Sunday 21 January, 2018
A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite. 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.’ ” 5 Lord, the heavens praise you for your wonderful deeds. 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 faithful love leads 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 kindness. 16 All day long they are full of joy because of who you are. They celebrate the fact that you do what is right. 17 You bring them glory and give them strength. You are pleased to honor 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 enemy will have the victory over him. No evil person will treat him badly. 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 a 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. 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.” 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. 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 Who can live and not die? Who can escape the power of the grave? 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 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.
In this psalm our psalmist recounts God as creator, promise giver and covenant keeper and transverses the highs and lows of emotion as God is so present and then seemingly nowhere. Through it all I see the thread of God’s “steadfast” love (NRSV) and faithfulness, mentioned together more than 7 times. The psalmist is just like us, it’s easy to see God’s steadfast love and faithfulness toward me when life is going well, but always much harder to see when life’s journey is not so positive.
Regardless, this thread encourages me that God’s character toward me does not change especially when it seems that He is distant, silent or when life does not go as expected. His steadfast love and faithfulness are forever for me! They are pillars of His character, they are strong, they are a refuge and I need to remind myself of this fact regularly, if not daily.
Father God thank you for this reminder to me in this psalm, this past week it has definitely been the encouragement I’ve needed .. you are forever for me!
Written by Suzie Hodgson
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