Summary: Exposition of Ps 30:1-12 regarding David's experience of pride, sickness/humility, repentance, and worship
Text: Psalm 30:1-12, Title: Does God Make Us Sick? , Date/Place: NRBC, 12/26/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: story of the young woman from a Christian home in rebellion,
B. Background to passage: some think that this psalm was written following the census incident, but we can’t be sure. The only clue we are given is this reference to the House of David, which is rather unclear. If this psalm was written for the dedication of the temple, David wrote it in anticipation of the work that Solomon would do. And his (David’s) desire is that God’s blessing, discipline, and deliverance would be remembered by those that would serve Yahweh within the temple courts. Disclaimer: sin is not the only reason that we get sick (consider Job), however there are more scenarios in the bible of people getting sick as a consequence to their sin than the other way around.
C. Main thought: David was blessed with riches, power, and security; but pride, self-sufficiency, and independence developed, and God’s disfavor brought David (and his people) to sickness for humility. Humility led to repentance, deliverance, and that led to worship.
A. From Blessing to Sin (v. 6-7a)
1. The basic storyline is found in vv. 2-3: David was sick, God kept him from dying. Good story, one we all want to tell when we get sick. But David gives more insight in these verses. He says in prosperity: defined as a state of security, abundance (both provisions and health), and ease. One Hebrew lexicon noted that this prosperity often gives a false sense of total security. And thus his declaration that “he shall never be moved” revealed the attitude that He is unassailable, unable to be brought low, dethroned, or harmed.
3. Illustration: Indicators of genuine favor of God: money? Rich man and Jesus, shock of the disciples, "in outward prosperity men are apt to sing a requiem to themselves, and fancy it will always be thus with them, be in health of body, and enjoying the affluence of temporal things, and so put away the evil day in one sense and another from them...and who also, when in comfortable frames of soul, and in prosperous circumstances in spiritual things, are ready to conclude if will always be thus with them, or better...but they may be moved as to the exercise of grace and discharge of duty, in which they vary; and especially when they are self-confident, and depend upon their own strength for the performance of these things, and for a continuance in such frames"
4. In America (or at least with the bulk of our congregation) where generally speaking, we don’t worry about a roof over our heads, or where our next meal is coming from, of if we will be cut off from any help, we tend to be pretty self-sufficient. We pride ourselves in not needing help from others, in fact, most of us are the helpers that others need. But God doesn’t strive for your independence, but your dependence; He doesn’t strive for you to be self-sufficient, but to be God-sufficient. This attitude may come from our lack of realization or active thought about how dependent we are, or from trust in riches (idolatry). But we must guard against it, because it invites God to humble us.
B. From Sin to Consequences (v. 4-5, 7b)
1. Several consequences flowed from David’s pride in God’s determination to humble him. The main subject of the prayer is sickness. If the setting is following the numbering of the people, you know that there was a plague that followed. Whatever the case, David was sick. Ample scriptural evidence that God can and does make and allow people sick. But also David notes God “hiding His face” from David. The usual presence, intimacy, and closeness in his fellowship with God was now cold. David also notes the disfavor, even anger of God against him. David also notes, with thanksgiving I might add, the guilt and conviction he felt at “the remembrance of His holy name.”
2. Judges 3:9, 12, Pro 29:23, Dan 4:31, Gal 6:7
3. Illustration: National Geographic reported that a 13-foot Burmese python swallowed a 6-foot alligator in Florida . The consequences were lethal, as the gator split the snake open from the inside out, literally. That’s like what sin does to us. We think we have something great, until it destroys us from the inside out. Joe Louis was to fight Billy Conn in June of 1941, even though Conn boasted in his ability to move quickly overcoming his size disadvantage, Louis stated, “you can run, but you can’t hide,”
4. Lots of things money can buy, and security can fix, but not health. One cannot control cancer, strep throat, cerebral palsy, asthma, migraines, diabetes; these are things that are beyond our control. But most of the time, they tend to get our attention. This is the reason that they are good humblers. Sensitive believers who walk with God closely and consistently realize it when the Spirit of God seems far away. Do you notice if He is not as close? Even though we will not bear God’s wrath because of Christ, our sin still is an offense to God, and stirs Him to anger. Sin will surely bring guilt if we are His. Be afraid if you can sin without guilt, it either means that you are not genuinely saved, or that your heart is so hardened that you can’t even feel conviction. Let all of these results be a warning unto us that sin will bring these consequences. Of course, our highest motivation is that we should all want to avoid sin because we love God, rather than fear of His judgments. But there is nothing wrong (and I think the bible presents it as a proper motivation) with a healthy fear of the results. Sometimes that is what most helps us to avoid it.