Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

Chewing on another one of those songs where, though the songwriter declares the power of God, and remembers the promises of God, he’s having a tough time connecting those dots with his current situation and the seeming absence of the presence of God.

The songwriter’s God is the Almighty God. A God whose wonders are declared in the heavens of His habitation. Feared by the holy beings in His midst. Awesome above all who are around Him. None comparing to Him in power and strength (89:5-8). His arm a mighty arm; His right hand a strong hand (89:13). A God mighty to save (89:10).

The songwriter’s God is the Sovereign God. All things created by Him and for Him, His throne founded on righteousness and justice (89:11-14).

And the songwriter’s God is the Promise-making God.

You have said, “I have made a covenant with My chosen one; I have sworn to David My servant: ‘I will establish your offspring forever, and build your throne for all generations.'” Selah

(Psalm 89:3-4 ESV)

But as the songwriter looks out his window, the throne is effectively empty. Enemies have been breaching the walls of the royal city for some time. Coming and going as they please, they gut the royal treasury and mock the holy temple. The offspring of David of no real consequence. Strength and glory a thing of the past. Shame the well worn garment of the day (89:40-45). And thus, though convinced of God’s power, wanting still to believe God’s promises, He struggles at the apparent lack of God’s presence.

But now You have cast off and rejected; You are full of wrath against Your anointed. You have renounced the covenant with Your servant; You have defiled his crown in the dust.

(Psalm 89:38-39 ESV)

So, this song takes you on quite the roller coaster ride. Declaring the glories of God, the hope of His promise, and then crashing and burning with the confusion of the current situation.

But here’s what gets me. Here’s what captures my attention and speaks to my heart. It’s how the song ends:

Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

(Psalm 89:52 ESV)

How do you get here from there? How do you close with worship when everything around you brings worry? How does great adoration flow from a pool of great anxiety? What gets you from processing your problems to proclaiming His praise?

I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.

(Psalm 89:1 ESV)

Steadfast love and faithfulness.

The songwriter’s God is also the God of steadfast love and faithfulness. That’s the secret sauce. That’s what would carry him from the barrenness of the current situation to blessing the LORD forever.

Six times in his song the songwriter affirms the steadfast love and faithfulness of His God (89:1, 2, 14, 24, 33, 49). As I read it, it came across as a rhythmic drumbeat refocusing the heart on who God is above even as the mind tries to process what’s happening below. Repeatedly a reminder of the character of God. And that’s what the songwriter was counting on. That God’s love was unalterable, that His faithfulness was unshakeable.

It was the basis of his appeal for God to remember his people and intervene (89:49-50). And so, it would be the basis of hope. The foundation of faith. And, the way toward worship.

Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.

Steadfast love. Unending faithfulness.

By His grace. For His glory.

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