|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-5. The great things the Lord has done for us, both by his providence and by his grace, bind us in gratitude to do all we can to advance his kingdom among men, though the most we can do is but little. God's saints in heaven sing to him; why should not those on earth do the same? Not one of all God's perfections carries in it more terror to the wicked, or more comfort to the godly, than his holiness. It is a good sign that we are in some measure partakers of his holiness, if we can heartily rejoice at the remembrance of it. Our happiness is bound up in the Divine favour; if we have that, we have enough, whatever else we want; but as long as God's anger continues, so long the saints' weeping continues.
Verse 1. - I will extol thee, O Lord; or, "I will exalt thee," as the word is rendered in Psalm 34:3; Psalm 99:5, 9; and elsewhere. For thou hast lifted me up; or, "drawn me up," as a bucket is drawn up out of a well, or a man out of a dungeon. And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. David had still enemies at the time of his numbering the people, as appears from 2 Samuel 24:13. Indeed, it was doubtless with some reference to the number of his foes that he wished to know how many followers he could rally to his standard in case of need. If the plague had continued much longer, David's military strength would have been seriously crippled, and his foes would have rejoiced with reason.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will extol thee, O Lord,.... Or "lift thee up on high" (k). The Lord is high in his name, he is the most High; and in his nature, there is none besides him, nor like unto him; and in place, he dwells in the high and holy place; he is above all, angels and men; he is above all gods; he is the King of kings, and Lord of lords; he cannot be higher than he is: to extol him, therefore, is to declare him to be what he is; to exalt him in high praises of him, which the psalmist determined to do, for the following reasons;
for thou hast lifted me up; or "drawn me up", or "out" (l); from the pit of nature; the low estate of unregeneracy; the pit wherein is no water: the horrible pit, the mire and clay of sin and misery, in which all men, while unconverted, are; and out of which they cannot lift themselves, being without strength, yea, dead in sin: this is God's work; he takes out of this pit, he draws out of it by his efficacious grace; he raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts up the beggar from the dunghill; and this is an instance of his grace and mercy, and requires a new song of praise: or this may regard some great fall by sin, from which he was restored, through the grace and power of God; or deliverance from great troubles, compared to waters, out of which he was drawn, Psalm 18:16; and was lifted up above his enemies; and agrees very well with his being brought to his palace and throne again, upon the defeat of Absalom;
and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me; as Satan does over unregenerate sinners, when he possesses their hearts, and keeps the house and goods in peace; and as the men of the world do over fallen saints, when forsaken by the Lord, and afflicted by him, and are under the frowns of his providence; but the conspirators against David were not suffered to succeed and rejoice over him, which they otherwise would have done; and for this he praises the Lord.
(k) "superexaltabo te", Cocceius; "elevabo te", Michaelis. (l) "me sursum extraxisti", Cocceius; so Michaelis; "thou hast drawn me up", Ainsworth.
The Treasury of David
1 I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
3 O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive that I should not go down to the pit.
"I will extol thee." I will have high and honourable conceptions of thee, and give them utterance in my best music. Others may forget thee, murmur at thee, despise thee, blaspheme thee, but "I will extol thee," for I have been favoured above all others. I will extol thy name, thy character, thine attributes, thy mercy to me, thy great forbearance to my people; but, especially will I speak well of thyself; "I will extol thee," O Jehovah, this shall be my cheerful and constant employ. "For thou hast lifted me up." Here is an antithesis, "I will exalt thee, for thou hast exalted me." I would render according to the benefit received. The Psalmist's praise was reasonable. He had a reason to give for the praise that was in his heart. He had been drawn up like a prisoner from a dungeon, like Joseph out of the pit, and therefore he loved his deliverer. Grace has uplifted us from the pit of hell, from the ditch of sin, from the Slough of Despond, from the bed of sickness, from the bondage of doubts and fears: have we no song to offer for all this? How high has our Lord lifted us? Lifted us up into the children's place, to be adopted into the family; lifted us up into union with Christ, "to sit together with him in heavenly places." Lift high the name of our God, for he has lifted us above the stars. "And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me." This was the judgment which David most feared out of the three evils; he said, let me fall into the hand of the Lord, and not into the hand of man. Terrible indeed were our lot if we were delivered over to the will of our enemies. Blessed be the Lord, we have been preserved from so dire a fate. The devil and all our spiritual enemies have not been permitted to rejoice over us; for we have been saved from the fowler's snare. Our evil companions, who prophesied that we should go back to our old sins, are disappointed. Those who watched for our halting, and would fain say, "Aha! Aha! So would we have it!" have watched in vain until now. O happy they whom the Lord keeps so consistent in character that the lynx eyes of the world can see no real fault in them. Is this our case? let us ascribe all the glory to him who has sustained us in our integrity.
