Praise to God for deliverance. (1-5) Others encouraged by his example. (6-12)
1-5. The great things the Lord has done for us, both by his providence and by his grace, bind us in gratitude to do all we can to advance his kingdom among men, though the most we can do is but little. God's saints in heaven sing to him; why should not those on earth do the same? Not one of all God's perfections carries in it more terror to the wicked, or more comfort to the godly, than his holiness. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of his holiness, if we can heartily rejoice at the remembrance of it. Our happiness is bound up in the Divine favour; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else we want; but as long as God's anger continues, so long the saints' weeping continues.
Verses 6-12 When things are well with us, we are very apt to think that they will always be so. When we see our mistake, it becomes us to think with shame upon our carnal security as our folly. If God hide his face, a good man is troubled, though no other calamity befal him. But if God, in wisdom and justice, turn from us, it will be the greatest folly if we turn from him. No; let us learn to pray in the dark. The sanctified spirit, which returns to God, shall praise him, shall be still praising him; but the services of God's house cannot be performed by the dust; it cannot praise him; there is none of that device or working in the grave, for it is the land of silence. We ask aright for life, when we do so that we may live to praise him. In due time God delivered the psalmist out of his troubles. Our tongue is our glory, and never more so than when employed in praising God. He would persevere to the end in praise, hoping that he should shortly be where this would be the everlasting work. But let all beware of carnal security. Neither outward prosperity, nor inward peace, here, are sure and lasting. The Lord, in his favour, has fixed the believer's safety firm as the deep-rooted mountains, but he must expect to meet with temptations and afflictions. When we grow careless, we fall into sin, the Lord hides his face, our comforts droop, and troubles assail us.
Psalms 30:1-12 . Literally, "A Psalm-Song"--a composition to be sung with musical instruments, or without them--or, "Song of the dedication," &c. specifying the particular character of the Psalm. Some suppose that of David should be connected with the name of the composition, and not with "house"; and refer for the occasion to the selection of a site for the temple ( 1 Chronicles 21:26-30 , 22:1 ). But "house" is never used absolutely for the temple, and "dedication" does not well apply to such an occasion. Though the phrase in the Hebrew, "dedication of the house of David," is an unusual form, yet it is equally unusual to disconnect the name of the author and the composition. As a "dedication of David's house" (as provided, Deuteronomy 20:5 ), the scope of the Psalm well corresponds with the state of repose and meditation on his past trials suited to such an occasion ( 2 Samuel 5:11 , 7:2 ). For beginning with a celebration of God's delivering favor, in which he invites others to join, he relates his prayer in distress, and God's gracious and prompt answer.
1. lifted me up--as one is drawn from a well ( Psalms 40:2 ).
2. healed me--Affliction is often described as disease ( Psalms 6:2 , 41:4 , 107:20 ), and so relief by healing.
3. The terms describe extreme danger.
grave--literally, "hell," as in Psalms 16:10 .
hast kept me . . . pit--quickened or revived me from the state of dying (compare Psalms 28:1 ).
4. remembrance--the thing remembered or memorial.
holiness--as the sum of God's perfections (compare Psalms 22:3 ), used as name ( Exodus 3:15 , Psalms 135:13 ).
5. Relatively, the longest experience of divine anger by the pious is momentary. These precious words have consoled millions.
6, 7. What particular prosperity is meant we do not know; perhaps his accession to the throne. In his self-complacent elation he was checked by God's hiding His face (compare Psalms 22:24 , 27:9 ).
7. troubled--confounded with fear ( Psalms 2:5 ).
8-11. As in Psalms 6:5 , 88:10 , Isaiah 38:18 , the appeal for mercy is based on the destruction of his agency in praising God here, which death would produce. The terms expressing relief are poetical, and not to be pressed, though "dancing" is the translation of a word which means a lute, whose cheerful notes are contrasted with mourning, or ( Amos 5:16 ) wailing.
11. sackcloth--was used, even by kings, in distress ( 1 Chronicles 21:16 , Isaiah 37:1 ) but "gladness," used for a garment, shows the language to be figurative.
12. Though "my" is supplied before "glory" it is better as in Psalms 16:9 , to receive it as used for tongue, the organ of praise. The ultimate end of God's mercies to us is our praise to Him.