Perplexity about God’s Promises
A Maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
1 I will sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever;
I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations
with my mouth.
2 For I will declare,
“Faithful love is built up forever;
you establish your faithfulness in the heavens.”
3 The Lord said,
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn an oath to David my servant:
4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever
and build up your throne for all generations.’” Selah
5 Lord, the heavens praise your wonders—
your faithfulness also—
in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies can compare with the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings[a] is like the Lord?
7 God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
more awe-inspiring than[b] all who surround him.
8 Lord God of Armies,
who is strong like you, Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule the raging sea;
when its waves surge, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like one who is slain;
you scattered your enemies with your powerful arm.
11 The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours.
The world and everything in it—you founded them.
12 North and south—you created them.
Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
your hand is powerful;
your right hand is lifted high.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation
of your throne;
faithful love and truth go before you.
15 Happy are the people who know the joyful shout;
Lord, they walk in the light from your face.
16 They rejoice in your name all day long,
and they are exalted by your righteousness.
17 For you are their magnificent strength;
by your favor our horn is exalted.
18 Surely our shield[c] belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
19 You once spoke in a vision to your faithful ones
and said, “I have granted help to a warrior;
I have exalted one chosen[d] from the people.
20 I have found David my servant;
I have anointed him with my sacred oil.
21 My hand will always be with him,
and my arm will strengthen him.
22 The enemy will not oppress[e] him;
the wicked will not afflict him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike those who hate him.
24 My faithfulness and love will be with him,
and through my name
his horn will be exalted.
25 I will extend his power to the sea
and his right hand to the rivers.
26 He will call to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, the rock of my salvation.’
27 I will also make him my firstborn,
greatest of the kings of the earth.
28 I will always preserve my faithful love for him,
and my covenant with him will endure.
29 I will establish his line forever,
his throne as long as heaven lasts.[f]
30 If his sons abandon my instruction
and do not live by my ordinances,
31 if they dishonor my statutes
and do not keep my commands,
32 then I will call their rebellion
to account with the rod,
their iniquity with blows.
33 But I will not withdraw
my faithful love from him
or betray my faithfulness.
34 I will not violate my covenant
or change what my lips have said.
35 Once and for all
I have sworn an oath by my holiness;
I will not lie to David.
36 His offspring will continue forever,
his throne like the sun before me,
37 like the moon, established forever,
a faithful witness in the sky.”Selah
38 But you have spurned and rejected him;
you have become enraged with your anointed.
39 You have repudiated the covenant with your servant;
you have completely dishonored his crown.[g]
40 You have broken down all his walls;
you have reduced his fortified cities to ruins.
41 All who pass by plunder him;
he has become an object of ridicule
to his neighbors.
42 You have lifted high the right hand of his foes;
you have made all his enemies rejoice.
43 You have also turned back his sharp sword
and have not let him stand in battle.
44 You have made his splendor[h] cease
and have overturned his throne.
45 You have shortened the days of his youth;
you have covered him with shame.Selah
46 How long, Lord? Will you hide forever?
Will your anger keep burning like fire?
47 Remember how short my life is.
Have you created everyone for nothing?
48 What courageous person can live and never see death?
Who can save himself from the power of Sheol? Selah
49 Lord, where are the former acts of your faithful love
that you swore to David in your faithfulness?
50 Remember, Lord, the ridicule against your servants—
in my heart I carry abuse from all the peoples—
51 how your enemies have ridiculed, Lord,
how they have ridiculed every step of your anointed.
52 Blessed be the Lord forever.
Amen and amen.
King of the Earth
1 Sing a new song to the Lord;
let the whole earth sing to the Lord.
2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
proclaim his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his wondrous works among all peoples.
4 For the Lord is great and is highly praised;
he is feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Ascribe to the Lord, you families of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
bring an offering and enter his courts.
9 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
let the whole earth tremble before him.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.
The world is firmly established; it cannot be shaken.
He judges the peoples fairly.”
11 Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and all that fills it resound.
12 Let the fields and everything in them celebrate.
Then all the trees of the forest will shout for joy
13 before the Lord, for he is coming—
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness
and the peoples with his faithfulness.
A psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to the Lord!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we are his[a]—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever;
his faithfulness, through all generations.
A Vow of Integrity
A psalm of David.
1 I will sing of faithful love and justice;
I will sing praise to you, Lord.
2 I will pay attention to the way of integrity.
When will you come to me?
I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.
3 I will not let anything worthless guide me.[b]
I hate the practice of transgression;
it will not cling to me.
4 A devious heart will be far from me;
I will not be involved with[c] evil.
5 I will destroy anyone
who secretly slanders his neighbor;
I cannot tolerate anyone
with haughty eyes or an arrogant heart.
6 My eyes favor the faithful of the land
so that they may sit down with me.
The one who follows the way of integrity
may serve me.
7 No one who acts deceitfully
will live in my palace;
the one who tells lies
will not be retained here to guide me.[d]
8 Every morning I will destroy
all the wicked of the land,
wiping out all evildoers from the Lord’s city.
