PSALM 89 - David's Inheritance 30 Jan 2020
God made a covenant with David and his descendants. Samuel anointed David. David proved himself worthy.
Generations later the psalmist remembers first God's character and then the treaty God had made with David. And he claims courageously that God had abandoned the contract. Israel was suffering. And the psalmist boldly reminds God to the covenant he had made with David. God could not and can not refuse to fulfill his promises! He is faithful.
1 [Poem. For Ethan the native-born]
I shall sing the faithful love of Yahweh for ever,
from age to age my lips shall declare your constancy,
2 for you have said:
love is built to last for ever,
you have fixed your constancy firm in the heavens.
3 'I have made a covenant with my Chosen One,
sworn an oath to my servant David:
4 I have made your dynasty firm for ever,
built your throne stable age after age.' Pause
5 The heavens praise your wonders, Yahweh,
your constancy in the gathering of your faithful.
6 Who in the skies can compare with Yahweh?
Who among the sons of god can rival him?
7 God, awesome in the assembly of holy ones,
great and dreaded among all who surround him,
8 Yahweh, God Sabaoth, who is like you?
Mighty Yahweh, your constancy is all round you!
9 You control the pride of the ocean,
when its waves ride high you calm them.
10 You split Rahab in two like a corpse,
scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 Yours are the heavens and yours the earth,
the world and all it holds, you founded them;
12 you created the north and the south,
Tabor and Hermon hail your name with joy.
13 Yours is a strong arm, mighty your hand,
your right hand raised high;
14 Saving Justice and Fair Judgement the foundations of your throne,
Faithful Love and Constancy march before you.
15 How blessed the nation that learns to acclaim you!
They will live, Yahweh, in the light of your presence.
16 In your name they rejoice all day long,
by your saving justice they are raised up.
17 You are the flower of their strength,
by your favour our strength is triumphant;
18 for to Yahweh belongs our shield,
to the Holy One of Israel our king.
19 Once you spoke in a vision,
to your faithful you said:
'I have given strength to a warrior,
I have raised up a man chosen from my people.
20 'I have found David my servant,
and anointed him with my holy oil.
21 My hand will always be with him,
my arm will make him strong.
22 'No enemy will be able to outwit him,
no wicked man overcome him;
23 I shall crush his enemies before him,
strike his opponents dead.
24 'My constancy and faithful love will be with him,
in my name his strength will be triumphant.
25 I shall establish his power over the sea,
his dominion over the rivers.
26 'He will cry to me,
"You are my father, my God,
the rock of my salvation!" 27 So I shall make him my first-born,
the highest of earthly kings.
28 'I shall maintain my faithful love for him always,
my covenant with him will stay firm.
29 I have established his dynasty for ever,
his throne to be as lasting as the heavens.
30 'Should his descendants desert my law,
and not keep to my rulings,
31 should they violate my statutes,
and not observe my commandments,
32 'then I shall punish their offences with the rod,
their guilt with the whip,
33 but I shall never withdraw from him my faithful love,
I shall not belie my constancy.
34 'I shall not violate my covenant,
I shall not withdraw the word once spoken.
35 I have sworn by my holiness, once and for all,
never will I break faith with David.
36 'His dynasty shall endure for ever,
his throne like the sun before me,
37 as the moon is established for ever,
a faithful witness in the skies.' Pause
38 Yet you yourself -- you have spurned and rejected,
and have vented your wrath on your anointed,
39 you have repudiated the covenant with your servant,
dishonoured his crown in the dust.
40 You have pierced all his defences,
and laid his strongholds in ruins,
41 everyone passing by plunders him,
he has become the butt of his neighbours.
42 You have raised high the right hand of his opponents,
have made all his enemies happy;
43 you have snapped off his sword on a rock,
and failed to support him in battle.
44 You have stripped him of his splendid sceptre,
and toppled his throne to the ground.
45 You have aged him before his time,
enveloped him in shame. Pause
46 How long, Yahweh, will you remain hidden? For ever?
Is your anger to go on smouldering like a fire?
47 Remember me; how long have I left?
For what pointless end did you create all the children of Adam? 48 Who can live and never see death?
Who can save himself from the clutches of Sheol? Pause
49 Lord, what of those pledges of your faithful love?
You made an oath to David by your constancy.
50 Do not forget the insults to your servant;
I take to heart the taunts of the nations,
51 which your enemies have levelled, Yahweh,
have levelled at the footsteps of your anointed!
52 Blessed be Yahweh for ever. Amen, Amen.
Excerpt from THE NEW JERUSALEM BIBLE, copyright (c) 1985 by
Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday, a division
of Penguin Random House, Inc. Reprinted by Permission.