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 forever:
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 forever,
and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
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 LORD?
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.
Psalm 89 is a wonderful tribute to the goodness and loving-kindness of the Lord. Let us look at the first few verses together.
I Will Sing
I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever,
I will sing, I will sing….
How many of you remember singing that song in Sunday school or church? This happy little chorus, taken directly from the Word of God, has fallen off my lips many times while my hands were busy with housework and cleaning. You may listen to it by clicking the link below.
With My Mouth
With my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.
Wow! There’s a mouthful here—literally! I am a writer, and most of you who are reading my blog are writers. David too was a writer, a writer of psalms. But he said, “With my mouth will I make known….” He didn’t just write down his praises and hope someone would find and read them someday. He talked about the faithfulness of the Lord everywhere he went, to everyone with whom he spoke. Are you as comfortable talking about the goodness of God as you are in talking about business or sports? Am I? If our relationship with God is genuine, then talking about Him should come just as naturally as talking with Him does.
I Made a Promise
3 I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn unto David My servant,
4 Thy seed will I establish forever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.
The theme of this psalm is God’s faithfulness to keep His promise that David’s family will perpetually reign over Judah. God did keep that promise, as you can see in this timeline.
Of course, David could not see into the future, so he had to trust God by faith, believing that God would keep his promise, based upon His character and past performance. How many us have enough faith to trust God to accomplish something beyond our own lifetime? Well, if you have trusted Him to take you to heaven someday, then that’s a good start.
Faithful As the Stars
Let’s look at verses 2 and 5 together.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up forever: Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens.
5 And the heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O LORD: Thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.
David compares God’s faithfulness to the most faithful part of all creation, the heavens. The sun rises at a predictable time and place every morning and sets every evening in the same manner. The moon also remains consistent in its cycle. The constellations are fixed in the sky so that sailors can navigate by them. This has been true since the beginning of time. We all see the faithfulness of the heavens. Now David asserts that God’s faithfulness is the same. It is as though God’s faithfulness is fixed in the heavens right alongside Pleiades, Orion, or Ursa Major. Who knows? Perhaps God created all those billions of celestial bodies for the sole purpose of demonstrating His faithfulness in a visible manner to us.
But there is more here. David says, The heavens shall praise Thy wonders, O LORD, Thy faithfulness also….
The ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise will come when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth, this time not as our humble Savior, but as our sovereign King. He will rebuild the temple in Jerusalem and establish His throne there. Jesus was born into the line of David, so when He returns, He will fulfill the promise of old in a more significant way than any man ever could—by the redemption of mankind and the destruction of the enemy of the soul. Yes, that old serpent, the devil, is running loose right now, but his days are numbered, and he knows it. The angels in heaven shall praise the wonders of the Lord and His faithfulness. They cannot partake in redemption, but they can rejoice as witnesses of it. Isn’t that amazing!
God Is Great
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.
My heart is filled with awe at the wonder of who God is, and the fact that He cares at all about the likes of me. Another song comes to mind just now, “Lord, I stand, I stand in awe of You….” God is my Father, my Abba, this much is very true. I have an intimate relationship with Him. I can talk to Him about anything. I trust Him with my life—with every last detail.
But He is also my God, and as my God, He deserves utmost reverence. I dare not be flippant or disrespectful with my God. This is not to say that I cannot be real with Him, but simply that I must always bear in mind that although He has elevated me to the rank of daughter and friend, He is still my superior in every way. It is hard to explain because we have no perfect example in the realm of human relationships. Oh, some of us are blessed enough to have wonderful relationships with our mothers or fathers that come close to what our heavenly Father desires to have with us, but even that is not the same. At best, it is merely a taste of what we can enjoy when God is real to us. Perhaps the best friend of the POTUS can relate. I don’t know, for I don’t suppose any of my friends shall ever be elected as President of the United States, so I won’t ever know what that’s like. But I imagine that at some point the intimacy of the friendship must end and respect for the office must begin.
What About You?
What has all of this meant to you? On what promises have you laid hold? David trusted God completely, even though His promise could not possibly have been fulfilled in his lifetime. Read your Bible and see the faithfulness of God. See that He has never broken a single promise, ever. All He has said, He will do.
John 14:13 And whatsoever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
I close with a passage from the prophet Jeremiah. He was nick-named “the weeping prophet,” and for good reason. Jeremiah lived during a dark time and preached to a stubborn and rebellious people who did not want to listen to the truth. He was placed in a filthy dungeon where he lived with rats and literally had no place to look but up. Yet in spite of his hardships, hear his words of hope and praise to our Lord:
Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
In today’s reflection, we barely scratched the surface of the goodness and loving-kindness of the Lord in Psalm 89, but I encourage you to dig much deeper into the truths God has placed here for you to discover.
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Photo taken in Milton, FL 2018
Genealogy of OT Kings of Judah and Israel courtesy of nathanrichardson.com