Psalm Chapter 30: Experiences of David typical of Jesus

Dec 9th, 2009 | By | Category: Psalms, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Psalm Chapter 30: Experiences of David typical of Jesus

Psa. 30:0 A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David.

The preface, “A Psalm and Song at the dedication of the house of David,” indicates that this Psalm is to be sung in the future and probably was sung in David’s day. There is a difference of opinion as to what is meant by the term “house of David.” We believe it refers to the incident when David bought the threshing floor of Araunah in Jerusalem on what is now called the Temple Mount. That property had been handed down to Araunah from his forebears, and David bought the field to make an altar unto God in order to stop the plague that was caused by his sin in numbering the people (2 Sam. 24:10-25).

Even though David repented, he had to pay a price, and God gave him a choice of three punishments: (1) seven years of famine in the land, (2) a three-month flight before pursuing enemies, or (3) a three-day pestilence in the land (2 Sam. 24:13). David left the choice up to God, and a three-day pestilence, the judgment of least duration, followed. When the resulting plague killed 70,000 men, and the Logos, the angel of Jehovah, came as a visible being to destroy Jerusalem, David wanted to still the pestilence. He beseeched God, “Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.” God then told the Logos, who was standing by the threshing floor of Araunah, “It is enough: stay now thine hand.” Desiring to thank the Lord for His mercy, David wanted to “buy the threshingfloor [on that very mountain so that he could] … build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people.” When Araunah offered the plot to David, as well as the oxen for a burnt sacrifice and instruments, David replied in effect, “When I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God, the sacrifice must cost me something. I will buy the threshing floor and the oxen for 50 shekels of silver.” There David built “an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.”

In any event, Psalm 30, a prophecy, was composed by David at the time in his life when the Ark of the Covenant was in the environs of Jerusalem and he wanted to find a place where the Temple could be built. The threshing floor pertains to the purchase of the Temple site.

Comment: Another name for the Jebusite Araunah is Ornan, as stated in 1 Chronicles 21:15-28, which records the same incident with the threshing floor.

Psa. 30:1 I will extol thee, O LORD; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

Verse 1 is in harmony with the preface, for David was expressing his feelings with regard to the stopping of the plague that was punishment for his having numbered the Israelites. Of course God overruled David’s emotions, and the Holy Spirit operated on him so that his feelings were peculiarly adaptable to a spiritual connotation.

This verse is an expression of praise that came forth from the lips of David, the reason being that God had lifted him up and not made his foes to rejoice over him. In a fashion, Psalm 30 seems to be co-related to the immediately preceding Psalms. As king, David was now sitting on the throne and taking cognizance of his domain. In spite of all his past problems, he was triumphant and exalted, but in a moment of relaxation, he had begun to think and act like an earthly monarch, for he had numbered his people—an act that displeased the Lord.

Comment: David was warned by one of his generals not to number the people.

Reply: Yes, in spite of Joab’s warning, he proceeded and thus sinned before the Lord.

After the plague of punishment ended, David turned his attention to bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He erected a large tent, and the Ark was temporarily put in the tent. Meanwhile, David had in mind to build a house. The time setting was near the end of his life.

Psa. 30:2 O LORD my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

In verse 1, David praised God for not allowing his foes to rejoice over him. In verse 2, he began to review a prior experience. When he cried out, God eventually healed the wound, the sorrow. This same format is used in many of the previous Psalms. Verse 2 is relatively self-explanatory, but as we proceed, we will see that something else is being subtly suggested— something good.

As David wrote about his personal experience, God was choosing the words that came out of his lips. The words faithfully recorded his emotions and feelings, but they were also well adapted to another theme David was not aware of and from which we can extrapolate lessons.

Psa. 30:3 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.

“O Jehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” David was expressing an emotional feeling, for he did not want to enter the grave without the hope of a future life. The experience was so grievous that he bordered on going into death, expressed as the grave (Hebrew sheol) and the pit. The word sheol is usually translated “hell,” which, in the normal vocabulary of 1611, meant to bury or hide. However, it has incorrectly come to mean “hell” as a place of eternal torture. When properly understood, the word signifies the hidden state below the ground, the grave, where one is covered over. For example, potatoes were helled.

When we think of verse 3 in the light of some of the previous Psalms and the next Psalm, we see that seeded information has been included that is peculiarly adaptable to Jesus’ experiences starting with the Garden of Gethsemane. There Jesus said, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death” (Matt. 26:38). This seeding of information suggests Divine Providence and another lesson with regard to David’s being a type of Christ. Moses said to the Israelites, “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me” (Deut. 18:15). David, a man after God’s own heart, was raised up to be a king, and in many ways, he pictures experiences that Jesus had. If we keep these thoughts in mind, we will see a dual application for Psalm 30.

Psa. 30:4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

Verse 4 suggests there was one whose soul actually went down into the pit, whereas David felt that he bordered this experience. He had sunk to the lowest hell, as it were, in his personal experience, but he survived because Jehovah healed him and kept him alive so that he did not go down to the pit.

