Summary: Sometimes we falsely believe that because we belong to God we can do no wrong and God must bless everything we do. What we must realize is that as we move in concert with how God wants us to move that things will line up for His glory.
The three psalms we are looking at today have this theme in common: love God, be linked to God, let God set the agenda. Psalm 89 finishes off Book III of the psalter. It is a wonderful restatement of God’s promises to David about the Messiah, but then ends with somewhat of a repudiation of Yahweh whom the psalmist sees is not following through with His promises. It was written by Ethan the Ezrahite who was a Levitical musician. It has strong ties to 2 Samuel 7 and 1 Chronicles 17.
1 – 2
He starts off with a wonderful call to worship. And it is so true. We will sing about the Lord’s covenant love forever. Our times of corporate singing here in this age are like worship team practice for heaven.
Further, he says he will “proclaim” God’s faithfulness to those around him. The idea of God’s faithful love being “built up” comes out of God’s words to David in 2 Samuel 7 where he asks whether David can “build” a house for Yahweh. In verse 11 God declares that He will build the house. This tells us that is it God who saves us and not we ourselves!
Now the psalmist turns to His covenant with David:
3 – 4
This is the basic promise to David, which the psalmist will come back to later. It is significant because the Davidic covenant leads to David’s greater son Jesus the Messiah. The establishment of David’s throne will be accomplished through Jesus. In 2 Samuel 7:13 God declares to David about his son: “He will build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”
5 – 18
Verses 5 – 7 detail Yahweh’s uniqueness.
Verses 8 – 10 His strength (Rahab here represents the chaotic sea)
Verses 11 – 12 His ownership of creation
Verses 12 – 14 His power and character
Verses 15 – 18 the effect on us when we serve and love Yahweh
Next, verses 19 - 37 talk more specifically about the Davidic covenant
19 – 29
19 – 20 Speaks of God choosing David when Samuel anointed him as king to replace Saul in 1 Samuel 10:1.
Verses 21 – 29 I think are really more appropriate for the Messiah, because David experienced defeats in his reign, but Jesus never does!
30 – 37
Here the psalmist talks about Solomon, who married many foreign women and ended up worshiping their gods, and about his later sons who walked steadfastly away from Yahweh. David had some descendants that were faithful, but it got worse and worse until God had to discipline them.
So then starting in verse 38 the psalmist questions, if given this covenant, why is all this happening to us?
38 – 51
This could actually be a description of the Babylonian captivity. If that’s the case, then the psalmist is not Ethan himself, but he is acting in that capacity of one who stands before God and prays for the people.
The psalmist just doesn’t understand what God is doing. How often do we find ourselves in that position?
Is. 55:9 “For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
But just because we can’t understand Him, doesn’t mean we don’t follow Him. Jesus’ disciples understood little of what the Messiah said, but they knew He was the way.
Verse 52 finishes off with the psalmist’s ultimate trust in Yahweh, that despite his lack of understanding, God is still God!
What I like about this psalm is the reminds God of His promises, he rails on God for seemingly not fulfilling them, and then relinquishes himself to God to have His way. Reminding God of His promises resets us to think more strategically then selfishly. Railing on God opens up a channel of honesty, then relinquishing to God helps us to acknowledge that God is in charge, not us!
Psalm 90 begins Book IV. It was written by Moses, the only psalm attributed to him and thus the oldest psalm—written fourteen hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ. It was probably written while Israel walked for forty years in the wilderness and may be the oldest piece of Scripture we have.
1 – 2
Moses first extols God for being a refuge for them. Even though Israel was in a time of discipline for not being faithful when they first approached the Promised Land, God was always faithful and provided them food and water and protection. “You are God” Moses declares and are above everything that was created.
3 – 6
Because of Israel’s disobedience, all of the generation that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness except for Joshua and Caleb. Though God is sovereign over all, man is nothing but dust in comparison. This verse probably inspired Peter to write (2 Peter 3:8) Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.