"O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me." David sent up prayers for himself and for his people when visited with the pestilence. He went at once to headquarters, and not roundabout to fallible means. God is the best physician, even for our bodily infirmities. We do very wickedly and foolishly when we forget God. It was a sin in Asa that he trusted to physicians and not to God. If we must have a physician, let it be so, but still let us go to our God first of all; and, above all, remember that there can be no power to heal in medicine of itself; the healing energy must flow from the divine hand. If our watch is out of order, we take it to the watchmaker; if body or soul be in an evil plight, let us resort to him who created them, and has unfailing skill to put them in right condition. As for our spiritual diseases, nothing can heal these evils but the touch of the Lord Christ if we do but touch the hem of his garment, we shall be made whole, while if we embrace all other physicians in our arms, they can do us no service. "O Lord my God." Observe the covenant name which faith uses - "my God." Thrice happy is he who can claim the Lord himself to be his portion. Note how David's faith ascends the scale; he sang "O Lord" in the first verse, but it is "O Lord my God," in the second. Heavenly heart-music is an ascending thing, like the pillars of smoke which rose from the altar of incense. "I cried unto thee." I could hardly pray, but I cried; I poured out my soul as a little child pours out its desires. I cried to my God: I knew to whom to cry; I did not cry to my friends, or to any arm of flesh. Hence the sure and satisfactory result - "Thou hast healed me." I know it. I am sure of it. I have the evidence of spiritual health within me now: glory be to thy name! Every humble suppliant with God who seeks release from the disease of sin, shall speed as well as the Psalmist did, but those who will not so much as seek a cure, need not wonder if their wounds putrefy and their soul dies.
"O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave." Mark, it is not, "I hope so;" but it is, "Thou hast; thou hast; thou hast" - three times over. David is quite sure, beyond a doubt, that God has done great things for him, whereof he is exceeding glad. He had descended to the brink of the sepulchre, and yet was restored to tell of the forbearance of God; nor was this all, he owned that nothing but grace had kept him from the lowest hell, and this made him doubly thankful. To be spared from the grave is much: to be delivered from the pit is more; hence there is growing cause for praise, since both deliverances are alone traceable to the glorious right hand of the Lord, who is the only preserver of life, and the only Redeemer of our souls from hell.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ps 30:1-12. Literally, "A Psalm-Song"—a composition to be sung with musical instruments, or without them—or, "Song of the dedication," &c. specifying the particular character of the Psalm. Some suppose that of David should be connected with the name of the composition, and not with "house"; and refer for the occasion to the selection of a site for the temple (1Ch 21:26-30; 22:1). But "house" is never used absolutely for the temple, and "dedication" does not well apply to such an occasion. Though the phrase in the Hebrew, "dedication of the house of David," is an unusual form, yet it is equally unusual to disconnect the name of the author and the composition. As a "dedication of David's house" (as provided, De 20:5), the scope of the Psalm well corresponds with the state of repose and meditation on his past trials suited to such an occasion (2Sa 5:11; 7:2). For beginning with a celebration of God's delivering favor, in which he invites others to join, he relates his prayer in distress, and God's gracious and prompt answer.
1. lifted me up—as one is drawn from a well (Ps 40:2).
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