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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books
Psalms 30

 

 

Verses 1-12

The next five Psalms of this special division, 30 to 34, are Psalms of salvation. They all set before us, in their different ways, experimental salvation, the personal knowledge that comes to those who trust the Lord for His delivering grace. In Psalm 30 David is praising God for this salvation. Notice it says at the top, “A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.” This is suggestive, if it is correct, and it probably is, for those headings really belong in the Hebrew texts. It would indicate that when David built a house for himself to dwell in he had a dedication of the house, and on that occasion he wrote this Psalm, and it was sung. As he looked back over the years he remembered how wonderfully God had undertaken for him; he thought of what he once was, an unknown shepherd boy, and then of the great victories God had given him in the midst of persecution, the wonderful way the Lord had watched over him and preserved his life, and then had made him King in Israel and given him this restful home. In it all David sees evidence after evidence of God’s wonderful grace and compassion, and so he lifts his voice in adoration.

“I will extol thee, O Lord; for Thou hast lifted me up, and hast made my foes to rejoice over me.” We like to sing about that today-“He lifted me.” David was once down in the miry clay, but God had raised him in grace. “O Lord my God, I cried unto Thee, and Thou hast healed me. O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” His heart is so full he calls upon his brethren to join with him in thanksgiving, “Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.”

Then he thinks of those days when he was so troubled, when he was hunted like a partridge upon the mountain, when his enemies were seeking his life day and night, when he was driven out from the haunts of men and he had to live in dens and caves, when many a night he sobbed and wept as he thought of the enmity of King Saul and realized that those he loved had turned against him. Now it is all in the past, and God has done such wonderful things, and he says, “His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Does it not remind you of that passage in the fourth chapter of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians where we read, “For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (verses 15-17). What did David say? “His anger endureth but a moment; in His favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” I wonder whether you are saying, “It seems it has been a long moment for me. I have had suffering and sorrow and disappointment and distress, and I have prayed about it but do not seem to get any answer, and it has gone on and on and on. Talk about a moment, I have had a lifetime of it.” Oh yes, but if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, when this life is over, then what? Then eternity with Him! It will seem like just a moment. My mother told me that when my dear father was dying he was suffering terribly and a friend of his leaned over him and said, “John, you are suffering terribly, aren’t you?”

“Oh,” he said, “I am suffering more than I thought it was possible for any one to and live, but one sight of His blessed face will make up for it all.”

And so whatever we are called upon to endure here, whatever we are called upon to suffer here it is for only a moment, comparatively. “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Because the morn- ing will be when Jesus returns. He says, “I am the bright and morning star,” and His coming heralds the morning and then no more suffering, no more pain, no more sorrow. Turning back to our Psalm we find that David reminds his own soul of his confidence in early days. He says, “In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.” Did you ever say that before the depression began? You were piling up a nice little sum; you had some stocks and bonds and a paying business, and you said, “My, I have things in good shape; no danger now of not being well provided for in old age.” Then suddenly everything was swept away. But God was not swept away. God abides just the same, and Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday and today and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). David, like Job, had said in his prosperity, “I shall never be moved,” and then trouble came unexpectedly and from the most amazing source. The very last person in the world that he ever expected trouble to come from was King Saul, and yet he turned to be his enemy, moved by that frightful passion, jealousy, one of the most detestable passions of human nature. But the Lord undertook, and David now can say, “Lord by Thy favour Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide Thy face, and I was troubled.” There were times when he tried to pray but could not see and could not realize God’s presence. You have felt that way, have you not? Sometimes God does withdraw His face temporarily. Rutherford says,

“But flowers need night’s cool darkness,

The moonlight and the dew.

So Christ from one who loved Him,

His presence oft withdrew.”

The Lord knows that sometimes it is good for us to have these times of darkness, these times of difficulty. When He seems to us to be afar off He wants to teach us to trust in the dark as well as in the light. “I cried unto thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.”

Now you get his prayer, for he feels as though his enemy is going to destroy him. “What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise Thee? Shall it declare Thy truth?” That is, my dead body, “shall it declare Thy truth? Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be Thou my helper.” This is the way he prayed, but now listen to the way he praises, “Thou has turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou has put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; to the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever.” Do you notice what David calls his tongue? His “glory.” Did you ever notice what James calls it? Look at James 3:8. There is a rather remarkable contrast here. “The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil.” Have you a tongue like that? That is the uncontrolled tongue, but when God Himself controls it, David can call it his “glory.” “To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee.” As much as to say, I am so glad I have a tongue that I can use to glorify Thee. If we used the tongue for that purpose all the time how different it would be.

 


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Bibliography Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Psalms 30:4". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/psalms-30.html. 1914.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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