David recounts how the Lord has helped him against his enemies and health problems. The Lord answered when he cried out and he recognized that these problems were all temporary. He enjoins us all to praise the Lord with him.
But then something happened. David had a time of prosperity where everything was going great. He was prospering and it seem nothing could stop him. He said, “I shall never be moved” (Ps 30:6). That’s a danger of prosperity. It can make us think that we are the ones that are in control of our destiny, that we are the captains of our soul. We put God on the back burner and forget that it was the Lord who took care of us and has given us everything we have.
God was very gracious to David. He disciplined David by hiding his face from him. David was shocked when he realized that his prayers were unanswered and he felt like he would die without the Lord. How often do we go through times like that? God seems distant. He is far off and our spiritual condition is dried up. We may go through the motions of reading the Bible and praying but it just isn’t what it was when we were daily depending on the Lord for everything. Others may discover that they haven’t opened their Bibles for days or weeks. They hardly think of God at all. It can lead to a downward spiral until we wake up some day and realize we may have gained the world, but our soul is suffering for it. Someone said, “If God seems distant, guess who moved?” Trusting ourselves because of prosperity moves us away from God.
Don’t think it can happen to you? Then listen to Paul, “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor 10:11-12). David wrote what happened to him so that we would have an example, be warned, and not fall.
When David repented and turned back to the Lord, his mourning turned into dancing. The joy of the Lord returned when he admitted his sin of pride in his prosperity.
Now, compare David’s response to a famous poem. It is the mantra of those who ignore God and think they are in control of their lives.
By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Which do you want to be, the captain of your soul or a child of God?