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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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Verses 1–4

Though our expectations may be disappointed, yet God's promises are established in the heavens, in his eternal counsels; they are out of the reach of opposers in hell and earth. And faith in the boundless mercy and everlasting truth of God, may bring comfort even in the deepest trials.

Verses 5–14

The more God's works are known, the more they are admired. And to praise the Lord, is to acknowledge him to be such a one that there is none like him. Surely then we should feel and express reverence when we worship God. But how little of this appears in our congregations, and how much cause have we to humble ourselves on this account! That almighty power which smote Egypt, will scatter the enemies of the church, while all who trust in God's mercy will rejoice in his name; for mercy and truth direct all he does. His counsels from eternity, and their consequences to eternity, are all justice and judgment.

Verses 15–18

Happy are those who so know the joyful sound of the gospel as to obey it; who experience its power upon their hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives. Though believers are nothing in themselves, yet having all in Christ Jesus, they may rejoice in his name. May the Lord enable us to do so. The joy of the Lord is the strength of his people; whereas unbelief dispirits ourselves and discourages others. Though it steals upon us under a semblance of humility, yet it is the very essence of pride. Christ is the Holy One of Israel; and in him was that peculiar people more blessed than in any other blessing.

Verses 19–37

The Lord anointed David with the holy oil, not only as an emblem of the graces and gifts he received, but as a type of Christ, the King Priest, and Prophet, anointed with the Holy Ghost without measure. David after his anointing, was persecuted, but none could gain advantage against him. Yet all this was a faint shadow of the Redeemer's sufferings, deliverance, glory, and authority, in whom alone these predictions and promises are fully brought to pass. He is the mighty God. This is the Redeemer appointed for us, who alone is able to complete the work of our salvation. Let us seek an interest in these blessings, by the witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. As the Lord corrected the posterity of David for their transgressions, so his people shall be corrected for their sins. Yet it is but a rod, not a sword; it is to correct, not to destroy. It is a rod in the hand of God, who is wise, and knows what he does; gracious, and will do what is best. It is a rod which they shall never feel, but when there is need. As the sun and moon remain in heaven, whatever changes there seem to be in them, and again appear in due season; so the covenant of grace made in Christ, whatever alteration seems to come to it, should not be questioned.

Verses 38–52

Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with. They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Pe 3:3, 4. The records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him with praises.




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