Psalms 89

A "maskil" of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 Lord, I will sing about your great love forever. For all time to come, I will tell how faithful you are.
2 I will tell everyone that your love stands firm forever. I will tell them that you are always faithful, even in heaven itself.
3 You said, "Here is the covenant I have made with my chosen one. Here is the promise I have made to my servant David.
4 'I will make your family line continue forever. I will make your kingdom secure for all time to come.' " "Selah"
5 Lord, the heavens praise you for your miracles. When your holy angels gather together, they praise you for how faithful you are.
6 Who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who among the angels is like the Lord?
7 God is highly respected among his holy angels. He's more wonderful than all those who are around him.
8 LORD God who rules over all, who is like you? Lord, you are mighty. You are faithful in everything you do.
9 You rule over the stormy sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them down.
10 You crushed Egypt and killed her people. With your powerful arm you scattered your enemies.
11 The heavens belong to you. The earth is yours also. You made the world and everything that is in it.
12 You created everything from north to south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you with joy.
13 Your arm is powerful. Your hand is strong. Your right hand is mighty.
14 Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Your truth and faithful love lead the way in front of you.
15 Blessed are those who have learned to shout praise to you. Lord, they live in the light of your favor.
16 All day long they are full of joy because of who you are. They praise you because you do what is right.
17 You are their glory. You give them strength. You favor them by honoring our king.
18 Our king is like a shield that keeps us safe. He belongs to the Lord. He belongs to the Holy One of Israel.
19 You once spoke to your faithful people in a vision. You said, "I have given strength to a soldier. I have raised up a young man from among the people.
20 I have found my servant David. I have poured my sacred oil on his head.
21 My powerful hand will keep him going. My mighty arm will give him strength.
22 No enemies will require him to bring gifts to them. No evil person will beat him down.
23 I will crush the king's enemies. I will completely destroy them.
24 I will love him and be faithful to him. Because of me his power will increase.
25 I will give him a great kingdom. It will reach from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River.
26 He will call out to me, 'You are my Father. You are my God. You are my Rock and Savior.'
27 I will also make him my oldest son. Among all the kings of the earth, he will be the most important one.
28 I will continue to love him forever. I will never break my covenant with him.
29 I will make his family line continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the heavens.
30 "What if his sons turn away from my laws and do not follow them?
31 What if they disobey my orders and fail to keep my commands?
32 Then I will punish them for their sins. I will strike them with the rod. I will whip them for their evil acts.
33 But I will not stop loving David. I will always be faithful to him.
34 I will not break my covenant. I will not go back on my word.
35 Once and for all, I have made a promise with an oath. It is based on my holiness. And I will not lie to David.
36 His family line will continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the sun.
37 It will last forever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky." "Selah"
38 But you have turned your back on your anointed king. You have been very angry with him.
39 You have broken the covenant you made with him. You have thrown your servant's crown into the dirt.
40 You have broken through the walls around his city. You have completely destroyed his secure places.
41 All those who pass by have carried off what belonged to him. His neighbors make fun of him.
42 You have made his enemies strong. You have made all of them happy.
43 You have made his sword useless. You have not helped him in battle.
44 You have put an end to his glory. You have knocked his throne to the ground.
45 You have cut short the days of his life. You have covered him with shame. "Selah"
46 Lord, how long will you hide yourself? Will it be forever? How long will your anger burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my life is. You have created all people for such a useless purpose!
48 What man can live and not die? Who can escape the power of the grave? "Selah"
49 Lord, where is the great love you used to have? You faithfully promised it to David.
50 Lord, remember how my enemies have made fun of me. I've had to put up with mean words from all of the nations.
51 Lord, your enemies have said mean things. They have laughed at everything your anointed king has done.
52 Give praise to the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

Psalms 89 Commentary

Chapter 89

God's mercy and truth, and his covenant. (1-4) The glory and perfection of God. (5-14) The happiness of those in communion with him. (15-18) God's covenant with David, as a type of Christ. (19-37) A calamitous state lamented, Prayer for redress. (38-52)

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 ( 2 Peter. 3:3 2 Peter. 3:4 ) 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.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 89 Commentaries