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Psalm 30

Most of us can remember a time in our lives when we felt invincible. Whether as a result of success, prosperity, faith, or simply the blissful ignorance of youth, we have experienced the feeling expressed in this psalm, “I shall never be moved!”


Recently, my 8 year old son was playing a game where you stand on a balance beam over a foam pit and try to bump your competitor off the beam with a large foam object. His first few opponents were easy to bump off into the pit and he cried out, “I’m the king of the world!” just in time to be bumped off himself by his next opponent!


When we find ourselves on top, overcoming all odds, defeating our enemies or competitors, when everything seems to be going our way, we tend to get comfortable and confident that things will always be this good. We may praise the Lord for our good favor, or we may simply praise ourselves for our hard work and remarkable talent, but either way, the Scriptures remind us that no one is invincible. No matter how successful we are in the world, no matter how privileged or prosperous, no matter how much we love Jesus or how righteous we are, or how many good works we do, chances are we will experience suffering.


The testimony of thanksgiving in Psalm 30 reminds us that God does not promise to spare those whom God favors from suffering, but many who cry out to God for healing and help are healed and restored. And when that happens, the most faithful and natural response is praise.


The title of Psalm 30 indicates that it was a psalm of David sung at the dedication of the Temple. It is likely that David wrote the psalm in response to his own personal experience, which seems to include recovering from a life threatening illness. It isn’t hard to understand why this song of thanksgiving was easy for many, and for the nation of Israel as a whole, to embrace as their own. Israel knew what it was like to be on top of the world one moment, and down in the pit the next!

Psalm 30 begins with thanksgiving (v.1-5), offers an honest confession (v.6-10), and ends with a jubilant declaration of praise (v. 11-12). While there isn’t a particular reason given for the suffering endured, the confession concerns