A God Who Restores (Psalm 30)

“Prayer and praise are the oars by which a man may row his boat into the deep waters of the knowledge of
Christ.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

I. Overview

Psalm 30 is classified as one of the finest psalms in the psalter. This psalm of
thanksgiving rejoices in God’s grace after being disciplined for pride or presumption.
The restoration David experiences results in praise—a key theme in these twelve
verses. The superscription records that the psalm was written for the “dedication of the
house.” While David did not build the temple, he gathered the resources necessary for
this undertaking. Many scholars believe David’s self-sufficient pride, which is referred to
in verse 6, was a reference to David numbering the people of Israel. This action, which
occurred right before acquiring the site for the Temple, had resulted in a severe plague
on the land (cf. 2 Sam 24; 1 Chron 21). Thankfully, David reminds us that though the
Lord’s anger is brief, His favor lasts for a lifetime!

II. The Content

A. God’s discipline is brief, but His favor is for a lifetime (vv. 1-5).

v. 1 – The purpose of the psalm is indicated in the opening phrase “I exalt you.” The
Lord is solely to be praised, or He alone is worthy of our adoration.
The reason David praises the Lord is because the Lord saved him from death—an
act that served as a disappointment to David’s enemies.

v. 2 – “healed me” – The term can connote spiritual healing or forgiveness
(cf. Isa 6:10; also, cf. Exod 15:26 – “I am the LORD, your healer.”). As noted by Ross,
“The psalmist did not have to be physically ill to say God healed him; it probably was
a restoration to a healthy spiritual and physical life with God’s blessing” (Psalms,

v. 4 – David calls for all those who are faithful to the LORD and His covenant to praise

v. 5 – The content of David’s praise entails two dichotomous things—God’s wrath and
God’s love. This pair is often linked in the Old Testament (cf. Exod 4:14; Ps 30:6).
Scripture clearly teaches that God’s love necessitates discipline (cf. Heb 12:6).

In The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, D. A. Carson aptly notes, “There is
nothing intrinsically impossible about wrath and love being directed toward the same
individual or people at the same time. God in his perfections must be wrathful
against his rebel image-bearers, for they have offended him; God in his perfections
must be loving toward his rebel image-bearers, for he is that kind of God” (p. 69).
Carson then writes, “Do you wish to see God’s love? Look at the cross. Do you wish
to see God’s wrath? Look at the cross” (pp. 70-71).

Thankfully, while the anger of the Lord is often referred to in the Scriptures, the Lord is
slow to anger (Num 14:18).

One commentator writes, “Distress and weeping turn out to be events of yesterday, of
the past. With the new morning, the point in time of Yahweh’s intervention
(cf. Ps. 46:5; 90:14; 143:8), jubilation breaks out as the spirit that determines the
meaning of life henceforth” (Psalms 1-59, 355).

B. David recalls God’s discipline and deliverance (vv. 6-10).

v. 6 – To declare that one could “never be upended” is a statement attributed to the
ungodly in Psalm 10:6 and to the foolish in Proverbs 1:32.

v. 7 – David admitted that his ingratitude for the Lord’s provisions led to arrogance
and self-reliance.

vv. 9-10 – “Dying would be no witness to the faithfulness of God; it would indicate
God was not faithful in this case. So his appeal to God is essentially this: ‘You will
gain nothing, and lose a worshiper.’” (Ross, Psalms, 1:676). David knows that his
appeal entails receiving help from the Lord—assistance David does not deserve.

C. David praises the Lord for answered prayer (vv. 11-12).

vv. 11-12 – The Lord’s gracious actions turn “mourning” into “rejoicing” for the
purpose of singing praises to the Lord. Silence would indicate ingratitude,
foolishness, and lack of spiritual insight.

Compare verses 11 and 12 with verse 5. What assurance do you receive for your
own life from these verses?

III. Intersect

A. David calls for God’s people to join in giving thanks to the LORD’s holy name. This is
an amazing privilege that we, as believers, have an opportunity to join in the chorus
with the angelic host (cf. Isaiah 6)!

This call to worship the Lord entails the following:

• Worship is a direct expression of our ultimate purpose for living (cf. Isa 43:6-7).
• Worship reminds us that God is worthy of worship and we are not (cf. Isa 48:11).
• Worship is not practice for the future, but is our adoration of the Lord currently
(cf. Heb 10:22).

B. In the midst of life’s blessings and accomplishments, we must not forget the Lord. We
are nothing apart from God’s grace.

Ephesians 1:12 (also, cf. John 15) –

C. Troubles or difficulties, even if resulting from discipline, are temporary. God’s favor
and our opportunity to praise Him is forever!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 –

“Let us remember the loving-kindness of the Lord and rehearse His deeds of grace. Let us open the
volume of recollection, which is so richly illuminated with memories of His mercy, and we will soon be
happy.” ~ Alistair Begg