God’s Faithfulness to His People
1 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
proclaim his deeds among the peoples.
2 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell about all his wondrous works!
3 Boast in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
5 Remember the wondrous works he has done,
his wonders, and the judgments he has pronounced,[a]
6 you offspring of Abraham his servant,
Jacob’s descendants—his chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments govern the whole earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he ordained
for a thousand generations—
9 the covenant he made with Abraham,
swore[b] to Isaac,
10 and confirmed to Jacob as a decree
and to Israel as a permanent covenant:
11 “I will give the land of Canaan to you
as your inherited portion.”
12 When they were few in number,
very few indeed,
and resident aliens in Canaan,
13 wandering from nation to nation
and from one kingdom to another,
14 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their behalf:
15 “Do not touch my anointed ones,
or harm my prophets.”
16 He called down famine against the land
and destroyed the entire food supply.
17 He had sent a man ahead of them—
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They hurt his feet with shackles;
his neck was put in an iron collar.
19 Until the time his prediction came true,
the word of the Lord tested him.
20 The king sent for him and released him;
the ruler of peoples set him free.
21 He made him master of his household,
ruler over all his possessions—
22 binding[c] his officials at will
and instructing his elders.
23 Then Israel went to Egypt;
Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.[d]
24 The Lord[e] made his people very fruitful;
he made them more numerous than their foes,
25 whose hearts he turned to hate his people
and to deal deceptively with his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27 They performed his miraculous signs among them
and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and it became dark—
for did they not defy his commands?
29 He turned their water into blood
and caused their fish to die.
30 Their land was overrun with frogs,
even in their royal chambers.
31 He spoke, and insects came—
gnats throughout their country.
32 He gave them hail for rain,
and lightning throughout their land.
33 He struck their vines and fig trees
and shattered the trees of their territory.
34 He spoke, and locusts came—
young locusts without number.
35 They devoured all the vegetation in their land
and consumed the produce of their land.
36 He struck all the firstborn in their land,
all their first progeny.
37 Then he brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and no one among his tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt was glad when they left,
for the dread of Israel[f] had fallen on them.
39 He spread a cloud as a covering
and gave a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked, and he brought quail
and satisfied them with bread from heaven.
41 He opened a rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a stream in the desert.
42 For he remembered his holy promise
to Abraham his servant.
43 He brought his people out with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with shouts of joy.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they inherited
what other peoples had worked for.
45 All this happened
so that they might keep his statutes
and obey his instructions.
David and Zion Chosen
A song of ascents.
1 Lord, remember David
and all the hardships he endured,
2 and how he swore an oath to the Lord,
making a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 “I will not enter my house
or get into my bed,
4 I will not allow my eyes to sleep
or my eyelids to slumber
5 until I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
6 We heard of the ark in Ephrathah;[a]
we found it in the fields of Jaar.[b]
7 Let’s go to his dwelling place;
let’s worship at his footstool.
8 Rise up, Lord, come to your resting place,
you and your powerful ark.
9 May your priests be clothed with righteousness,
and may your faithful people shout for joy.
10 For the sake of your servant David,
do not reject your anointed one.[c]
11 The Lord swore an oath to David,
a promise he will not abandon:
“I will set one of your offspring[d]
on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
and my decrees that I will teach them,
their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion;
he has desired it for his home:
14 “This is my resting place forever;
I will make my home here
because I have desired it.
15 I will abundantly bless its food;
I will satisfy its needy with bread.
16 I will clothe its priests with salvation,
and its faithful people will shout for joy.
17 There I will make a horn grow for David;
I have prepared a lamp[e] for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,
but the crown he wears[f] will be glorious.”
God is not limited by time.
In our Bible reading today we find that the psalmist is very aware of the briefness of life. In Psalm 89: 46-48 we find the psalmist making his case that God should act soon otherwise he may be dead before he sees it. And in Psalm 102:24-28 we see again the psalmist remembering his finite days compared to the timelessness of God. Many today feel an urgency as well for God to move. We are taught to sow seed in this life and we long to see the seed sprout and bear fruit. But we must also remember that God’s move may extend beyond our life, and that is OK. Galatians 6:9 says that we will reap in due season if we do not give up. When is the season due? That is the domain of God alone. Remember this that some have persevered to the end and will only see what they hoped for in heaven (Hebrews 11:39) but others have seen great moves of God in this life… therefore praise God always for He is active and has an enduring plan. We serve a God who is timeless therefore we can be frustrated by His timing if we do not remember His agelessness. The Bible describes man’s time on earth as temporary and short (Psalm 103:14-17) and God knows this and His love continues through it all.
Psalm 103: 14-17
For he knows what we are made of,
remembering that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass—
he blooms like a flower of the field;
when the wind passes over it, it vanishes,
and its place is no longer known.
But from eternity to eternity
the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear him,
and his righteousness toward the grandchildren.