Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Psalms 30

Verses 1-12

The title is, a psalm and song. Chrysostom, in his prologue, understands it of a song set to the organ, or a concert of music, and sung when David dedicated his palace in the city of Zion. Here his heart, his grateful heart, sings of all that grace had done for him.

Psalms 30:12 . That my glory may sing praise to thee; that is, all the glory conferred on me, and on my kingdom. David would thus, not only dedicate his house, but his person, and all his wealth and glory to the Lord, and praise and magnify his name for ever.


It is allowed by the theology of all ages, that there generally is a vast variation in the frames and feelings of believers; even the most established will allow, that they are not at all times equally happy. This variation is here expressed by six epithets life, comfort, favour, the light of God’s countenance by anger, and the hiding of his face, followed by trouble.

The habits and tempers of men, whether cheerful or gloomy, contribute very much towards this variation of feeling: so also do prosperity and adversity in exterior affairs. This may be accounted for by the consideration, that while looking at adverse circumstances we are apt to cease exercising trust and confidence in God, which bring down life and heaven into the heart. Now, as God is always the same source of light and joy, whatever be our exterior situation, we should always have the same confidence in his wisdom and love; and could we see how his counsel is managing all our trials for our advantage we should still rejoice, though the fig-tree does not blossom, and clouds envelope our fairest hopes. Some men talk lightly of frames and feelings, and would magnify Christ; but where Christ is properly embraced, it is impossible that love and comfort should be long withheld from the heart.

Under the hidings of God’s face we should carefully investigate the cause. Perhaps, like David, we forget him in prosperity. Perhaps we disregard the motions and drawings of his Spirit to prayer, to acts of faith and love. Perhaps we have dallied with some besetting sin, or have failed to pay our vows to the Lord. Deuteronomy 31:16; Deuteronomy 31:18. Yet God may for a moment hide his face to try and prove us, and to make us esteem his comforts more than life itself. Yea sometimes, as appears from this psalm, he may strike and afflict us to bring us to recollection, and to the place where we ought to be.

When under the hidings of God’s face we are not to sink into hopeless dejection; but to weep and pray for his restoring grace. So Job 13:23; Job 13:28. So Psalms 73:1; Psalms 73:10. And this grace we may soon find: his anger is but for a moment. Therefore while we revere the afflicting hand, or frowning spirit of the Lord, let us hope; for as is his majesty so is his mercy. Above all let us try to live and walk in the light of his countenance, that we may dwell in him, and he in us; to this we are called by Christ Jesus, whose Spirit dwelleth in us, and seals the heirs of heaven.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Psalms 30". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1835.