This morning we will look mainly at Psalm 89 but first let’s look at the nature of this book of the Bible that is different than all of the others. The book of Psalms in the Hebrew language is titled “praises” and the Rabbis later called it “the book of praises” and the Greek verb from which the noun “Psalm” comes from, means “plucking or twanging of strings.” So what we have here is the ancient, inspired hymn book of God’s chosen people. (The above notes are taken from the title notes of John MacArthur).
I imagine that I am not alone when I say that, we as believers, fickle people. There are some days that I just wake up with His praise on my lips and I cannot wait to see what He has in store for me in His Word. On these days my prayer life is anticipated and there is great joy in His presence; I will begin to thank Him for blessings that usually go un-noticed and He brings to mind additional things that He has blessed me with; and the time spent in quiet with Him are wonderful, personal and fulfilling. But there are other days that this is just not so. I would love to tell everyone that I always have that attitude of thanksgiving and that I always yearn to be in His presence; but to put it bluntly, that would be an outright lie. There are days that I am so wrapped up in myself that I don’t even think about all that He has done for me. On those days my prayer life is more like a griping session or like a brand new believer’s prayer life that looks more like a wish list for Santa Clause. I am fickle! People and situations around me change the way that I think, feel and act. I am not condoning it, in fact, I hate it. But even in my foolishness and self-centeredness God shows me how wonderful that He is. He never has been, or ever will be, fickle! God is righteous, perfect and unchanging. He loves me on the days when I am on “cloud nine” and He loves me when I am utterly depressed and self loathing. He has decided, knowing everything that I have ever done or ever will do, what I have thought or ever will think, that He is going to love me regardless. Please look again at Psalm 89:30-37 below:
30 “If his sons 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 punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless My lovingkindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail. 34 My covenant I will not break, Nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips. 35 Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David: 36 His seed shall endure forever, And his throne as the sun before Me; 37 It shall be established forever like the moon, Even like the faithful witness in the sky.” Selah
Although God, as a good father would, will chastise His children; He will not remove His loving kindness or allow His faithfulness to fail. It is so good to know that our lives and our eternity rest in His hands and not our own! I love how verse 37 sums it up; Let me put it into the PSV (That’s the “Pastor Steve Version”) As sure as the moon will be in its place, my faithfulness and loving kindness will remain for you. What a magnificent God we serve!
Just a note, in case it is driving you crazy: The word “Selah” is a symbol for a pause, especially in music. So the lyric would stop as the music played on. It is also there for, I believe, a reverent pause. It would be a time to stop for a second and consider what is being said.