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Psalm 89

God’s Covenant with David

A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1

I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever;

with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

2

I declare that your steadfast love is established forever;

your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

 

3

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,

I have sworn to my servant David:

4

‘I will establish your descendants forever,

and build your throne for all generations.’ ”Selah

 

5

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,

your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.

6

For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?

Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,

7

a God feared in the council of the holy ones,

great and awesome above all that are around him?

8

O Lord God of hosts,

who is as mighty as you, O Lord?

Your faithfulness surrounds you.

9

You rule the raging of the sea;

when its waves rise, you still them.

10

You crushed Rahab like a carcass;

you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11

The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;

the world and all that is in it—you have founded them.

12

The north and the south—you created them;

Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.

13

You have a mighty arm;

strong is your hand, high your right hand.

14

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;

steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

15

Happy are the people who know the festal shout,

who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;

16

they exult in your name all day long,

and extol your righteousness.

17

For you are the glory of their strength;

by your favor our horn is exalted.

18

For our shield belongs to the Lord,

our king to the Holy One of Israel.

 

19

Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said:

“I have set the crown on one who is mighty,

I have exalted one chosen from the people.

20

I have found my servant David;

with my holy oil I have anointed him;

21

my hand shall always remain with him;

my arm also shall strengthen him.

22

The enemy shall not outwit him,

the wicked shall not humble him.

23

I will crush his foes before him

and strike down those who hate him.

24

My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him;

and in my name his horn shall be exalted.

25

I will set his hand on the sea

and his right hand on the rivers.

26

He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,

my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’

27

I will make him the firstborn,

the highest of the kings of the earth.

28

Forever I will keep my steadfast love for him,

and my covenant with him will stand firm.

29

I will establish his line forever,

and his throne as long as the heavens endure.

30

If his children forsake my law

and do not walk according to my ordinances,

31

if they violate my statutes

and do not keep my commandments,

32

then I will punish their transgression with the rod

and their iniquity with scourges;

33

but I will not remove from him my steadfast love,

or be false to my faithfulness.

34

I will not violate my covenant,

or alter the word that went forth from my lips.

35

Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;

I will not lie to David.

36

His line shall continue forever,

and his throne endure before me like the sun.

37

It shall be established forever like the moon,

an enduring witness in the skies.”Selah

 

38

But now you have spurned and rejected him;

you are full of wrath against your anointed.

39

You have renounced the covenant with your servant;

you have defiled his crown in the dust.

40

You have broken through all his walls;

you have laid his strongholds in ruins.

41

All who pass by plunder him;

he has become the scorn of his neighbors.

42

You have exalted the right hand of his foes;

you have made all his enemies rejoice.

43

Moreover, you have turned back the edge of his sword,

and you have not supported him in battle.

44

You have removed the scepter from his hand,

and hurled his throne to the ground.

45

You have cut short the days of his youth;

you have covered him with shame.Selah

 

46

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?

How long will your wrath burn like fire?

47

Remember how short my time is—

for what vanity you have created all mortals!

48

Who can live and never see death?

Who can escape the power of Sheol?Selah

 

49

Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,

which by your faithfulness you swore to David?

50

Remember, O Lord, how your servant is taunted;

how I bear in my bosom the insults of the peoples,

51

with which your enemies taunt, O Lord,

with which they taunted the footsteps of your anointed.

 

52

Blessed be the Lord forever.

Amen and Amen.


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Ps 89:1-52. Of Ethan—(See on Ps 88:1, title). This Psalm was composed during some season of great national distress, perhaps Absalom's rebellion. It contrasts the promised prosperity and perpetuity of David's throne (with reference to the great promise of 2Sa 7:12-17), with a time when God appeared to have forgotten His covenant. The picture thus drawn may typify the promises and the adversities of Christ's kingdom, and the terms of confiding appeal to God provided appropriate prayers for the divine aid and promised blessing.

1. mercies—those promised (Isa 55:3; Ac 13:34), and—

faithfulness—that is, in fulfilling them.

2. I have said—expressed, as well as felt, my convictions (2Co 4:13).

3, 4. The object of this faith expressed in God's words (2Sa 7:11-16).

with—or literally, "to"

my chosen—as the covenant is in the form of a promise.

