Psalm Chapter 89 (KJV) Verses 38-52

For Context, see Psalm Chapter 89 (KJV) Verses 1-37.

God, are you violating your covenant with me?

We need to remember that David affirms God’s covenant with him and his generations to follow him. He confirms that God promised to have someone on the throne who was related to David. He affirms that God has protected him through thick and thin. But this trial seems to be just too much for him. He does not see it ending well for him. He is beginning to wonder if God has truly abandoned him.  I mean, how could he? Did Yah forget that He made a promise to David? Does the Psalmist have to take matters into his own hands? Can he take things into his own hand?

38 But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. 39 Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. 40 Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strongholds to ruin. 41 All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. 42 Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. 43 Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle.

It seemed to the Psalmist that the condition of Israel suggested that God was negating His covenant with David (compare Ezek. 37:1-14).

So, God, why are you angry with me? This is the Psalmist’s cry. David has forgotten that he strayed from the mark. He may well have walked out of the covenant agreement that he made with Yah. Although, maybe, well alright, I might have done something wrong. Do you remember saying that when things just take a tail sping and it feels as if your life is out of control? David had the annuals to look back on. You see, he read about what happened when the people sinned. YHWH left them. Their armies were defeated. Their enemies got the better of them.  David had a right to be ticked off, right? Not really. Humans react, but God acts. There are conditions for the promise of protection. David broke them. But God was not about to remove his family name from the face of the earth. He had a plan for humanity, and it was going to come through David’s lineage. In the meantime, sowing and reaping had to come about. Can you imagine what would happen in our lives if God allowed us to do whatever, whenever, wherever, and still protected us from our actions?

  • We would sin like crazy!
  • We would have no regard for human life.
  • We would destroy everything beautiful that He has given us and replace it with rubbish.
  • Oops, isn’t that what is happening right now? All over the world!

Application

We appear to be in the worse health crisis that has ever attacked humanity. When we look back at each crisis, the disaster occurred because of human behavior. Take a look here. Or Here: @ Live Science  I have seen people apply this concept of covenantal relationships from the biblical text to their personal lives, but incorrectly so many times.

Why can’t we/the psalmist/ be like Job? He is actually pointing a finger at God and saying that God Himself has caused this calamity to come upon him. He is really saying, God, you have broken your covenant with me.

This is the opposite of what Job said when he lost all of his children and his wealth. Everything that made his a man who was highly regarded was taken from him. When things like these happen to us, we must come to understand that God may have removed the blessings for a moment, but He has not broken His covenant or promise of protection.

 

Sometimes we fall short in our rendering of scripture and its application. Yah has never promised that we would never have any health problems. What? How could I saw that? Well, let’s look at that shall we?

When a person dies, they die because something in their body stops working.  It is usually because of a complication. But the one thing that will take us out of this earth is a fatal heart attack. NO amount of spirituality, covenant-keeping, singing reading or studying of scripture is going to prevent our final call to glory! So, do we ignore it all and do whatever we want to anyway? No. We remain faithful to the Lord because we love Him. Because we know that what we have now is NOT our final destination. So, no God has not forsaken you. Press on. Live and walk by faith and not by innuendos. Do what you can and must do n the flesh. Do not tempt God by trying to force Him to take care of you and your family.

“Well, Hi word says that He will protect us. ” That is the usual response. Make the response simple. We have free will. Exercise it. The Psalmist tried free will, and it did not work for him. Read about his episode with Bethseeba Be safe, but trust Him too. Back to the Psalmist.

 

44 Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. 45 The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.

It appears here that the Islamist is stating that Israel’s enemies have the upper hand. The Psalmist actually thinks that he is about to die in battle. This shame that he feels comes from the sense that he has failed God. Consequently, God has removed his blessing. So, he says, “Selah” – pause and think on these things. Could the Psalmist be pondering about what is really happening? Is he about to reset his mindset?

 

Yes, I sinned God – but don’t you think I have suffered enough already?

46 How long, Lord? wilt thou hide thyself forever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?  47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? 

Remember, Yah, that only you are eternal. But I know that I am finite. I want this suffering to end, and I want it to end soon.  Here the Psalmist goes back to the usual refrain. “How long? (See 6:3; 13:1–2; 35:17; 62:3; 74:10; 79:5; 80:4; 90:13; 94:3; 119:84).  I have suffered enough, God. That is basically what the Psalmist is saying here. Think about where we are right now. Think about the time in human history where we are right now.

 

48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. 

Yes, we will all die someday. The decisions that we are making today is what happens to us when we die. The Psalmist knows this fact. He is not just pleading for himself. He is also asking for the nation; forgive us, God! He just does not see why this punishment has to continue. In other words, the penalty is too high and does not warrant for God’s action (See Ps. 44 may provide another example of this type of prayer and reasoning). Only Jesus lived and was not succumbed by death, my friends. The Psalmist did not see the resurrection as an option for him. He did not know that His redeemer would erase death. He is fearful of death right here. He wants Yah to rescue him.

 

Where are you, God? Do you hate me?

49 Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? 50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; 

Now he is trying another strategy. He reminds God Almighty that He promised to bless Him. Not only did Yah promise to bless the Psalmist, but He also swore [made a covenant with him] to help David. He really is saying, where are you, God? Where is the Yah, who was so kind and loving to me?

 

Can you recognize the agony in this outcry?

Have you made this very same outcry yourself?

Are you making it right now during the pandemic of 2020?

Are you asking Yah why He has not separated you and your family from the family of unbelievers? I mean, after all, you have served Him, have you not? The unchurched as asking why are Christians dying in this pandemic. Have you heard that shoutout? How do you respond? 

51 Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.

Even his enemies are telling him that the Yah of Israel has left him in the dust, so to speak. Think back to the week leading up to the Passover when Christ was crucified.  While he was on the cross, what did the people/soldiers say to Him?  Think about that for a bit, my friend. If the enemies of the State of Israel could mock Christ, then Yah will undoubtedly allow them to mock us. Again the Psalmist did not have this frame of reference.  Do you feel like giving up right now? Are you shaking your fist at Yah because you just don’t want to deal with all of the kerfuffles that we call life? Especially right now?  So we have seen the Psalmist go through some challenging times in his life. He rehearses his calling, anointing, the history of his people, and all of the great things that Yah has done for them. Then he questions Yah for allowing it all.

 

It seems strange to abruptly end this chapter with the following verse, doesn’t it? The psalm ends without a resolution. It ends without an answer from the Almighty.  We know that David’s kingdom did come to an end when Nebuchadnezzar captured the nation of Israel. We also know that Christ came and fulfilled the covenant between David and God. 

 

Jeremiah 23:5-6  (KJV) “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days, Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.”

52 Blessed be the Lord forevermore. Amen, and Amen.

This doxology does not actually end this particular psalm. It ends this section of the Book of Psalms. Maybe because we are going thorugh such a difficult time right now, we can relate to what the Psalmist endure in this psalm. Maybe we need to look retrospectively at his agony and remind ourselves that we should…

Reference

Longman, Tremper, III. Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary, InterVarsity Press, 2014. Google Books.

Casey, Kenneth: Bible Studies:Psalm 89, https://www.bible-studys.org/Bible%20Books/Psalms/Book%20of%20Psalms.html.

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