Once you spoke in a vision,
to your faithful people you said:
‘I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
I have raised up a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant;
with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him;
surely my arm will strengthen him.
The enemy will not get the better of him;
the wicked will not oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him
and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, “You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Saviour.”
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,
the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him for ever,
and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line for ever,
his throne as long as the heavens endure.
‘If his sons forsake my law(Ps. 89:19-37 NIV)
and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees
and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod,
their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him,
nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant
or alter what my lips have uttered.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness –
and I will not lie to David –
that his line will continue for ever
and his throne endure before me like the sun;
it will be established for ever like the moon,
the faithful witness in the sky.’
My Lord what love is this
V 19-37 reviews the covenant between God and the Davidic king. The covenant with David was a further development of the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenant. Those who are in Christ share in the benefits of the covenant.
The Lord spoke through a vision and revealed that He had chosen David and had anointed him with oil. The choice of David was not inherent in anything within him but was chosen by the Sovereign God’s free election. The Lord exalted David and gave him strength. The hand of the Lord will sustain the king. All his enemies will be defeated and the wicked will not be able to defeat or subdue him. The Lord, mighty in battle, will crush all his foes and strike down every adversary. The real source of David’s power and authority lay with the Lord’s presence and purpose. The goal of the Lord’s presence with David was to extend his dominion over the earth. The Lord was with the Servant King, the Lord Jesus Christ and the goal is to exert His kingdom rule over the earth, through the preaching of the Gospel.
It is not just strength that the Lord gives to the king. The love of God will be with him, and through the name of the Lord his strength is exalted. The reign of the king was to extend to the whole earth, over the seas and the rivers. This was never realised in the reign of David or any of his sons, but it will be realised in the Lord Jesus Christ.
The king is acknowledged to be a son of God. He will be able to address God as Father. The relationship was one of children to a Father. God will be his Rock and Saviour. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Servant King is the Son of God. The Lord invested an incredible weight of glory in the king. He was appointed as the privileged firstborn, he is the most high king appointed by the Most High God. In a very special sense the privileges, promises, and covenants of the people of God are conferred upon the king. Allegiance to the king and acceptance of his position as the Lord’s anointed is requisite for one’s enjoyment of the benefits of the covenant. This sets the scene for how we enjoy the benefits of the covenant, the benefits of salvation today. The Lord’s people are in union with Christ and the blessings of salvation that we enjoy, we enjoy them in union with Christ.
The Lord maintains His commitment to the king. God’s covenant love (hesed) will last forever and the covenant promises will be with the king and will never fail. The love of God towards us today is as strong as God, His promises are ‘yes’ to us in Jesus Christ. When we were outside of Christ, all the benefits of salvation remained outside of us. Now that we are in union with Christ, we have entered that sphere of blessing. The line of Judah will be established forever. When the people of the tribe of Judah were taken into exile, that royal line became very thin. God maintained a remnant group for Himself. Through exile and then occupation, the royal line did not seem so royal. But the Lord had His mighty hand upon that line, because the Lion of the tribe of Judah would be born in the city of David. The royal throne endures eternally through Jesus Christ, who rightfully will rule the nations.
The Lord expected the king to be loyal to Him. If the king or his sons turn away from God’s law, fail to follow His statutes, violate His decrees, or fail to keep His commands, then God will punish their sin with the rod of justice and their iniquity with flogging. If the punishment appears severe, it is because sin is severe. God will not take His love (hesed) away from the king. God’s love is abounding love, His punishment is always less than we deserve. God will remain faithful, even in the midst of our unfaithfulness. God will not break covenant or change what He has spoken. God’s people often show contempt for the covenant, but God remains faithful. How insecure our salvation would be if it depended on our obedience. God maintains our salvation in Christ. This should not give us licence to sin but should encourage us to show covenant loyalty.
The fidelity of God is established by God’s holiness. God does not lie; it is an eternal truth that the line of David will never fail. As the sun appears constantly and the moon is established so the line of the king will endure.
Eternal God, great unchanging One, we thank You that You give good and perfect gifts from heaven. As You give us gifts today, so You give us gifts tomorrow and forever. You are the Father of the heavenly lights and do not change like shifting shadows. We thank You that salvation was righteously procured, consistent with Your justice and holiness. Jesus Christ is the Captain of our salvation, we follow and serve Him. We love Him because He first loved us. Lord when we give thanks, we feel it is not enough; give us thankful hearts. Help us to see what life and eternity would be like if we were outside of Christ, so that we might appreciate more what it means to be in union with Christ. Lord accept our praise and thanksgiving and hear our prayer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.