Psalms 89

* God's mercy and truth, and his covenant. (1-4) The glory and

perfection of God. (5-14) The happiness of those in communion

with him. (15-18) God's covenant with David, as a type of

Christ. (19-37) A calamitous state lamented, Prayer for redress.

(38-52)1-4 Though our expectations may be disappointed, yet God's

promises are established in the heavens, in his eternal

counsels; they are out of the reach of opposers in hell and

earth. And faith in the boundless mercy and everlasting truth of

God, may bring comfort even in the deepest trials.
5-14 The more God's works are known, the more they are admired.

And to praise the Lord, is to acknowledge him to be such a one

that there is none like him. Surely then we should feel and

express reverence when we worship God. But how little of this

appears in our congregations, and how much cause have we to

humble ourselves on this account! That almighty power which

smote Egypt, will scatter the enemies of the church, while all

who trust in God's mercy will rejoice in his name; for mercy and

truth direct all he does. His counsels from eternity, and their

consequences to eternity, are all justice and judgment.
15-18 Happy are those who so know the joyful sound of the

gospel as to obey it; who experience its power upon their

hearts, and bring forth the fruit of it in their lives. Though

believers are nothing in themselves, yet having all in Christ

Jesus, they may rejoice in his name. May the Lord enable us to

do so. The joy of the Lord is the strength of his people;

whereas unbelief dispirits ourselves and discourages others.

Though it steals upon us under a semblance of humility, yet it

is the very essence of pride. Christ is the Holy One of Israel;

and in him was that peculiar people more blessed than in any

other blessing.
19-37 The Lord anointed David with the holy oil, not only as an

emblem of the graces and gifts he received, but as a type of

Christ, the King Priest, and Prophet, anointed with the Holy

Ghost without measure. David after his anointing, was

persecuted, but none could gain advantage against him. Yet all

this was a faint shadow of the Redeemer's sufferings,

deliverance, glory, and authority, in whom alone these

predictions and promises are fully brought to pass. He is the

mighty God. This is the Redeemer appointed for us, who alone is

able to complete the work of our salvation. Let us seek an

interest in these blessings, by the witness of the Holy Spirit

in our hearts. As the Lord corrected the posterity of David for

their transgressions, so his people shall be corrected for their

sins. Yet it is but a rod, not a sword; it is to correct, not to

destroy. It is a rod in the hand of God, who is wise, and knows

what he does; gracious, and will do what is best. It is a rod

which they shall never feel, but when there is need. As the sun

and moon remain in heaven, whatever changes there seem to be in

them, and again appear in due season; so the covenant of grace

made in Christ, whatever alteration seems to come to it, should

not be questioned.
38-52 Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences

with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his

word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the

cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void

his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of

the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid

in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's

spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint

learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with

families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for

mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He

will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with.

They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter

days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when

they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? #2Pe 3:3,4|. The

records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us

his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their

afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not

finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and

others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and

distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement

in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends

with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God

thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he

will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him

with praises
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