6, 7. This is worthy of our belief, for His faithfulness (is praised) by the congregation of saints or holy ones; that is, angels (compare De 33:2; Da 8:13).

sons of the mighty—(compare Ps 29:1). So is He to be admired on earth.

8-14. To illustrate His power and faithfulness examples are cited from history. His control of the sea (the most mighty and unstable object in nature), and of Egypt (Ps 87:4), the first great foe of Israel (subjected to utter helplessness from pride and insolence), are specimens. At the same time, the whole frame of nature founded and sustained by Him, Tabor and Hermon for "east and west," and "north and south," together representing the whole world, declare the same truth as to His attributes.

12. rejoice in thy name—praise Thy perfections by their very existence.

15. His government of righteousness is served by "mercy" and "truth" as ministers (Ps 85:10-13).

know the joyful sound—understand and appreciate the spiritual blessings symbolized by the feasts to which the people were called by the trumpet (Le 25:9, &c.).

walk … countenance—live in His favor (Ps 4:6; 44:3).

16, 17. in—or, "by"

thy righteousness—Thy faithful just rule.

glory—or, "beauty."

of their strength—They shall be adorned as well as protected.

our horn—exalt our power (Ps 75:10; Lu 1:69).

18. (Margin). Thus is introduced the promise to "our shield," "our king," David.

19-37. Then—when the covenant was established, of whose execution the exalted views of God now given furnish assurance.

thou … to thy holy one—or godly saint, object of favor (Ps 4:3). Nathan is meant (2Sa 7:17; 1Ch 17:3-15).

laid help—literally, "given help." David was chosen and then exalted.

20. I have found—having sought and then selected him (1Sa 16:1-6).

21. will protect and sustain (Isa 41:10),

22-25. by restraining and conquering his enemies, and performing My gracious purpose of extending his dominion—

25. hand [and] right hand—power (Ps 17:7; 60:5).

sea, and … rivers—limits of his empire (Ps 72:8).

26, 27. first-born—one who is chief, most beloved or distinguished (Ex 4:22; Col 1:15). In God's sight and purposes he was the first among all monarchs, and specially so in his typical relation to Christ.

28-37. This relation is perpetual with David's descendants, as a whole typical in official position of his last greatest descendant. Hence though in personal relations any of them might be faithless and so punished, their typical relation shall continue. His oath confirms His promise, and the most enduring objects of earth and heaven illustrate its perpetual force (Ps 72:5, 7, 17).

35. Once—one thing (Ps 27:4).

by my holiness—as a holy God.

that I will not lie—literally, "if I lie"—part of the form of swearing (1Sa 24:6; 2Sa 3:35).

37. It shall … moon … heaven—literally, "As the moon, and the witness in the sky is sure, that is, the moon."

38-52. present a striking contrast to these glowing promises, in mournful evidences of a loss of God's favor.

cast off—and rejected (compare Ps 15:4; 43:2; 44:9).

39. An insult to the "crown," as of divine origin, was a profanation.

40-45. The ruin is depicted under several figures—a vineyard whose broken "hedges," and "strongholds," whose ruins invite spoilers and invaders; a warrior, whose enemies are aided by God, and whose sword's "edge"—literally, "rock" or "strength" (Jos 5:2) is useless; and a youth prematurely old.

45. days of his youth—or, "youthful vigor," that is, of the royal line, or promised perpetual kingdom, under the figure of a man.

46. How long, &c.—(Compare Ps 13:1; 88:14; Jer 4:4).

47. These expostulations are excited in view of the identity of the prosperity of this kingdom with the welfare of all mankind (Ge 22:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 9:7; 11:1-10); for if such is the fate of this chosen royal line.

48. What man—literally, "strong man—shall live?" and, indeed, have not all men been made in vain, as to glorifying God?

49-51. The terms of expostulation are used in view of the actual appearance that God had forsaken His people and forgotten His promise, and the plea for aid is urged in view of the reproaches of His and His people's enemies (compare Isa 37:17-35).

50. bear in my bosom—as feeling the affliction of the people (Ps 69:9).

footsteps—ways (Ps 56:6).

52. Blessed, &c.—denotes returning confidence (Ps 34:1-3).

Amen, and Amen—closes the third book of Psalms.




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