and goodness of God. A life from the dead ought to be spent in extolling the God of our life.
God is a holy God
David calls upon others to join with him in praise, not only for the particular favours God has given to him, but for the general tokens of His good-will to all His saints (Ps. 30:4): Sing unto the Lord, O you saints of His! All who are truly saints He owns for Himself. There is a remnant of such in this world, and from them it is expected that they sing unto Him. For they are created and sanctified and made saints, that they may be to Him for a name and a praise.
His saints in heaven sing to Him, why shouldn’t those on earth be doing the same as best they can, in concert with them? They believe Him to be a God of unspotted purity; and therefore let them sing to Him; “Let them give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness; let them praise His holy name, for holiness is His memorial throughout all generations.” God is a holy God. His holiness is His glory. This is what the holy angels, in their praises, fix most upon, Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8.
Of more comfort to the godly
We ought to be much in the mention and remembrance of God’s holiness. It is a matter of joy to the saints that God is a holy God. For they hope He will make them holy, more holy. His holiness carries with it the more terror to the wicked and the more comfort to the godly. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of His holiness if we can heartily rejoice and give thanks at the remembrance of it.
They have experienced Him to be gracious and merciful. We have found His frowns very short. Though we deserve them to be everlasting, yet His anger endures but for a moment, Ps. 30:5. When we offend Him He is angry; but He is slow to anger and not soon provoked. When He is angry, upon our repentance, His anger is soon turned away and He is willing to be at peace with us.
Nothing is more reviving
If He hide His face from His own children, and suspend the tokens of His favour, it is but in a little wrath, and for a small moment until He will gather them with everlasting kindness, Isa. 54:7, 8. If weeping endures for a night, and it be a wearisome night, yet as sure as the morning returns after the night, so joy and comfort will return. For the covenant of grace is as firm as the covenant of the day.
This has often been fulfilled to us to the letter. Weeping has endured for a night, but the grief has been soon over. As long as God’s anger continues, so long the saints’ weeping continues. We have found His smiles very sweet; In His favour is life, that is, all the good that exists. The return of His favour to an afflicted soul is as life from the dead; nothing is more reviving. Our happiness is bound up in God’s favour. If we have it, we have enough. It is the life of the soul and life eternal.
When this Psalm had been penned David had long been enjoying prosperity. Yet he grew secure and over-confident of the continuance of it (Ps. 30:6, 7): “In my prosperity, when I was in health of body and God had given me rest from all my enemies, I said “I shall never be moved”. I never thought that my body could be diseased or my government disturbed, nor had any apprehensions of danger.” He had obtained such complete victories over those who opposed him that he thought his prosperity was fixed like a mountain. Yet he ascribes this to divine goodness. Your favour has made my mountain to stand strong, Ps. 30:7.
We are apt to dream
David does not look upon all this as his heaven (as worldly people do, who make their prosperity their happinesss), only his mountain. It is on earth, only raised a little higher than the common level. He thought this would be preserved for him. Perhaps thinking that having had so many troubles in the beginning of his days, he would have none in his latter days. We are very apt to dream, when things are well with us, that they will always be so, and never otherwise.
To-morrow shall be as today. When we see ourselves deceived in our expectations, we ought to reflect, with shame, upon our security, as our folly, as David does here. Then we may be wiser next time for all things are subject to change.
He kept his eye on God
David’s mountain was shaken and he with it. When he grew secure it was proved that he was least safe: “You hid Your face and I was troubled, in mind, body and estate.” In every change of his condition he kept his eye upon God. He ascribed his prosperity to God’s favour, so in his adversity he observed the hiding of God’s face, to be the cause of it. If God hide His face, a good man is certainly troubled, even if no other calamity befall him. When the sun sets, night certainly follows, and the moon and all the stars cannot make the day.
When his mountain was shaken David lifted up his eyes above the hills. Prayer is a salve for every sore. He made use of it accordingly, is any afflicted? Is any troubled? Let him pray. Though God hid His face from him, yet he prayed. If God, in wisdom and justice, turn from us, yet it will be in us the greatest folly and injustice imaginable if we turn from Him. No, let us learn to pray in the dark (Ps. 30:8): I cried to You, O Lord! It seems God’s withdrawals made his prayers the more vehement.
