1 I will extol thee, O Jehovah; For thou hast raised me up, And hast not made my foes to rejoice over me. 2 O Jehovah my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me. 3 O Jehovah, thou hast brought up my soul from Sheol; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing praise unto Jehovah, O ye saints of his, And give thanks to his holy memorial [name]. 5 For his anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a life-time: Weeping may tarry for the night, But joy [cometh] in the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity, I shall never be moved. 7 Thou, Jehovah, of thy favor hadst made my mountain to stand strong: Thou didst hide thy face; I was troubled. 8 I cried to thee, O Jehovah; And unto Jehovah I made supplication: 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? 10 Hear, O Jehovah, and have mercy upon me: Jehovah, be thou my helper. 11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing; Thou hast loosed my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 12 To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Jehovah my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
"David had committed a sin. He had numbered the people. Now when a leader numbered the people, this was to prepare them for war. God was not in this numbering and offered David three choices of punishment: (1) seven years of famine, (2) three months of defeat, or (3) three days of pestilence or sickness. David chose the latter, whereupon 70,000 people died. David himself became ill. He built an altar on the threshingfloor of Araunah (perhaps this was the same spot as was Mt. Moriah where Abraham offered Isaac, and some even think it was the location of Calvary). There at the altar David is forgiven for his sin. The 30th Psalm is a Psalm of dedication of the altar built on the threshingfloor of Araunah. Can you imagine David with the blood of 70,000 people on his hands begging God for forgiveness?"
The Story Behind the Psalms
1. In You, O LORD, I have taken refuge; Let me never be ashamed; In Your righteousness deliver me. 2 Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me. 3 For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.
4 You will pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, For You are my strength. 5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit; You have ransomed me, O LORD, God of truth. 6 I hate those who regard vain idols, But I trust in the LORD. 7 I will rejoice and be glad in Your lovingkindness, Because You have seen my affliction; You have known the troubles of my soul, 8 And You have not given me over into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a large place.
9 Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; My eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow And my years with sighing; My strength has failed because of my iniquity, And my body has wasted away. 11 Because of all my adversaries, I have become a reproach, Especially to my neighbors, And an object of dread to my acquaintances; Those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. 13 For I have heard the slander of many, Terror is on every side; While they took counsel together against me, They schemed to take away my life.
14 But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD, I say, "You are my God." 15 My times are in Your hand; Deliver me from the hand of my enemies and from those who persecute me. 16 Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness. 17 Let me not be put to shame, O LORD, for I call upon You; Let the wicked be put to shame, let them be silent in Sheol. 18 Let the lying lips be mute, Which speak arrogantly against the righteous With pride and contempt.
19 How great is Your goodness, Which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have wrought for those who take refuge in You, Before the sons of men! 20 You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues. 21 Blessed be the LORD, For He has made marvelous His lovingkindness to me in a besieged city. 22 As for me, I said in my alarm, "I am cut off from before Your eyes;" Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You.
23 O love the LORD, all you His godly ones! The LORD preserves the faithful And fully recompenses the proud doer. 24 Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.
As was mentioned in the comments about the 30th Psalm, David chose the punishment of three days of pestilence. During this time he became severely ill, and while he was ill, he wrote the 31st Psalm. Throughout the Psalm you will find statements concerning the severity of his illness. As the Psalm is read, the reader should picture David in tremendous suffering for his sin of numbering the people.
The Story Behind the Psalms