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.

Psalm Chapter 89 (KJV) Verses 1-37. So you think that God has forgotten you, huh?

Psalm Chapter 89 (KJV)

(Unless otherwise cited, the scriptural references in these devotionals are from the King James Version of the Bible found on http://www.Biblegateway.com Psalm 89 – Public Domain edition.)

Context:

Go back to Psalm 88 at look a the difference between the tone of that Psalm and the tone of this Psalm.

Psalm 89 presents two clearly different sections. The tone is different in each section. Verses 1-37 celebrates God’s loyalty to his covenant and his covenantal relationship with his servant David. He promised to fulfill that covenant with David. See 2 Samuel 7:1-17,1 Chronicles 17:1-15 NIV.  Then there is a shift in tone and content to the psalmist accusing God of breaking his covenant of protection over Israel by allowing her enemies to defeat them and make David too ashamed before them. This really provides the reader with life lessons. God never fails to keep His promises. They are not contingent on our behavior, but we cannot live any way we want to and expect Him to support that behavior. He does not promise us eternal life in the flesh.     

God, you are faithful to David and your covenant with him (89:1-37).

1 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

Do you see the sharp contrast between this Psalm and Psalm 88? Well, this is not a surprise to God. He does not want us to have a rubble ball mentality towards Him and our trust in Him. He made a promise to David, and David must take hold of that promise and speak it into his life. See 2 Samuel 2:7 KJV “Therefore now let your hands be strengthened, and be ye valiant: for your master Saul is dead, and also the house of Judah have anointed me king over them.”

BUT He also knows that we will have that attitude now and then. Speak what you believe to be your truth, based on your trust in him. Praise him for the establishment of His eternal seed, Jesus Christ, and for the role that He plays in your life today and every day. His word declares that he will continue to be merciful to you. Romans 9:15-16For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.” So, praise him – even in the middle of this pandemic. God has a covenant with us today.  What? Yes!  Look at what he calls us.1 Peter 2:9 “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:”

 

Because of this special calling on our lives, 2 Thessalonians 2:13  tells us that “…we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:”

Our words must express that same sentiment. 

Verses 5-8: God of all wonders – the heavens are praising you.

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LordGod is great to be feared in the assembly of the saints and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.  Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Or to thy faithfulness round about thee?

The psalmist is praising God’s unmatchable greatness. It is so unmatchable that even the heavens worship God.  This is referring to the heavenly beings who reside in the heavens. See Isaiah 6. When Isaiah was called to serve God, he had a vision. He saw heavenly things that were so amazing he could not describe them.

Not only is that psalmist talking about the heavenly realm, but he is also talking about God’s sovereignty over the earth.

Colossians1:16 confirms the extent of His power. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” “And he is before all things, and by him, all things consist.” All of His children must reverence Him. Verse 8 asks the same question that Job asked. “Who is a strong Lord like unto thee?” He is Jehovah. And he alone is so and is the Highest in all the earth (Psalm 83:18). And there is none like Him for His great power and strength, by which He has made the heavens and the earth, and upholds them in their being. And by which He has redeemed His people. Plucked them out of the hands of sin and Satan, and preserves them safely to his kingdom and glory (see Job 40:9).

Verses 9-13

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon [these are mountains] shall rejoice in thy name. 13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

The raging seas are representative of evil and chaos. Boy are we living during chaotic times, saints. The sea can surge only so far. Yah’s authority is over everything, including the sea. See Matthew 8:24.  Jesus spoke to the angry sea and told it to “be still” and it obeyed him. Mark 4:39 “And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” He will command the winds and waves of our emotional lives to be still, and they have to obey Him! We just have to believe it. The psalmist is also asserting that everything in heaven and earth depends on God for its existence. He is our high tower, our mountain of stability and truth.

 

Verses 14-18, God is our ruler/vassal.

