“Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?” – Psalm 89:49
Scripture reading: Psalm 89:38-52
Read Ps. 89:38-45 to experience the shocking reality of God’s justice against sin. Ethan describes a time when Yahweh punished David’s family-king (38-39) and humiliated him (43-45) by sending cruel enemies (42) to smash his military forts and Jerusalem’s walls (40-41). Ethan is a contemporary of Solomon (1 Kings 4:31), so he likely has in mind Shishak (pharaoh of Egypt) who attacked Rehoboam (David’s grandson) and forced him and Judah to slavery (see 2 Chronicles 12:1–12).
Read Ps. 89:46-48 to know the anxious misery of sin’s consequences. Through agonizing questions and desperate cries Ethan pleads with Yahweh to rescue him from death.
Read Ps. 89:49-51 to develop a passion that is more consumed with Yahweh’s honour than personal comfort. Ethan feels insulting shame when enemies mock Yahweh’s anointed king (50-51). That explains his daring question, “Lord, where is Your steadfast love of old, which by Your faithfulness You swore to David?” (v.49).
Ethan’s song will be fitting for a later generation when Nebuchadnezzar shackles king Zedekiah (David’s 19th generation grandson) with chains, strips the temple of its gold and valuables, slaughters the residents of Jerusalem and burns the royal city to the ground like a bulldozer (see 2 Kings 24:8–25:30).
For the next 600 years, faithful saints will ask about Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness to David. That’s why Ethan ends the song with “Amen and Amen” (51) which means “I believe!” or “Faithful!” Yes, God is loving and faithful. Jesus’ kingdom is coming!
Suggestions for prayer
Confess that your sins and the sins of the church shame Christ’s kingdom. Ask to be consumed more by Christ’s kingdom than personal comfort – especially when the powers of wealth and politics make the church seem small and insignificant.
Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.