30:0We do not know when David wrote Psalm 30. Perhaps he had been very ill. He asked God to make him well again and God did. Perhaps all his people, the Jews, were ill: after they prayed, they all became well again.
We do not know why Psalm 30 was ‘a song for blessing the house.’ We do know that the Jews used it when they cleaned the house of God in Jerusalem, about 200 years before Jesus came to earth. That was after a very bad man called Antiochus Epiphanes had polluted it. Polluted means ‘made it dirty in the eyes of God.’ Antiochus was a Greek ruler. He wanted to stop the Jews worshipping God. ‘Worshipping’ means ‘telling someone how much you love them because they are so great.’ Antiochus thought that he was a god. He thought that people should worship him.
The Jews also used Psalm 31 in the ‘Feast of Tabernacles.’ This was a party that they held every October. They held it when they picked the fruits. For a few days, they lived in tents. A tent is a small house made from animal skins. So they remembered that they had lived in tents after they came out from Egypt, more than 1000 years before. They also remembered that God had fed them then.
We can all use Psalm 30 when God answers us after we pray to him. Some of it is very beautiful.
Bless this House
This psalm of David is a song for blessing the house.
1 LORD, I will praise you
because you have lifted me up from Sheol.
You have not let my enemies laugh at me.
2 LORD, my God, I prayed to you for help,
and you gave me health.
3 LORD, you brought my soul up from Sheol.
You gave me life,
so that I am not with those that go down into the Pit.
4 Sing to the LORD all you that believe in him.
praise his holy name.
5 His anger is for a moment,
but his grace will be for as long as you live.
You may cry all night,
but in the morning, you will sing for joy.
30:5Verses 1-5: David was very ill. He thought that he was going to die. He prayed to God. God made him well again. David did not go to Sheol where he would not be able to praise God. So he asks everyone that believes in God to praise God with him. God was angry for a short time, but now he is not angry with David.
6 I said that I was safe for ever
because of what I had done.
7 But LORD, it was your grace that made me safe
and protected my mountain.
When you hid your face (from me), I became very sad.
30:7Verse 6-7: David thought that he had made himself safe. God used his illness to show David that this was not true. It was only God that made David safe. ‘The mountain’ is a strange word here. Perhaps it means the life that David built up; or it may mean the mountain in Jerusalem where David put the house of God. This was a tent which we call the Tabernacle.
8 I prayed to you LORD
and asked you, LORD, for mercy.
9 What value is there in destroying me in the Pit?
Will my dead body praise you?
Will it say that you keep your promises?
10 LORD, listen to me and give me mercy.
LORD, be the person that gives me help.
30:10Verses 8-10: David tells us what he said when he prayed to God. The Pit is a part of Sheol. The Jews thought that only the very bad people went there. They never came out.
11 You have changed my crying into dancing.
You have taken away my sad clothes
and given me wonderful clothes.
12 So my heart will sing to you, nothing will stop it.
LORD, my God, I will always praise you.
30:12Verses 11-12: David is now very happy. ‘Sad clothes’ in Hebrew is ‘sackcloth.’ People used sackcloth to make bags for carrying things in. It did not make good clothes. The Jews wore sackcloth when they were very, very sad. ‘My heart will sing’ means that everything in me wants to praise God.