Bible Commentaries
Psalms 30

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-12


The deliverance of Jehovah on behalf of the godly when in the depth of their distress.

The blessings of Israel, in contrast to those of the Christian, are mainly earthly and material, rather than heavenly and spiritual. In the days of their prosperity Israel has trusted in their material blessings rather than in the God that gave them. The godly man in this psalm gives the experience of his history and the exercises of his soul by which he learned that all true blessing is the result of the favour of the Lord.

(vv. 1-3) The opening verses give the result of his experiences, the remaining portion of the psalm the experiences by which this end is reached. The psalmist is brought to praise the Lord, because in the depth of his distress - when surrounded by enemies and brought near to the grave - he was lifted up above his foes, and kept from going down to the pit.

(vv. 4-5) Others are called to rejoice with him; for though the Lord may chasten His saints, for their good, it is only for a short while. “A moment is passed in his anger, a life in his favour” (JND). The night of weeping will end in the morning of joy.

(vv. 6-10) The verses that follow give the experiences of the psalmist. In the day of his prosperity, trusting in his circumstances, and in forgetfulness of God, he had said, “I shall never be moved.” He learned, however, that if his circumstances were as firm as a mountain, it was entirely owing to the favour of the Lord. The Lord had but to hide His face, and in a moment he found himself in trouble in spite of the apparent security of his circumstances.

In his prosperity he had forgotten the Lord; in his trouble he remembered the Lord, cried to the Lord, and made supplication. He found that in the presence of death prosperous circumstances were of no avail. In that sore strait only the mercy and help of the Lord would avail.

(vv. 11-12) In his distress he learned the deliverance of the Lord, who turned his night of sorrow into the morning of gladness, to the end that he might “sing praise” and “give thanks” to Jehovah.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 30". "Smith's Writings". 1832.