S: Psalm 89:1-4, 30-33, 36-39, 44, 46-52
I will sing of the LORD’s unfailing love forever! Young and old will hear of your faithfulness. Your unfailing love will last forever. Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens. The LORD said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant. I have sworn this oath to him: ‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever; they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” ... “But if his descendants forsake my instructions and fail to obey my regulations, if they do not obey my decrees and fail to keep my commands, then I will punish their sin with the rod, and their disobedience with beating. But I will never stop loving him nor fail to keep my promise to him.” ... “His dynasty will go on forever; his kingdom will endure as the sun. It will be as eternal as the moon, my faithful witness in the sky!”
But now you have rejected him and cast him off. You are angry with your anointed king. You have renounced your covenant with him; you have thrown his crown in the dust. ... You have ended his splendor and overturned his throne.
O LORD, how long will this go on? Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your anger burn like fire? Consider, Lord, how your servants are disgraced! I carry in my heart the insults of so many people. Your enemies have mocked me, O LORD; they mock your anointed king wherever he goes. Praise the LORD forever! Amen and amen!
O: I'm not sure when Ethan the Ezrahite, who wrote this song, lived. Some people think he lived in the time of Rehoboam, after the loss of the northern 10 tribes, while it might have even been after the fall of Jerusalem, when there was no longer a son of David on the throne.
Ethan did not know that there will one day be an eternal Son of David, Jesus the Messiah, who will rule forever and ever, not only over Israel, but over every tribe, tongue and nation.
A: God's faithfulness is indeed eternal, as Ethan affirmed verses 1 and 2. But we are temporal, and we do not see the whole picture. In our immediate circumstances, it might look as if things are out of control -- Christians are persecuted, even martyred, and the Gospel hindered in various places and times. Our own lives might spiral seemingly out of control. It may seem as if there is no "Son of David" on the throne any more, as Ethan lamented.
But even as Ethan girded himself to praise the Lord at the end, and trusted in God even though he didn't see the results, we must also continue to trust in God and live according to His Word even when we don't understand the big picture.
As the prophet Habakkuk affrimed in the face of the Babylonian annihilation of Judah as an independent country,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign LORD is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
P: Father, help me to trust in You even when things go wrong. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)