A Throne Forever
God made a covenant with David, promising that his kingdom would last forever. And yet after the reign of David’s son Solomon, the kingdom was divided, and within a few hundred years both the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom were destroyed (2 Kings 17 and 25).
For those living in the generations of captivity that followed, God’s promise to David must have seemed like a fairy tale. Their experience held no evidence of any great Israelite kingdom or king on the rise. Psalm 89, written during this time, begins with God’s faithfulness but ends with the people’s troubles: “Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David? Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations” (Psalm 89:49-50). Speaking into that context of distress and hopelessness, the prophets reminded the people, Wait a minute! Though it doesn’t look like God’s promise is still in effect, you can be sure it is, because of His covenant love. There’s more to come. They spoke of the future:
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
There was still, said the prophets, another place, another name, another rest, another kingdom, and another throne to come. The failures of God’s people did not mean that God had forgotten His promise. It would all be fulfilled in Jesus.
History repeats itself. Whether because of disease, persecution, politics or grief, we will at times find ourselves in that place of confusion that Psalm 89 gives voice to. In such a time (which is really any time before Jesus returns), we need prophetic voices to remind us of God’s covenant faithfulness—that our Lord reigns on His throne both now and forever. So today, take heart. Your failures do not mean that God has forgotten His promise. There is more to come.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
I Will Sing of the Steadfast Love of the Lord
A Maskil1 of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
2For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;
in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”
3You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
4‘I will establish your offspring forever,
and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah
5Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
6For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings2 is like the Lord,
7a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all who are around him?
8O Lord God of hosts,
who is mighty as you are, O Lord,
with your faithfulness all around you?
9You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.
10You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it, you have founded them.
12The north and the south, you have created them;
Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13You have a mighty arm;
strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
16who exult in your name all the day
and in your righteousness are exalted.
17For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
18For our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19Of old you spoke in a vision to your godly one,3 and said:
“I have granted help to one who is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20I have found David, my servant;
with my holy oil I have anointed him,
21so that my hand shall be established with him;
my arm also shall strengthen him.
22The enemy shall not outwit him;
the wicked shall not humble him.
23I will crush his foes before him
and strike down those who hate him.
24My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him,
and in my name shall his horn be exalted.
25I will set his hand on the sea
and his right hand on the rivers.
26He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
27And I will make him the firstborn,
the highest of the kings of the earth.
28My steadfast love I will keep for him forever,
and my covenant will stand firm4 for him.
29I will establish his offspring forever
and his throne as the days of the heavens.
30If his children forsake my law
and do not walk according to my rules,5
31if they violate my statutes
and do not keep my commandments,
32then I will punish their transgression with the rod
and their iniquity with stripes,
33but I will not remove from him my steadfast love
or be false to my faithfulness.
34I will not violate my covenant
or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
35Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36His offspring shall endure forever,
his throne as long as the sun before me.
37Like the moon it shall be established forever,
a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah
38But now you have cast off and rejected;
you are full of wrath against your anointed.
39You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
you have defiled his crown in the dust.
40You have breached all his walls;
you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
41All who pass by plunder him;
he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
42You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43You have also turned back the edge of his sword,
and you have not made him stand in battle.
44You have made his splendor to cease
and cast his throne to the ground.
45You have cut short the days of his youth;
you have covered him with shame. Selah
46How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?
How long will your wrath burn like fire?
47Remember how short my time is!
For what vanity you have created all the children of man!
48What man can live and never see death?
Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah
49Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
50Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,
and how I bear in my heart the insults6 of all the many nations,
51with which your enemies mock, O Lord,
with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.
52Blessed be the Lord forever!
Amen and Amen.
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