The Psalms of David

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Psalm 89: 19 - 37

v19    A long time ago, you spoke to your servants.
     It was like a dream. You said (to them),
     "I have given help to a brave soldier.
     I have chosen a young man from the people.

v20    I have found David my servant.
     I have poured my special oil over him (to make him king).

v21    My hand will make him strong and,
     Yes! My arm will make him powerful.

v22    No enemy will win a war against him
       and no *wicked people will *conquer him.

v23    I will destroy his enemies before him
       and kill those that hate him.

v24    I will do everything that I have promised him.
     Also, (I will give him) my kind love.
     And by my name I will raise his *horn.

v25    I will put his (left) hand over the sea
       and his right hand over the rivers.

v26    He (David) will say to me, "You are my Father,
       my God, and the Rock that makes me safe".

v27    Also, I will make him (as) my first born (son).
     (He will be) the most high of the kings of the earth.

v28    I will always give him my kind love
       and my *covenant with him will have no end.

v29    One of his family will always be king,
       as long as there are skies (above us).

v30 - v31    If his *descendants:
          ·    do not listen to what I am teaching them
          ·    and do not obey my *laws
          ·    say that my *laws are bad
          ·    and do not do what I tell them (to do)

v32    I will *punish their *sin with a stick
       and the wrong things they do with a *whip.

v33    But I will not take my kind love from him (David)
       and I will not *break any of my promises.

v34    I will not *break my *covenant (with him)
       or change any of my promises.

v35    At one time I made a promise.
     Because I am *holy I will not *lie to David.

v36    His *descendants will always continue
       and his *kingdom will go on as long as the sun (shines).

v37    Like the moon, it will always be there.
     From the sky, it will see everything that happens".    *SELAH

What Psalm 89: 19 - 37 means

In this part of the psalm, Ethan remembers the promises that God made to David. He said that all God’s people could see God in a *vision, verse 19. A *vision is *like a dream. They could also hear what God said. He told them that David was to be their king. In those days they made someone king by "*anointing" them. This means "pouring oil over them". They made the oil from *olives, which grew on the trees in Israel. (They still do!) In verse 21 (and verse 13), the hand and arm of God mean the things that he does on the earth. In verse 24 we read about a *horn again. It is a *horn on the head of an animal that makes it look strong. In verse 17, it was the people that God made strong. Here it is David that God makes strong. The hands over the seas and rivers, verse 25, mean that David is strong in these places. Verse 26 tells us that David will call God "My Father". In the *Old Testament, the king thought of God as Father for his people; in the *New Testament, each Christian thinks of God as Father. The "first born son", or oldest son, verse 27, had twice as much from his father as the other sons. "Most high" is also a name for God, but here used for the king. This is a part of the psalm that makes Christians think about Jesus. That is why they have sung it at Christmas for centuries. In verses 32-33, it is not David that God *punishes, but his *descendants.

The Problem

Psalm 89: 38 - 52

v38    But you have said "no" to your *anointed (king).
     You have turned away (from him)
       because you have become angry with him.

v39    You have *broken the *covenant with your servant.
     You threw his *crown to the ground and made it dirty.

v40    You have broken all the walls (round his city).
     You have destroyed all his strong places.

v41    Everyone that goes near him robs him.
     Everybody that lives near him laughs at him.

v42    You have made all his enemies strong,
       you have made them all happy (because they beat him).

v43    You made the edge of his *sword *blunt
       and you have not given him help in war.

v44    You have taken away his authority as king
       and you threw his *throne on the ground.

v45    He does not look *like a young man any more.
     You have dressed him in *shame.      *SELAH

v46    *LORD, how long (will this continue)?
     Will you always hide yourself?
     Will your great *anger (always) burn like a fire?

v47    Remember that my life is so short!
     Have you *created people for no reason?

v48    What man can live and not die?
     Who can save himself from the power of *Sheol (death)?

v49    *Lord, where is the kind love (that you gave us) in past times?
     Where are the special promises that you made to David?

v50    Remember, *Lord, that people have *scorned your servant.
     Many countries have said bad things to me.

v51    *LORD, your enemies laugh at the king that you have chosen.
     They *scorn him everywhere he goes.

v52    Always *praise the *LORD! *Amen and *amen!

What Psalm 89: 38 - 52 means

In the first 18 verses, the *psalmist tells us how great God is. In verses 19-37, he tells us what God promised to David. Now, in verses 38-45, he tells us that God has not done what he promised. In verses 46-51, he prays that God will do something. (Verse 52 is not part of the psalm. It finishes Book 3 of The Psalms.) The servant in verses 39 and 50 is the king. Some Bible students think that the king speaks in verses 50-51. The psalm does not answer the problem. There is no answer until Jesus came to earth. Remember ... Jesus was a *descendant of David!

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