Lord, be my helper
David reasons that God stands to gain nothing by his death: What profit is there in my blood? implying that he would willingly die if he could do any real service to God or his country (Phil. 2:17). “Lord,” says David, “if I die now, what will become of the promise made to me? Who shall declare the truth of that?” The best pleas in prayer are those taken in respect of God’s honour. We then ask aright for life when we have that in view, that we may live and praise Him.
He prayed for mercy to pardon (Have mercy upon me), and for grace to help in time of need—Lord, be my helper. In due time God delivered him out of his troubles and restored him to his former prosperity. His prayers were answered and his mourning was turned into dancing, Ps. 30:11. God’s anger now endured but for a moment, and David’s weeping but for a night. His fears were silenced and his comforts returned. Joy was made his strength.
We do not know how near trouble may be
This teaches us to rejoice as though we are not rejoicing for we do not know how near trouble may be. His sudden return to a prosperous condition teaches us to weep as though we do not weep, because we do not know how soon the storm may become calm. David tells us his complaints were turned into praises. He saw that God had equipped him with gladness that he might sing praise to God. Our tongues and our souls are to be employed in blessing the Lord, and making melody to Him in singing psalms.
Those who are kept from being silent in the grave must not be silent in the land of the living, but be fervent and constant in praising God. These praises are likely to be everlasting: I will give thanks to You forever. David declares a gracious resolution to persevere to the end in praising God. Blessed are those who dwell in God’s house; they will be still praising Him. Thus we must learn to accommodate ourselves to the various situations we find ourselves in. Whether we be in want or whether we have plenty to sing of mercy and judgment, and to sing to God for both.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
[Slide right to left] The Way of Praise I am teaching you all In these last days My Way of removing mountains It is the Way of Praise. When a trouble comes think of all You have to be thankful for. Praise, praise, praise Nothing more. Say ‘Thank You’ all the time Do not wrestle in these days. The remover of mountains is always Your thankful hearts of praise. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer for the Day
Prayer: Father, I come to You. I pray for Your presence and blessing in my life. I declare that I devote my all to Your glory. Thank You for all the great deliverances You have worked for me. I will exalt Your name and praise You as One high and lifted up. Cause me to do what I can to advance the interest of Your Kingdom among men. I will extol You, for You have lifted me up. For all the great things You have done, I am bound in gratitude, to do all I can to extol Your name.
Cause me at every hint of trouble to be directed back to You and for my every sigh to be lifted to You. Thank You that You have not only heard me, but healed me. For You are the Lord who heals me and for that I give You glory. You have created me and sanctified me that I may be to You for a name and a praise. I will sing to You in concert with the saints in heaven. Cause me to give thanks at the remembrance of Your holiness. For You are a holy God and Your holiness is Your Glory.
It is a matter of joy to me
It is a matter of joy to me that You are a Holy God. For I hope that You will make me more holy in character and behaviour. I have experienced You to be gracious and merciful. Your frowns have been short-lived. Though I deserve them to be everlasting, yet Your anger has endured but for a moment. Thank You that the covenant of grace is as firm as the covenant of the day.
My happiness is bound up in Your favour. In that I have enough. It is the life of my soul and life eternal. Help me fix my mind on eternity and not put any security on the things seen.
In every situational change help me keep my eyes on You. For all my prosperity is attributed to Your favour. In all adversity I will lift up my eyes above the hills. Teach me to be constantly in prayer. For prayer is a salve for my every sore. May I always be a person of prayer especially in dark times. Have mercy on me and provide grace to help in times of need for You are my helper. I know that in due time You will deliver me from out of all my troubles.
May my tongue and my soul be employed in blessing Your name and making melody to You in praise. I am resolved, by Your grace, to persevere to the end. Whether I be in want or plenty may I always sing of Your mercy. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.