MDB 76: Psalm 30

Psalm 30 bears the superscription, "A Song at the Dedication of the Temple." Scholars debate the provenance of these titles but without any just reason and it is best to take them as part of the inerrant Scripture. Psalm 30 begins in a spirit of worship, verse 1 (lit.), "I will raise you high ... because you have hauled me up" (the Hebrew implies pulling a bucket out of a well), and ends with a promise of unending thanksgiving. David had needed this "hauling" because some severe illness had him close the death (verse 2). So terrifying had the experience been that David speaks of it in a variety of terms: conscious of God's anger (verse 5), the Lord's face hidden from him (verse 7), and terrified at the thought of a lost eternity (verse 9).

What had brought such thoughts in David?  Complacency (verse 6): "I said in my prosperity, 'I shall never be moved.'" Derek Kidner rightly explains it: "easy circumstances and careless outlook are rarely far apart." 

Experiencing grace moment by moment, and lavish provisions that often accompany it can make us forgetful, even presumptuous.  In an entitlement culture, we are prone to expect much and the only way we can learn the error of our ways is for God to come and remove the blessings. "Blessed are the poor" Jesus said, suggesting that they at least are ready to give thanks for their daily bread as a kind provision from their heavenly Father. "Jesus word to sneering Pharisees," writes Alec Motyer, "says it all: 'what is highly regarded among men is detestable in God's sight' (Luke 16:15)."