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Psalm 30: Joy Comes in the Morning

We do not know when David wrote this Psalm.  Perhaps he had been extremely ill. He asked God to make him well again and God did.  Our fallen world is plagued by illnesses that threaten and, all too often, end our lives. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, meningitis, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, malaria—the mention of these diseases and a host of others causes us to worry about the future: our own health and that of our family members, our quality of life, and the reality of death.  Few people pass through this life without experiencing a serious illness or some physical threat or major sorrow.

This is definitely a psalm of thanksgiving for deliverance from a great sickness.  David had been sick enough to die.  Gut God rescued him, bringing him up from what David described as “the depths,” “the realm of the dead; and “the pit” (NIV).  What David is saying is that he had fallen into what was apparently his final illness and that he was on the very brink of death.  We sometimes speak of one being “so old that he has one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.” I mean no harm in using this statement because I have used it of myself at my advanced age of 87 or 88. 

Notice that David said God lifted him up: This explains the core reason for David’s praise. He knew that his security and status were the work of God and so David praises God for his deliverance. David’s enemies had already measured him for burial, so to speak.  But God did not let his enemies rejoice over his problem.

In verses 4 and 5 David asked the people to praise God, not merely because God had been gracious to himself but because it is Gods nature to be gracious.  Listen to David’s statement: “weeping “may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

God hates sin even in the life of a Christian and is displeased with us when we sin.  He judges sin with a holy anger, even in our lives as Christians.  However, for His people God’s judgments and anger are short-lived.  They pass quickly and what remains is His favor and it last forever.  In Isaiah 30:18 it says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.”.  “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psa. 86:15).

David reminds us that our season of suffering—this lifetime—is brief compared to the length of time we will rejoice throughout eternity. Paul declared the same truth: our afflictions, heavy as they might be, are light compared to the weight of glory we will know in eternity. They are brief and temporary, but the joys of eternity will never end (2 Cor. 4:17-18).  Jesus promised that the sorrows of this life will be turned to joy at His return. When He comes again, our Lord will bring a joy that will never be taken from us, a joy that will last throughout eternity’s endless ages (John 16:19-22).

The exhortation of Hebrews 12:11-12 teaches us the same truth as these verses: we should praise the Lord for His chastening in our lives.  “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees” (Heb. 12:11-12).

As David closes this important Psalm, he declares he will sing praise to God forever.  If we would count our blessings regarding all God has done for us in our Savior, we would join with David and sing praises to God forever.