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30. Psalm 30

I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

2O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.

3O Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

4Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

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

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

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

8I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.

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

10Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.

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

12To 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.

6. And in my tranquillity I had said. This is the confession which I formerly mentioned, in which David acknowledges that he had been justly and deservedly punished for his foolish and rash security, in forgetting his mortal and mutable condition as a man, and in setting his heart too much on prosperity. By the term tranquillity, he means the quiet and flourishing state of his kingdom. Some translate the Hebrew word שלוה, shiluah, which we have rendered tranquillity, by abundance, in which sense it is often used in other places; but the word tranquillity agrees better with the context; as if David had said, When fortune smiled upon me on every side, and no danger appeared to occasion fear, my mind sunk as it were into a deep sleep, and I flattered myself that my happy condition would continue, and that things would always go on in the same course. This carnal confidence frequently creeps upon the saints when they indulge themselves in their prosperity, and so to speak, wallow upon their dunghill. 632632     “Qu’ils se mignardent en leur prosperite, et par maniere de dire, croupessent sur leur fumier. — Fr. Hence Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:18) compares himself to a wild bullock before the Lord tamed him and accustomed him to the yoke. This may at first sight appear to be but a small crime, yet we may gather from its punishment how much it is displeasing to God; nor will we wonder at this when we consider the root from which it springs and the fruits which it bears. As deaths innumerable continually hover before our eyes, and as there are so many examples of change to awaken us to fear and caution, those must be bewitched with devilish pride who persuade themselves that their life is privileged above the common lot of the world. They see the whole earth jumbled together in undistinguishing variety, and its individual parts in a manner tossed hither and thither; and yet, as if they did not belong to the human race, they imagine that they shall always continue stable and liable to no changes. Hence that wantonness of the flesh, with which they so licentiously indulge their lusts; hence their pride and cruelty, and neglect of prayer. How indeed should those flee to God, who have no sense of their need to instigate or move them to that? The children of God have also a pious security of their own, which preserves their minds in tranquillity amidst the troublesome storms of the world; like David, who, although he had seen the whole world made to shake, yet leaning upon the promise of God, was bound to hope well concerning the continuance of his kingdom. But although the faithful, when raised aloft on the wings of faith, despise adversity, yet, as they consider themselves liable to the common troubles of life, they lay their account with enduring them, — are every hour prepared to receive wounds, — shake off their sluggishness, and exercise themselves in the warfare to which they know that they were appointed, - and with humility and fear put themselves under God’s protection; nor do they consider themselves safe anywhere else than under his hand. It was otherwise with David, who, when ensnared by the allurements of his prosperous state, promised himself unbroken tranquillity not from the word of God but from his own feelings. The same thing also occurred to the pious King Hezekiah, who, although lately afflicted with a sore disease, as soon as all was well and according to his wish, was hurried by the vanity of the flesh to pride and vain boasting, (2 Chronicles 32:24.) By this we are taught to be on our guard when in prosperity, that Satan may not bewitch us with his flatteries. The more bountifully God deals with any one, the more carefully ought he to watch against such snares. It is not, indeed, probable that David had become so hardened as to despise God and defy all misfortunes, like many of the great men of this world, who, when immersed among their luxuries and surfeitings, insolently scoff at all God’s judgments; but an effeminate listlessness having come over his mind, he became more lukewarm in prayer, nor did he depend on the favor of God; in short, he put too much confidence in his uncertain and transitory prosperity.


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