After such a depressing psalm in Psalm 88, Psalm 89 starts off on a much brighter note. Nevertheless, it too was also written in a time of trouble.
The psalmist starts by singing,
I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations. I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. (1-2)
He then remembers the Lord’s greatness, singing,
The heavens praise your wonders, Lord, your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones. For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord? Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings? In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. (5-8)
He goes on to sing about the joy of those who follow him (15-17), and remembers God’s promises to David that he would establish his line forever as kings in Israel. (3-4, 19-37)
But then we have a sudden change of tone. Right after he talks about all these things, he talks about how all of these things seemed to have failed. That God had rejected and turned his back on the descendants of David and on Israel because of their sins.
So the psalmist cries out,
How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire…Lord, where is your former great love, which in your faithfulness you swore to David? (46,49)
But though things seemed bleak, God had never changed. He eventually brought back the Israelites to their land, not just once, but twice. And one day, Jesus will take the throne, fulfilling the word God gave David thousands of years ago.
Let us never remember that though we can’t always see it, God’s love and faithfulness towards us never changes. When he makes a promise he will keep it. He proved it to the Israelites in the past. He will prove it again in the future. And he will prove it to us as well, if we’ll just keep putting our trust in him. So let us sing as the psalmist did,
Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen. (52)