Summary: Of David, and of Christ.


Psalm 89:1-4; Psalm 89:19-26.

The Psalmist Ethan twice applauds the LORD’s mercy and faithfulness (Psalm 89:1-2). This reassurance is rooted in the LORD’s covenant promise to David (Psalm 89:3). The “seed” whose throne is “for ever” (Psalm 89:4) ultimately refers to the promised seed of the woman (cf. Genesis 3:15), and the singular seed of Abraham, ‘which is Christ’ (cf. Galatians 3:16).

David had wanted to build a house for the LORD (cf. 2 Samuel 7:1-2), but the LORD intended rather to build the ‘house’ - i.e., the dynasty - of David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:16). Even during the dark years of the Exile, when there was once more no apparent ‘King’ in Israel, the dispersed Jews held on to the hope of One who would come to re-establish David’s kingdom. Then one day the LORD returned, and taking up a new tabernacle walked right back into the lives of His people (cf. John 1:14).

Psalm 89:19a. The “holy one” is the prophet Samuel, who anointed David (cf. 1 Samuel 16:13). Thus the LORD “laid help upon one that is mighty.” David was already mighty in the LORD, though of apparently lowly birth.

Psalm 89:19b. David was “one chosen out of the people”: one of themselves. The LORD took David ‘from following the sheep,’ and “exalted” him ‘to be ruler’ over His people Israel (cf. 2 Samuel 7:8). The LORD had sought a ‘man after His own heart’, and found him in David (cf. Acts 13:22).

Yet David appears here very much as a type of Jesus Christ. Our Lord’s origins appear lowly: ‘laid in a manger’ at His birth (cf. Luke 2:7). He too is “chosen” by God. He, too, is “one chosen out of the people”, who, for the people, is “exalted” to represent us before the throne of God.

Psalm 89:20. “David my servant” becomes the LORD’s anointed. In this, too, David is a type of our Lord. Jesus is also “anointed” (as the title ‘Christ’ indicates), and Jesus is the Servant of the LORD par excellence (cf. Mark 10:45).

Psalm 89:21. It is only by God’s “hand” + “arm” (= strength) that David is a victor. There is a little refrain, ‘and the LORD preserved David wherever he went’ (cf. 2 Samuel 8:6b and 2 Samuel 8:14b). Jesus became a victor by submitting His will to the LORD, ‘and there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him’ (cf. Luke 22:42-43).

Psalm 89:22. Because of the LORD, enemies would be unable to stand before David (cf. 2 Samuel 7:9-10). The “wicked” would no longer be able to afflict him, or his people. Jesus has overcome even the ‘last enemy’, which is death (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:26), on behalf of His people.

Psalm 89:23. Mr C. H. Spurgeon suggests, ‘God Himself thus fights the battles of His Son, and effectually overturns His foes’ (Treasury of David).

Psalm 89:24a. “My faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him.” This connects back to the covenant language of Psalm 89:1-2. The faithfulness of the LORD undergirds all of his dealings with His people.

Psalm 89:24b. David is ‘exalted.’ Jesus is ‘exalted’ above all (cf. Philippians 2:9-11).

Psalm 89:25. The picture here is of the sway that David would have in an Empire which should stretch from the Mediterranean “sea” to the Euphrates “river.” This is a type of Christ’s dominion ‘from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth’ (cf. Psalm 72:8).

Psalm 89:26. David “shall” cry to the LORD, “my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.” Jesus would address the LORD as His “Father” often in prayer. David never did, nor anyone in the Old Testament: but we can (cf. Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6-7).

Jesus addressed the LORD as “my God” when on the Cross (cf. Mark 15:34).

Jesus is THE Son of God (Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7), and we are sons in Him (cf. Galatians 3:26). HE is “the rock of our salvation,” and David’s too (cf. 2 Samuel 22:47). ‘Neither is there salvation found in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (cf. Acts 4:12).