Friday, September 16, 2011

Psalm 89

1 I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
3 I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,
4 Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
5 And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
6 For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
9 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 shall rejoice in thy name.
13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation 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 favour our horn shall be exalted.
18 For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.
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 for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him.
29 His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven.
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 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
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 strong holds 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.
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.
46 How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?
48 What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah.
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;
51 Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.
52 Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.

Key Verse:
27 Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.

Key Observation:
The last of the Leviticus Psalms. A psalm of Ethan, a psalm to praise the faithfulness of God.

Memory Verse:
35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.


This psalm describes the faithfulness of God in all of his promises to David. It goes along with 2 Samuel 7, where God affirms his covenant with David. Says McGee:
“The faithfulness of God is mentioned ten times, which makes it obvious that the psalmist is emphasizing His faithfulness. The word covenant is mentioned four times, and with it God says, “I have sworn” three times. Also “I- will not lie” occurs four times. It is quite a contrast with the previous psalm which was all gloom and no glory. The one is all glory and no gloom.”
It is yet another psalm where God promises something which too many Christians symbolize today. I read often in books that God did not mean Israel; it was just that the church had not yet replaced Israel, and God had no way of communicating to us that He intended to somehow morph Israel into the church. I think of the prophets of Baal, who missed totally the message of God, thinking He was other than He was. God is simply who He is. He has revealed himself in the Word, not to be fancifully rearranged to whatever meaning the reader wants to give—rather God makes literal statements about Himself that we, as interpreters, better do our very best to take literally. Where is the Lord God of Elijah? Perhaps if we start believing God like Elijah we will see our God delivering us as spectacularly as He delivered Elijah.

At any rate the promise is repeated in this psalm, “31If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments;” still He will be faithful to His promises. I cannot say it strongly enough, in no sense are we supplanters of Israel; God is going to do what He will through Israel, and will not change His mind. If it could be otherwise, then we could have no confidence in God because His grace would depend on our behavior, something that could never be.

There are still some (there used to be many more before all the terrible wars and atrocities of the last century) who teach that we as people will progressively become better and better until the Lord just sort of ‘glides’ in and takes over. Many have taught this pernicious doctrine from the time of Augustine, and it never has been literal. In fact, my study of history teaches me that as men began to de-literalize Scripture, they also began to fall away from the Truth. The Reformation can be looked at as the beginning of men trying once more to take God’s Word literally. Luther once more discovered for men that men are saved by faith alone.

This psalm teaches that God will send Christ to “make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.” There is no other interpretation possible; He means what He says. Take Him literally, and watch for our “Blessed Hope”.

The King is Coming
(Bill Gaither)

Praise God, He's coming for me

The marketplace is empty, no more traffic in the street
All the builder's tools are silent, no more time to harvest wheat
Busy housewives cease their labor, in the courtroom no debate
Work on earth has been suspended as the King comes through the gate

Happy faces line the hallway, those whose lives have been redeemed
Broken homes He has mended, those from prison He has freed
Little children and the aged hand in hand stand all a-glow
Who were crippled, broken, ruined, clad in garments white as snow

The King is coming, the King is coming
I just heard the trumpet sounding and soon His face I'll see
The King is coming, the King is coming
Praise God, He's coming for me

I can hear the chariot's rumble, I can see the marching throng
And the fury of God's trumpet spells the end of sin and wrong
Regal rolls are now unfolded, heaven's grandstands all in place
Heaven's choir is now assembled, start to sing 'Amazing Grace'

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