David wrote Psalm 30 to be sung at the dedication to God’s temple. You may remember that, after building his own massive house, David had a desire to build a house for God. However, God didn’t permit him to do so because David had shed man’s blood and so was not holy enough to build a temple for the Lord.
David accepted God’s judgment, but still desired for the Lord to have a greater house than himself. So David purchased the land on which the temple would be built, acquired the materials necessary to build the temple, and would instruct his son, Solomon, to build a temple to the Lord when he was king.
His heart is so focused on honoring God with His very own temple that David composes this psalm to be sung at the temple’s dedication.
Please read Psalm 30:1-3.
David begins with a pledge to “extol” or “honor” or “lift up” the Lord. Why? Because the Lord has lifted David up. In a remarkably simple statement, David essentially says “I will exalt You, for You have exalted me.”
At first glance, this sounds a bit selfish. It’s as if David is saying “I’m only going to praise you when you give me something to praise you for. I’m only going to thank you when I receive gifts from you worthy of thanks.” Yet, God has already given us an abundance of reasons to praise Him. God has given us incredible gifts! Because God has already exalted us, we now have the privilege of exalting Him.
I was lost in my transgression; I was dead in my sin. But God took the punishment that I owe upon Himself. He lifted me out of the mess of my sin and set my feet firmly on the solid rock. Because God has so lifted me up, I now want to exalt Him with praise!
David remembers many times that God has lifted him up, and so he wants God to be praised for all that he has done. He remembers specifically that God has “not let my foes rejoice over me.” You might remember when David sinfully took a census of Israel, and God decided to punish him. God mercifully gave David a choice for his punishment between three evils. In making his choice, David said “Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, for his mercy is great, but let me not fall into the hand of man” (2 Samuel 24:14). In Psalm 30, David continues this sentiment and praises God, for the Lord has not let any human foes rejoice over him. When David needed punishment, it was the Lord who executed it, and the Lord’s mercy is great.
At another time in his life, David was sick, so he prayed to God for healing. This sickness was so great that it could be considered a near death experience. David says that it was like his soul was in Sheol, the place of the dead. His illness was so bad that David couldn’t even articulate words in his prayer. Instead, “I cried to you for help.” Like a child pours out its desires, David cried out to God. And the Lord, who is abundant in mercy, heard David’s cry and healed him.
It is for these acts of greatness and mercy that David wants to lift God up. And David doesn’t want to do this in private; he wants everyone to join in exalting God because God has so exalted him. The best place to gather the people and have them praise the Lord will be at the dedication of the Lord’s temple. But David has been forbidden from building a temple to the Lord. So, David writes this psalm, and hopes that Solomon will include it as part of the temple dedication ceremony. Then the whole nation will lift God up at His temple, in gratitude for how highly God has lifted David up.
Has God lifted you up? Today, are you saved from your sin? Are you blessed beyond all measure? Have you tasted the mercy, grace, love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, and faithfulness of the Lord our God? If the Lord has turned a sinner like you into a saint through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ; if God has so exalted you, then exalt Him with praise. “I will exalt You, O Lord, because you have exalted me.”
COMMENTS FOR THIS POST HAVE BEEN DISABLED.