Vs. 1-5 describe David’s relief from God’s anger;
Vs. 6-10 describe David’s despair;
Vs. 11-12 describe David’s reward of elation.
This Psalm is David’s expression of relief that God had not been harsher. After some successes in wars (1 Chronicles 20), David’s false sense of security as King caused him “to number Israel” (take a census), that is, assess his nation’s strength as if his victories caused peace through power. God had forbidden him to do so (1 Chronicles 21:1-22:5), for the victories were the LORD’s, not David’s. The language of Psalm 30 easily fits this historical event!
In verses 1-3, for David, God had: 1) lifted him above his foes; 2) heard his cries and healed him; 3) spared him from death.
1) David never forgot (and neither should we!) that God provides protection from enemies. ALL peace is because of God’s doing, not man’s! “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers” (Acts 13:36). Truth in Solomon’s book said: “When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).
2) No matter what the sin is, if repented of, God hears and heals! God said, through the last prophet of the Old Testament: “’Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ Says the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:7). Jesus made one exception to this: “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28-29). Truly, God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
3) To be “kept alive” and not enter the “grave” or the “pit,” was a “near death” experience for David. To be “near death” yet remain alive means one has not in any way crossed over and returned, for that would be “resurrection,” not “near death.” Certainly, one may be so close to dying that his/her mind conjures up what it may be like, but it is imaginary, not real! Jesus plainly stated that none may cross back to life once they have died (Luke 16:19-31), and it is false doctrine to teach that the general resurrection has already begun or occurred (2 Timothy 2:16-18)!
David’s call for rejoicing (verses 4-5) should be a natural response of Christians today when they realize how much worse things would have been had not God helped! “Saints of His” (people devoted to serving God, today all Christians, 1 Corinthians 1:2) live in God’s favor, for God’s anger at their sin is for “a moment.” Most have this mistakenly reversed, for they think God is always angry with them and they “earn” His pleasure moment at a time! Such a mistake causes much frustration and faithlessness. Truth as stated in Psalm 30:5 is much easier to live with.
In verse 6, David makes a mistake of arrogance common to governments: some victories or successes “prove” that “might makes right.” The opposite is true: right makes might, for God is on the side of the “right!” Ungodly leaders have faith in their weapons without relying on God, while godly leaders maintain faith in God without relying on weapons! Jesus taught, “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Lesson: Don’t let armed might go to your head!
In verses 7-10, David acknowledges that the real power is of God, and only by God’s “mercy” and “help” has David won any battle. A question for all today should be: What good are we if we are dead? (Psalm 30:9). Praising and serving God must be on this side of death, and we must choose to live for Him while we are alive! We should become a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), not seek Him after death.
In verses 11-12, David encourages everyone else to join him in praising God “and not be silent.” The lesson for Christians today is: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.