A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
I will declare that your love stands firm for ever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
You said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
“I will establish your line for ever
and make your throne firm through all generations.”’
The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.
For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?
Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?
In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.
Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?
You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.
You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;
with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;
you founded the world and all that is in it.
You created the north and the south;
Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
Your arm is endowed with power;
your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;(Ps. 89:1-18 NIV)
love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength,
and by your favour you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Here is love vast as the ocean
This Psalm is one of the longer Psalms in the Psalter. Because of the daily meditation style it is not possible to cover the whole Psalm in one meditation. In order not to lose the overall message of the Psalm in subsequent meditations I will refer back to what has been said in this meditation. If you choose to read through the whole Psalm you will see that the tone later in the Psalm differs considerably from these first 18 verses that we will consider today.
The Psalm as a whole has been described as the most poignant poem in all Scripture. The Psalm closes Book 3 of the Psalms and echoes yet exceeds the other lament Psalms of Book 3.
The Psalm is divided into three parts:
- V 1-18 celebrates the covenant faithfulness to God
- V 19-37 reviews the covenant between God and the Davidic king
- V 38-52 a dark lament over the demise of the Davidic king. V52 is a doxology.
The Psalmist announces that he will sing of the covenant LORD’s great covenant love (hesed) forever. The covenant love is a constant for all eternity.
Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. (Isa. 55:3 NIV)
The Psalmist promises to sing God’s praises to each generation. The faithfulness of the Lord is established in Heaven. The earth is characterised by change and decay, but God’s covenant love is established in Heaven. His covenant love will never fail, God has bound Himself to the covenant by a self-maledictory oath. The future lies with God’s love and faithfulness which are established in heaven. Praise is the appropriate response because God’s love lasts forever.
God has made a covenant with David. God gave David the throne and promised that a king from his family line would inherit the throne. David is a servant king, as are all the kings that would succeed him. The line of David will be established forever, and the throne is secure for all generations. Ultimately this can only be fulfilled in the coming of The Servant King, the Lord Jesus Christ. The relationship between David and the Lord was secured and guaranteed by covenant, made by oath. Even when David or the earthly kings broke the covenant, the binding nature of the covenant means that the Lord will fulfil the covenant. All that is in the heavens praise the Lord for the wonders He has done. In the assembly of the Holy angels God is praised for His faithfulness.
There is no holy angel, no false god, no heavenly being that can begin to compare with the Lord Almighty. The angels fear the Lord because God is more awesome than any being. The Lord is surrounded by His faithfulness.
Not only is the rule of God evident in the heavens, God also rules on earth. God rules the surging seas. When the waves rise up, the Lord can cause them to be still. The name Rahab refers to the Egyptians or indeed any sea monster or any being that represents any expression of hostility.
The heavens and the earth belong to the Lord because God created all things. God created the mountains to the North and the mountains to the South. The Psalmist presents the inanimate creation as singing the praises of God. All creation bears witness to the strength and power of the Lord.
Not only is the Lord’s rule characterised by strength, God’s rule is righteous and just, and God is loving and faithful to His people. It is a comfort to us that God who is almighty in power and strength is also a loving God. To come under the rule of God is to be blessed. God does not absorb us, He makes us more, He completes us as we were created to be in fellowship with God. The presence of the Lord provides light for us to live. When we see light by God’s light, then we walk in that light. When we see light we rejoice and walk in that light. The Lord is our glory and strength and the favour of the Lord resides upon the king. The king belongs to the Lord and his right to rule is given to him by God. As God is a shield, so the servant king is to be a shield for his people.
The Servant King, the Lord Jesus Christ is sent by the Father and He is our shield. By His death we are shielded from the wrath of God.
Lord God, we are recipients of Your great love. We were rebellious and defiant in our rebellion, yet out of love You have redeemed us out of the slave market of sin. The Servant King became the suffering King, bearing our sin in His own body upon the cross. Lord we delight to sing of Your love and to meditate upon the wonders of salvation. Receive our praise and thanksgiving through the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.