1 Lord, I will sing about your great love forever. For all time to come, I will tell how faithful you are. 2 I will tell everyone that your love stands firm forever. I will tell them that you are always faithful, even in heaven itself. 3 You said, “Here is the covenant I have made with my chosen one. Here is the promise I have made to my servant David. 4 ‘I will make your family line continue forever. I will make your kingdom secure for all time to come.’” Selah 5 Lord, the heavens praise you for your miracles. When your holy angels gather together, they praise you for how faithful you are. 6 Who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who among the angels is like the Lord? 7 God is highly respected among his holy angels. He’s more wonderful than all those who are around him. 8 Lord God who rules over all, who is like you? Lord, you are mighty. You are faithful in everything you do. 9 You rule over the stormy sea. When its waves rise up, you calm them down. 10 You crushed Egypt and killed her people. With your powerful arm you scattered your enemies. 11 The heavens belong to you. The earth is yours also. You made the world and everything that is in it. 12 You created everything from north to south. Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon sing to you with joy. 13 Your arm is powerful. Your hand is strong. Your right hand is mighty. 14 Your kingdom is built on what is right and fair. Your truth and faithful love lead the way in front of you. 15 Blessed are those who have learned to shout praise to you. Lord, they live in the light of your favor. 16 All day long they are full of joy because of who you are. They praise you because you do what is right. 17 You are their glory. You give them strength. You favor them by honoring our king. 18 Our king is like a shield that keeps us safe. He belongs to the Lord. He belongs to the Holy One of Israel. 19 You once spoke to your faithful people in a vision. You said, “I have given strength to a soldier. I have raised up a young man from among the people. 20 I have found my servant David. I have poured my sacred oil on his head. 21 My powerful hand will keep him going. My mighty arm will give him strength. 22 No enemies will require him to bring gifts to them. No evil person will beat him down. 23 I will crush the king’s enemies. I will completely destroy them. 24 I will love him and be faithful to him. Because of me his power will increase. 25 I will give him a great kingdom. It will reach from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River. 26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father. You are my God. You are my Rock and Savior.’ 27 I will also make him my oldest son. Among all the kings of the earth, he will be the most important one. 28 I will continue to love him forever. I will never break my covenant with him. 29 I will make his family line continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the heavens. 30 “What if his sons turn away from my laws and do not follow them? 31 What if they disobey my orders and fail to keep my commands? 32 Then I will punish them for their sins. I will strike them with the rod. I will whip them for their evil acts. 33 But I will not stop loving David. I will always be faithful to him. 34 I will not break my covenant. I will not go back on my word. 35 Once and for all, I have made a promise with an oath. It is based on my holiness. And I will not lie to David. 36 His family line will continue forever. His kingdom will last as long as the sun. 37 It will last forever like the moon, that faithful witness in the sky.” Selah 38 But you have turned your back on your anointed king. You have been very angry with him. 39 You have broken the covenant you made with him. You have thrown your servant’s crown into the dirt. 40 You have broken through the walls around his city. You have completely destroyed his secure places. 41 All those who pass by have carried off what belonged to him. His neighbors make fun of him. 42 You have made his enemies strong. You have made all of them happy. 43 You have made his sword useless. You have not helped him in battle. 44 You have put an end to his glory. You have knocked his throne to the ground. 45 You have cut short the days of his life. You have covered him with shame. Selah 46 Lord, how long will you hide yourself? Will it be forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? 47 Remember how short my life is. You have created all people for such a useless purpose! 48 What man can live and not die? Who can escape the power of the grave? Selah 49 Lord, where is the great love you used to have? You faithfully promised it to David. 50 Lord, remember how my enemies have made fun of me. I’ve had to put up with mean words from all of the nations. 51 Lord, your enemies have said mean things. They have laughed at everything your anointed king has done. 52 Give praise to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.
The psalm begins typically with praise for God because of His love, faithfulness and mighty power which exceeds everything in heaven and earth. Justice and righteousness are the foundations of His nature and out of this He made a covenant with King David. The covenant was Gods promise to always be on David’s side, to honour and perpetuate his throne down the generations. The psalmist reminds God that as part of the covenant He said that although He may punish the succeeding kings if they are disobedient, He will never withdraw His love, betray His faithfulness, nor violate or change His covenant. Then the tone changes; the psalmist accuses God of doing the very things He said He would not do. Of rejecting them, abandoning them in battle, shaming and defiling the crown of His king. It appeared to the psalmist that God had renounced His covenant.
On one hand he praises the unchanging nature of God and on the other hand he complains that God has caused all His troubles in some vindictive way. There is frustration and despair here, but not a lot of logic. He feels sorry for himself and the status and wealth he has lost. But… It is still God to whom he directs his lament and he still ends the tirade with ‘praise be to God forever’.
What silly people we are when we start accusing God of doing things in our lives which are not in His unchanging nature to do. God does not go back on his own promises, he will not withdraw his love from us even when we do the wrong thing, and He will always be on our side. He is faithful, powerful, just, wise and totally reliable.
Please help me God to see my circumstances in perspective and not to see my misfortunes as evidence that you are against me. I want to hold onto the solid rock of your love and faithfulness to me no matter what happens.
Written by Dimity Milne