Psalms 30

Psalm 30

Joy Comes with the Morning

A Psalm of David. A song at the dedication of the temple.

30   I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
  O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
  O LORD, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.
  Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
  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.
  As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
  By your favor, O LORD,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
  you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.
  To you, O LORD, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
  “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?
  Hear, O LORD, and be merciful to me!
    O LORD, be my helper!”
  You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
  that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!


Psalm 30 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

One of the most difficult theological principles to reconcile in our hearts and minds is the idea that the same God who delivers us is also the God who allows for our destruction. Many have pondered this idea including Martin Luther.

“God’s ‘alien’ works are these: to judge, to condemn, and to punish those who are impenitent and do not believe. God is compelled to resort to such ‘alien’ works and to call them His own because of our pride. By manifesting these works He aims to humble us that we might regard Him as our Lord and obey His will.”

Martin Luther

Some believe that a loving God would never allow for terrible circumstances to come against people – especially believers. Nonbelievers often use this as evidence that God does not exist. Believers who subscribe to this thought reshape the sovereignty of God to fit their narrative. Some argue it’s not God but Satan who is always working against us in the spiritual realm thus minimizing the human will involved in such turmoil. How much of what goes on in our world is a result of our free will and how much of it is a result of God’s sovereignty? Does every horrific sin and consequence filter down through God’s sovereign fingers into reality? How can God allow sin while being Himself apart from sin?

O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed.

Psalms 30:7 NASB

The psalmist asserts that God both had favor on him as well as hid His face from him. This would indicate that indeed God is working all things for the good of those who love Him and those who have been called according to His purpose. He is producing something more desirable by both hiding and revealing Himself. Jonathan Rice from InterVarsity weighs in on this complex issue…

“…the problem of good and evil in this world is a result of both our free-will choices and God’s sovereign will. As such, God has a purpose in permitting evil and suffering to exist in this world. And while we presently see the meaning of our suffering as it were through a glass darkly, as Christians we trust, despite the paradox, that God is powerful, loving, and good.

So we walk in faith, believing God’s Word in the Bible is true when it tells us of the one triune God who loves us and who is creating through us a glorious kingdom. With such a faith, we can live daily without cringing in fear. And instead, we can walk forward as faithful servants of God, offering hope to people through the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Jonathan Rice

What I love about this quote is that Mr. Rice brings the focus back to the foundation of our being – faith. The very questioning of whether or not God has our best interest at heart is a faith issue. Hebrews 11 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. For those of us who have experienced the grace and mercy of the Father, we know that faith leads to praise and worship. This is exactly where the psalmist lands at the end of Psalm 30.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,  12  That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Psalms 30:11-12 NASB

There is one final note that is worthy of our consideration. The pinnacle of all evil, the torture and murder of God’s Son Jesus, could have been viewed as the one terrifying event that “slipped through the hands” of the Father. However, as we know, it would be days later that God, by His infinite wisdom and mercy, used this appalling free-will response by human beings to usher in the greatest plan of redemption the world has ever seen. Much of humanity, including Satan, thought that God had lost control that afternoon when Jesus took His last breath. In actuality, God would use the ugliest murder in all of history to illuminate the greatest love story ever told. Christ rose victorious and with Him we will rise by faith to the eternal arms of our Father. By faith, we believe. By faith, let us act.

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