We are meditating on Psalm 30, a psalm for the dedication of the Temple (or the House of God).
Part 4 of this psalm, ie verses 6 and 7, tell us that prosperity in David’s life led to pride. Verse 6: “In my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.” It reminds us of the words of the wicked in Psalm 10:6. Prosperity does lead to pride. We know what happened to king Uzziah. When he became strong, and his name spread far and wide, his heart was lifted up and he transgressed against God. Read 2 Chron 26:16. He was struck with leprosy, and ended his days in shame.
David says, ‘Lord, by Thy favour Thou hast made my mountain to stand strong.’ By ‘mountain’, he means ‘kingdom’. But when his kingdom became strong (established), David became proud. He took up a census of his men of war, not realizing that all his victories were won by the Lord. God ‘hid His face from him’. (Read Isaiah 54.8.) David’s heart troubled him after his census was complete. He had transgressed against the Lord. God brought a plague upon Israel; 70,000 died. David and his elders interceded with God. They clothed themselves in sackcloth, 1 Chron 21:16, and fell on their faces. God spared Jerusalem. Through this experience David learnt that his pride led to a great fall; he was brought to the threshing-floor so that all the chaff in his bra)in could be removed. That’s why God takes us through afflictions – so that pride may be threshed out of us, and we become truly broken and humble.
Part 5 (vv 8-10) is the prayer of David. The longing of his heart is towards the Lord; he loves the Lord, and praises Him for His ‘truth’ or ‘faithfulness’ (30:9b). In faithfulness God afflicts us (read Psalm 119:75, 71, 67). God desires truth in our inward parts (Psalm 51:6). David realizes that by himself he achieved nothing in his life; it was all due to the grace and mercy of God.
The psalm concludes in part 6 (vv 11-12) with these beautiful words: “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness.” David is referring to two threshing-floors. In 2 Samuel 6, when Uzzah transgressed and was struck down, David was afraid and upset. He took the ark and kept it in Obed-edom’s house. But later he learnt that the ark was to be carried by the Levites and not upon a cart (a mechanical device of man). When David brought the ark to Jerusalem, he danced before the ark, 2 Sam 6:14. In 1Chron 21, David is wearing sack-cloth (21:16) when he is brought to the threshing-floor of Ornan.
God takes us through these bitter experiences, so that our end may be sweet. He takes us down, in order to bring us up. He breaks in order to bless. He empties in order to fill. (Read Isaiah 54 and see how the Lord enlarges us through suffering and affliction.) Only then do we come to truly know the Lord, and to truly love Him and worship Him. Hence David ends the psalm by saying that his glory (his whole being) may sing praises to the Lord, and that he will give thanks to the Lord forever. Because whatever the Lord has done in his life has been for his good and for his glory.
We may not understand the ways of the Lord, but we know that He is faithful and true, and what He has purposed in our life, He will surely fulfil, Philippians 1:6. It is He who prepares us and makes us fit for His heavenly kingdom.