Psalm 30

Psalm 30: David’s Palace

Psalm 30
A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple. Of David.

(1) I will exalt you, LORD, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
(2) LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.
(3) You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.

(4) Sing the praises of the LORD, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
(5) For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

(6) When I felt secure, I said, "I will never be shaken."
(7) LORD, when you favored me, you made my royal mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

(8) To you, LORD, I called; to the Lord I cried for mercy:
(9) "What is gained if I am silenced, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
(10) Hear, LORD, and be merciful to me; LORD, be my help."

(11) You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
(12) that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

At first glance, we might assume this was a psalm to commemorate the completion of God’s temple in Jerusalem. At least by the title:

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.

But the King James Version (KJV) says this instead:

A psalm and song at the dedication of the house of David

The exact dates are unknown, but the first temple was built by David’s son Solomon somewhere around 950 BC. The temple was subsequently destroyed, along with the entire city of Jerusalem, by the Babylonians around 500 BC.

For those history folks, here are some approximate lifetime dates: David 1040-970 BC, reign 1010-970. Solomon 1010-931 BC, reign 970-931 BC.

The prophet Nathan recorded a wonderful story in 2 Samuel 7. I love the interaction between David and God here. Take a few moments to read this chapter if you can and enjoy.

According to 2 Samuel 7, David knew he was not the one to build a house for the Lord. God was clear about this. It is possible that David is still singing in this psalm about that future temple where the Ark of the Covenant will reside, and God’s people will be able to go worship Him there. David was the type of humble man that- although he would never enjoy it himself- he could praise the Lord for the temple that would be built in the future.

But it’s also possible David sings instead about his own home.

Some Bible scholars believe this psalm was written to commemorate and bless David’s residence, his palace in Jerusalem. He was finally able to settle down and rule God’s people from a palace. He had a home for his family. Stability. Safety.

God had brought him from the depths of a cave, living on the run and in fear for his life, to living in the splendor of a palace.

Therefore, this psalm is all about God’s faithfulness and saving grace. About how God saw David through the storms of life and to the other side of peace. How wonderful!

It’s almost like David is saying- “Look. See this now, this is great and beautiful and comfortable and safe. But it has not always been this way. We cannot forget how God saw us through hard times, dangerous times. God is faithful, in good times and bad times. We must never forget. We must never be too comfortable that we forget.”

Many have even used this psalm to dedicate their own homes to the Lord as David once did all that time ago. Take it from David and dedicate your home to the Lord, remember that He brought you where you are, and He provided for you.

This is not a song in awe of the splendor of the palace or marveling at the workmanship of the manmade building, it is all about God- God’s faithfulness and grace and provision.

I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou has lifted me up.
Psalm 30 KJV

I would render according to the benefits received. The Psalmist’s praise was reasonable. He had reason to give for the praise that was in his heart. He had been drawn up like a prisoner from a dungeon, like Joseph out of the pit, and therefore he loved his deliverer. Grace has lifted us from the pit of hell, from the ditch of sin, from the Slough of Despond, from the bed of sickness, from the bondage of doubts and fears: have we no song to offer for all of this?

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

David remembers God’s faithfulness:

LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.
Psalm 30:2-3

David is quite sure WHO saved him and his people all these years. He is quite sure WHO he owes his thanks and gratitude to.

I’ve heard it said, “What if tomorrow, all you had was what you thanked God for yesterday?”

Sing and praise the Lord. Always.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psalm 30 KJV

Just for a moment. This verse is evidence of the certainty of God’s comfort and joy. There is a “night” for God’s discipline. There is a “night” for weaponing. Like a good, good Father.

But . . . night does not last forever. Morning is but just ahead.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:21-23

David goes on to remember what he has been through; he summarizes the ups and downs. I like the NLT here:

When I was prosperous, I said, "Nothing can stop me now!" Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain. Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

I cried out to you, O LORD. I begged the Lord for mercy, saying, "What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness? Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me. Help me, O LORD."
Psalm 30:6-10 NLT

David had been on the run from Saul (the previous king of Israel and also David’s father-in-law) for many years. He and his fighting men still fought for Israel and to protect themselves, they still stood proudly for the Lord despite having nowhere to call home. David probably felt “as secure as a mountain” at times and shattered and lost at other times.

The ups and downs of life.

Verse 10! Do you ever feel this sometimes, that these are the only words you have?

Hear me, Lord. Have mercy on me, Lord. Help me, Lord.
Psalm 30:10

Just like you and me, David had moments of wondering if God was even there. Had He turned His back? Had He forgotten His promises?

Now, at this point in his life, David has peace- with his neighbors, within his court, with his family. For the moment. David has moved his people to settle in Jerusalem. He has brought the ark into the city and placed it in the tent of worship.

All is good, and it is time to praise the Lord.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever.
Psalm 30:11-12

My friends, the sobering truth is that Daid’s palace was destroyed, along with the temples that came later. The home he finally celebrated and thanked the Lord for no longer exists.

David’s palace is gone.

But God is still faithful.

So, my friends, give thanks today, shout and sing praises to the Lord for the things He has done. He has been faithful throughout time. He was faithful to Davied. He is faithful today.

He is real and present and in control. Nothing that is happening today is unknown to Him.

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9

Father in heaven, thank you for your promises. Thank you for being faithful. Thank you that you are in control of all. That when our world feels like it is spinning out of control, we can stand on the Truth. Your Truth. That you are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Nothing is new under the sun. Today, we rest in your strength and your promises and your faithfulness. We praise you. Amen.

Heidi xoxo

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