The Psalms

Psalm 89

The psalmist praises God for his covenant, 1-4; for his wonderful power, 5-14; for the care of his church, 15-18; for his favor to the kingdom of David, 19-37. Then complaining of contrary events, 38-45, he expostulates, prays, and blesses God, 46-52.

1 [Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.]

I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever./
With my mouth I will make your faithfulness known to all generations.

For I have said, "Mercy shall be built up forever./
You will establish your faithfulness in the very heavens."

"I have made a covenant with my chosen./
I have sworn to David my servant,

'I will establish your offspring forever/
and build up your throne to all generations.'"/

And the heavens shall praise your wonders, O LORD,/
and also your faithfulness in the congregation of the saints.

For who in the heaven can be compared to the LORD?/
Who among the sons of the mighty can be compared to the LORD?

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints/
and to be had in reverence by all those who are around him.

O LORD God of hosts,/
who is mighty like you, O Yah?/
And your faithfulness is around you.

You rule the raging of the sea./
When its waves arise, you still them.

10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain./
You have scattered your enemies with your strong arm.

11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours./
As for the world and its fullness, you have founded them.

12 The north and the south, you have created them./
Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in your name.

13 You have a mighty arm./
Your hand is strong and your right hand is high.

14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of your throne./
Mercy and truth shall go before your face.

15 Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound./
They shall walk, O LORD, in the light of your countenance.

16 In your name they shall rejoice all the day,/
and in your righteousness they shall be exalted.

17 For you are the glory of their strength,/
and in your favor our horn shall be exalted.

18 For the LORD is our defense,/
and the Holy One of Israel is our king.

19 Then you spoke in a vision to your holy one/
and said, "I have laid help upon one who is mighty./
I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

20 I have found David my servant./
With my holy oil I have anointed him.

21 With him my hand shall be established./
My arm shall also strengthen him.

22 The enemy shall not exact upon him,/
nor the son of wickedness afflict him.

23 And I will beat down his foes before his face/
and afflict those who hate him.

24 But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him,/
and in my name his horn shall be exalted.

25 I will set his hand also in the sea/
and his right hand in the rivers.

26 He shall cry to me, 'You are my father,/
my God, and the rock of my salvation.'

27 Also I will make him my first-born,/
higher than the kings of the earth.

28 I will keep my mercy for him forevermore,/
and my covenant shall stand firmly with him.

29 I will also make his offspring to endure forever,/
and his throne as the days of heaven.

30 If his children forsake my law/
and do not walk in my judgments,

31 If they break my statutes/
and do not keep my commandments,

32 Then I will visit their transgression with the rod/
and their iniquity with stripes.

33 Nevertheless, I will not utterly take my loving-kindness from him,/
nor allow my faithfulness to fail.

34 I will not break my covenant,/
nor alter the thing that has gone out of my lips.

35 Once I have sworn by my holiness,/
I will not lie to David.

36 His offspring shall endure forever,/
and his throne as the sun before me.

37 It shall be established forever as the moon/
and as a faithful witness in heaven."/

38 But you have cast off and abhorred,/
you have been angry with your anointed.

39 You have made the covenant of your servant void./
You have profaned his crown by casting it to the ground.

40 You have broken all his hedges down./
You have brought his strongholds to ruin.

41 All who pass by the way plunder him./
He is a reproach to his neighbors.

42 You have set up the right hand of his adversaries./
You have made all his enemies to rejoice.

43 You have also turned the edge of his sword/
and have not made him to stand in the battle.

44 You have made his glory to cease/
and cast his throne down to the ground.

45 The days of his youth you have shortened./
You have covered him with shame./

46 How long, LORD, will you hide yourself?/
Forever? Shall your wrath burn like fire?

47 Remember how short my time is./
Why have you made all men in vain?

48 What man is he who lives and shall not see death?/
Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?/

49 Lord, where are your former loving-kindnesses/
which you swore to David in your truth?

50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants,/
how I bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people,

51 With which your enemies have reproached, O LORD,/
with which they have reproached the footsteps of your anointed.

52 Blessed be the LORD forevermore./
Amen and amen.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Psalms, Chapter 89[➚]


John Calvin's Chapter Summary:

The prophet who wrote this psalm, whoever he was, in approaching the throne of grace to make supplication to God in behalf of the afflicted Church, lays down, as an encouragement both to himself and the rest of the faithful to cherish good hope, the covenant which God had made with David. He then adverts in general to the Divine power which is discerned in the whole government of the world. And next, he calls to remembrance the redemption in which God had given an everlasting testimony of his fatherly love towards his chosen people. Thence, he again returns to the covenant made with David, in which God had promised to continue his favor towards that people for ever, for the sake of their king. Finally, he subjoins a complaint that God, as if he had forgotten his covenant, abandoned his Church to the will of her enemies, and, in the midst of strange disaster and mournful desolation, withheld all succor and consolation.

[v.9] - Reference, Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39-41; Luke 8:23-25.

[v.20] - Quoted in Acts 13:22.