14 Justice and judgment are the habitations of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. 15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17 For thou art, the glory of their strength: and in thy favor our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the Lord is our defense, and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

 

God is the sovereignty of God of His chosen people. He governs with fair judgment, righteousness, and justice. He is loyal to His people. Acts 3:14  declared that people . . .”But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;” His people are happiest when they learn to praise him.”  Ephesians 5:8 states, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” We used to walk in darkness but when Jesus- the light of the world came He turned our darkness/mourning into joy and light. We make a “joyful sound unto the Lord when we are Ephesians 5:19Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” All believers have the authority to call upon the name of Jesus. When we do that, “our horn [strength] shall be exalted.” Why? The Almighty King of Israel is our defender. He wants us to have a harmonious relationship with Him.

Prayer: Lord, we thank you that we know that you are our provider, or defense, our defender, and the one who loves us. May our lips be continual instruments of praise to you, and only you.

 

Verses 19-29: You chose me to be your king and the king of your people Israel.

19 Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20 I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 25 I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. 26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation. 27 Also, I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him forevermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure forever, and his throne as the days of heaven.

Now the psalmist talks about God’s choice for king. He was not an adult. He was not known as a mighty warrior. He was not from a family of mighty warriors. Yet, God chose him to be king over His people. The psalmist makes sit clear that God also promised some specific things when He made David King over Israel through “his holy one-Nathan the prophet.” David was anointed king with Holy Oil. Acts 13:22 Yah made David strong. Psalm 80:17  (KJV) 17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself. David, like, Jesus had divine protection. John 10:17-18Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Jesus was never under the control of Satan. You and I are NEVER going to be under the control of the devil and his mignons. No one can touch us without God’s permission. So, what about our children? They have God’s protection over them too. Read all of 2 Samuel 7:8-10 – and the entire chapter to see the hand of God’s protection over Davids’s life. Here is the thing. Either we trust Yah to do that, or we don’t. There really is no in-between with God. There is no. I am going to trust you, God, but I have to make sure that my family is safe.

 

David’s relationship with God was a father-son relationship. Our relationship with Yah is also a father-child relationship. God remains faithful to his people today, John1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” His only and only son became our living sacrifice. David’s seed received the promise that God made to David in 1 Sam. 2:10| Jesus is that exalted horn. David prayed to Yah, and he/David was established on the everlasting Rock. Jesus was the Rock of my salvation. He is the king of king 1 Timothy 6:15 “Which in his times he shall show, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;” 

The covenant promise between God and David, that David’s kingdom will live on forever, was confirmed in Christ and the establishment of His kingdom that will last forever. See Deut. 11:21; Isa. 9:6-9. But what happens when the children of David and or the children of men, after Christ arose and went up to His Father, sins habitually?

 

Verses 30-37

30 If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judgments; 31 If they break my statutes and keep not my commandments; 32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes? 33 Nevertheless, my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.34 My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 

The psalmist lays the foundation for what will happen in the next section of this Psalm.  He reminds the people that divine protection is conditional. So there are consequences for refusing to follow God. This section of the Psalm describes the nature of the natural children of David. They did not keep the law of God. They did break His statutes and His commandments.  Once God has said something, it becomes fact, and He will not change it. So, how then can God fulfill the covenant agreement? 

His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. 37 It shall be established forever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.

He cannot fulfill it in David’s seed as part of David’s physical genealogy, but In Jesus Christ, He can. Jesus is known as the son of David. See Acts 2:29-36. This is talking about Yah’s church and kingdom. It was talking about when the dark night of satan’s reign was ended by the rising of the Son of Righteousness, and by the continued bright shining of the Gospel ministry. It has continued throughout the centuries. Such as in the times of Constantine, when the church was clothed with the sun. Also, during the period of the Reformation, when Christ appeared with a rainbow on his head, and his face was as the sun (Rev. 12:1). It will especially be the case of the church in the latter day, when the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun sevenfold, as the light of seven days. And when the new Jerusalem, city, the church, will stand in no need of the sun nor of the moon.

 

And also in the New Jerusalem when the saints will shine like the sun in the kingdom of God (see Isa. 30:26 and Rev 21). The seed of David, spoken of here, is Jesus Christ and His followers. The throne is Jesus’ throne. He is even now seated at the right hand of the Father. But I am looking forward to the day when He will return.

My musings or thoughts for today.

Reference

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

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