Have you ever lost your shoe in the mud? I know well the feeling trying to take a step, lifting one foot only driving the other deeper into the ground. Switching feet, you feel the suction around your foot and the more you try to free yourself the deeper you go. Soon you realize that what you need most is help because you cannot free yourself on your own!
Psalm 30 is David’s praise to God for being his help in a time of trouble. The reference to healing in verse 2 indicates that David was suffering from a terrible illness. Also, like sharks sensing blood in the water, David’s enemies rose up at his perceived weakness. However, the Lord delivered David and for this David offers a Psalm of praise.
David uses a great metaphor for his suffering. The word at the end of verse 3 translated “pit” (bor), is literally referring to a cistern. The cisterns were natural cracks in the ground from the earthquakes that were plastered to hold rain water. It was very easy to become stuck in a cistern because of the muck that would collect at the bottom from runoff. In his sickness, David felt trapped, sinking in the mire, unable to free himself. This would be a well understood idea in his day as the cisterns had to frequently be re-plastered and people could not get out on their own. In addition, this literal idea became a metaphor for Sheol (3a)—the realm of the dead. In verse 1, like drawing water from a well, the Lord pulled David up out of the muck by his great power.
Psalm 30 has a great deal in common with Psalm 6, including the idea that David’s sickness is related to his sin. David recounts his arrogance in verse 6, saying “in my prosperity (literally “careless ease”) I will never be moved.” Think about the pride that’s wrapped up in that statement.
Verse 7 offers an amazing insight into our sin; sometimes God will let us have our own way. David’s prosperity came from God’s favor on him. In fact, David’s statement was not too far off considering God’s promise in 2 Samuel 7; however, and this is huge, David forgot the source of his prosperity and his promise of an eternal kingdom. Instead of “I will never be moved,” David should have said, “I trust that the Lord’s promises will endure forever.”
In pride, David metaphorically turned away from the Lord, and soon he felt that the Lord metaphorically turned his back on David, “You hid your face and I was dismayed.” David vigorously repents and as we have seen in the opening verses, the Lord heard and responded to David’s pleas. David was chastened in sickness, like suffering through the night, longing for daybreak (5), yet now that morning has come David dances as if clothed in gladness (11). This is the kind of joy that cannot be kept silent, it must be proclaimed (12).
We’ve all seen the Lord work in mighty ways. What have you seen the Lord do that you just can’t keep silent about?
By: Tyler Short