What does Psalm 30:5 mean?
ESV: For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.
NIV: For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
NASB: For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
CSB: For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning.
NLT: For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
KJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Verse Commentary:
David contrasts the Lord's anger and His favor. The incident which inspired this comment was probably the national crisis which David caused. First Chronicles 21 and 2 Samuel 24 record a plague which fell on Israel. This came after David improperly numbered the people, against God's wishes. God mercifully gave David the choice to avoid total defeat, by enduring that plague. Many thousands died, but God cut the pestilence short as David prayed for forgiveness (1 Chronicles 21:7–17).

One of the lessons of that horrific event is that the Lord is merciful, even when He sends discipline. His anger is short-lived, but His grace is for a lifetime. Sorrow will accompany discipline, but when God forgives, the sorrow leaves and joy fills the heart. Hebrews 12:11 explains: "For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Paul points out in Romans 5:20: "Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

In a broader sense, those who trust in God can only experience temporary suffering (Romans 8:18–25). His redeemed are guaranteed to see an end to all weeping and pain (Revelation 21:1–4).
Verse Context:
Psalm 30:1–5 opens by praising the Lord. David recalls God's forgiveness and healing, allowing him to live. He calls upon the righteous to praise and thank the Lord. David also reflects upon the brevity of the Lord's anger. Although the Lord disciplined and therefore David wept through the night, his joy soon returned when the discipline ended. For the believer, God's rebuke is temporary, but His love is eternal.
Chapter Summary:
David praises God for His mercy and rescue. This psalm speaks of God pulling David from the brink of ruin, while also speaking of God's righteous judgment. This was likely composed in response to the plague which struck Israel when David took an improper census (1 Chronicles 21:7–14). For believers, the Lord's discipline is temporary, but His love is eternal. Because David has been rescued, he can continue to praise God and worship His name.
Chapter Context:
Psalm 30 is a song of praise for merciful deliverance. King David sinned by taking a census against God's wishes, resulting in God's discipline. The Lord could have let David fall to his enemies, but instead sent a plague on Israel (1 Chronicles 21:7–14). The pestilence was cut short as David begged for leniency (1 Chronicles 21:15–17). Shortly after this, David set aside the future site of the temple (1 Chronicles 22:1; 2 Chronicles 3:1). That dedication seems to be the setting for Psalm 30.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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