Psalm 16:10, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” obviously refers to Jesus. His feelings are expressed not only here but also in numerous other Psalms. This theme is pervasive in the Psalms, but it is usually recognized as being in only three or four that have obvious consecutive verses. With his perfect memory, Jesus read the Psalms when he was down here as a human being, and the mood swings came to his mind, as recorded by David.

Incidentally, since God dealt with Jesus Christ, the Head of the body, it should not be a surprise if, to some extent, his faithful followers have similar experiences in their personal daily lives. He was a man of sorrows at the end of his life, but he was popular with the multitudes earlier.

The word “memorial” is a King James marginal reference. “Sing unto the LORD, O ye [Gospel Age] saints of his [of Jesus], and give thanks at the remembrance [memorial] of his holiness.”

Verse 4 signifies a mood swing as though God were advising the saints after Jesus’ resurrection.

His soul was not left in the tomb. As the Psalm continues, it becomes more apparent that Jesus was saying, “Remember that I suffered but that God brought me forth victorious.” Jesus began the race, and he is the finisher of the race (Heb. 12:2). “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord” (Matt. 10:24).

Psa. 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

God’s “anger endureth but [for] a moment; … weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Immediately we are reminded of the use of this text in chapter 1 of the First Volume. The Pastor applied the text to mankind, but that does not mean we cannot extrapolate the principle to ourselves. With the human race, the “night” began with the fall of Adam and will not end until Adam is raised from death. With many of us, reading that chapter in the First Volume and seeing the hope for mankind and God’s mercy on their behalf engendered in us a feeling of God’s love. However, although verse 5 applies to mankind in principle, we believe it particularly applies to the body members. A further extrapolation is to the world of mankind.

The verse applies first to Jesus; then to the church of the firstborn, especially the Little Flock in the final analysis; and finally to mankind.

Q: The Apostle Paul said, “Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17). However, when Jesus became sin, didn’t he bear the full brunt of Jehovah’s anger?

A: Our experience will not be quite as severe as that of Jesus, for his experience pertained to paying the ransom price. He had a momentary absolute feeling of being cut off when he cried out on the Cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” That was even more severe than the Gethsemane experience where his soul was exceedingly sorrowful. The ransom price included negative aspects, as well as positive ones such as “In him was life” (John 1:4). Life begets hope and expectation, whereas being cut off was Adam’s negative experience. Jesus had to have Adam’s experience in fullness for a moment, whereas many who make their calling and election sure will not have that experience and will even finish their course with joy.

Because they are being called to a particular function for a particular purpose, their experiences will suit them for that part of the body.

Psa. 30:6 And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

Notice the continuing mood swings. David felt strong and confident, he was purposeful and determined, and then he felt weak and prayed for help. In his earthly ministry, Jesus said to Pilate, “Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above” (John 19:11). When Jesus prayed, he communed with God. On two outstanding occasions, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matt. 3:17; 17:5).

Before performing a miracle, he usually in some way gave cognition to God as being the authority. Just before raising Lazarus from the dead, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 11:41,42). Otherwise, if he had not made such statements, the people might have looked on him as God.

Psa. 30:7 LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

The thought is reversed: “Yes, LORD, thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled, but by thy favour thou hast made me stand strong.”

Psa. 30:8 I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

Psa. 30:9 What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Q: Does verse 9 express the doubt Jesus had when he asked if the cup could be removed from him?

A: Yes. When Jesus agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was losing confidence. “What if I fail?” was his fear. He experienced the feeling of having done something wrong: “If I fail and go into the pit and do not get a resurrection, the dead will not come forth from the tomb.” In Gethsemane, Jesus lost his confidence because God wanted him to feel the sense of guilt that Adam had when he partook of the fruit in the Garden of Eden. When the woman proffered the fruit, Adam realized what she had done. Then he committed suicide, as it were, willingly partaking of the forbidden fruit, whereas Eve was deceived by Satan. That extraordinary feeling of guilt came on Jesus as a necessary part of the corresponding price.

“What profit is there in my blood?” Jesus was giving his blood for the life of the world, but if he did not have a resurrection—if he went down in the pit and remained there—all was lost.

His experience in Gethsemane was so agonizing that he was on the ground in the most beseeching fashion imaginable.

Psa. 30:10 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.

Psa. 30:11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

Psa. 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Verses 10-12 again express opposite feelings. The experiences went back and forth. We have similar experiences, but they are not quite as acute as the ones Jesus had because we are not that strong. Not only are we made of the earth, earthy, but being born in sin and shapen in iniquity, we would be failures if we had Jesus’ experiences. We are not tested above that which we are able. Jesus was tested almost to the extreme limit to show that under no circumstance at any time in future eternity would he ever harbor the least thought of being like God. He will be satisfied with the calling and reward he received. To the contrary, Satan was not satisfied.

Comment: David’s sentiment in Psalm 84:10 is similar. “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

Reply: Yes, David showed his humility. He would rather be a lowly doorkeeper than to dwell, stand, or sit in the company of the wicked.

David’s natural temperament was along the lines expressed in this Psalm, but what Jesus went through is almost unbelievable because it was so extraordinary. Thank God for His mercy! This theme of Jesus’ experiences being prophetically inserted in the Psalms continues.

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