Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite
The Lord’s covenant with David
1: I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations. 2: For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens. 3: I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, 4: Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah. 5: And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O LORD: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints. 6: For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD? 7: God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. 8: O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee? 9: Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them. 10: Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm. 11: The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fullness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12: The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name. 13: Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 14: Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face. 15: Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance. 16: In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. 17: For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn shall be exalted. 18: For the LORD is our defence; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 19: Then thou spakest in vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty; I have exalted one chosen out of the people. 20: I have found David my servant; with my holy oil have I anointed him: 21: With whom my hand shall be established: mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22: The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23: And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24: But my faithfulness and my mercy shall be with him: and in my name shall his horn be exalted. 25: I will set his hand also in the sea, and his right hand in the rivers. 26: He shall cry unto me, Thou art my father, my God, and the rock of my salvation. 27: Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. 28: My mercy will I keep for him for evermore, and my covenant shall stand fast with him. 29: His seed also will I make to endure for ever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30: If his children forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; 31: If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; 32: Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33: Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. 34: My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips. 35: Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36: His seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me. 37: It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah. 38: But thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine anointed. 39: Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant: thou hast profaned his crown by casting it to the ground. 40: Thou hast broken down all his hedges; thou hast brought his strong holds to ruin. 41: All that pass by the way spoil him: he is a reproach to his neighbours. 42: Thou hast set up the right hand of his adversaries; thou hast made all his enemies to rejoice. 43: Thou hast also turned the edge of his sword, and hast not made him to stand in the battle. 44: Thou hast made his glory to cease, and cast his throne down to the ground. 45: The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah. 46: How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire? 47: Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain? 48: What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Selah. 49: Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses, which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? 50: Remember, Lord, the reproach of thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the mighty people; 51: Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.
52: Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen.
D The Numbers Section Peril & Protection (Earth in view)
Psalm 90 Prologue - Rest lost and needed
Psalm 91 – 94 Rest for the earth desired
Psalm 95 – 100 Rest for the earth anticipated
Psalm 102 – 105 Rest for the earth celebrated
Psalm 106 Epilogue – Rest How lost and valued
A prayer of Moses the man of God
1: LORD, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. 2: Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. 3: Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. 4: For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. 5: Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. 6: In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. 7: For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled. 8: Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. 9: For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10: The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. 11: Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath. 12: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 13: Return, O LORD, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants. 14: O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 15: Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 16: Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. 17: And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.
Today we are reading Psalm 89 & 90. Psalm 89 is a teaching Psalm composed by Ethan the Ezrahite. This Psalm of Ethan is an introduction to blessings in the sanctuary. Ethan’s Psalm begins and ends with eternal praises. Then we find that this Psalm has two verses in which Ethan reminds the Lord of his covenant with David. And in both verses he praises the Lords faithfulness. This Psalm has a prophetic touch in which our minds are taken forward to the Messianic kingdom. Ethan begins by saying that he will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever and he will tell all future generations the faithfulness of the Lord. This is not an idol wish but it is a real statement of purpose and of course in the Kingdom Ethan will live forever to fulfil his commitment. Ethan speaks the words of the Lord which he promised to David. He says, The mercy of the Lord will be stored up forever and the faithfulness of the Lord will be established even in the heavens. The Lord says, I have made a covenant with my chosen one - even David my servant. Some say, that this is referring to Christ but Christ is never confused with David. The Christ is David’s son and Lord. And this Psalm speaks about David’s seed that will be established for ever and David’s throne will be established to all generations. (While David had a seed - Christ has no natural seed.) Then Ethan pauses the Psalm to contemplate this amazing prophecy. From v5-18 Ethan praises the Lord’s faithfulness. He says, all heaven will be full of praise at the wonders of the Lord and the people of God will praise the Lord’s faithfulness. Then he asks who is comparable to the Lord? And who among the sons of the mighty can be compared to him? The Lord is feared in the assembly of the saints and he is reverenced by all who surround him. He says, O LORD God of hosts who is as powerful and faithful as you? You rule the raging sea and you still the waves (The calming of the storm in the life of Christ was a Messianic sign and a Prophetic message) You have smashed Egypt and scattered your enemies in your might. The heavens are yours and the earth is yours. You founded the world and everything in it. (This could never be said of King David, but it could be said of Christ) You created north and south and the mountains of Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name. You have great power and strength. Justice and judgment are found at the throne of Christ and mercy and truth will be forever before you. The people of the Lord will be blessed as they walk in joy in the light of Christ. They will be filled with the joy of the Lord all day long and they will be raised up in righteousness, because you are the glory of their strength. The Lord is our defence and the Holy One of Israel is our king. This could only be said of Christ because he is the Holy One of Israel yet the passage now refers to David who in resurrection will rule as regent with Christ in the kingdom. Then the psalmist says that David was exalted from among the people. He was anointed with the holy oil. He will establish the kingdom in the hand of God. The enemy and the wicked will never touch him again. The Lord will defeat his foes and bring plague on those who hate him. The faithfulness and mercy of God will be with him. He will control the seas and the rivers. He will cry you are my father, my God and the rock of my salvation. The Lord will make him the possessor of the inheritance of the nations over all the kings of the earth. The Lord will be merciful to him forever and the Davidic covenant will stand secure forever. David’s children will never be conquered and his throne will be as secure as heaven itself. However if his children turn away from the law (in the Kingdom) and do not keep the decisions of the judges then the Lord will bring punishment on them, however the grace of God will not be completely taken away nor will the Lord allow his faithfulness to David to fail. The Lord says I will not break my covenant with David. His seed will live forever and his throne will outlive the sun. Even the moon will stand as testimony to Gods promises. Think about that. From v38-51 Ethan deplores the Lords visitation on his people in judgment. He says, but in spite of these exceedingly great promises yet you have cast off your people and you have been disgusted with them. You have been very angry with your anointed king. You have voided the covenant of your servant and you have spoiled the crown by throwing it into the dirt. You broke down all the hedges and destroyed the strongholds. Everyone who passes by steals a little and all the neighbours think little of him. The enemies of Israel are helped by the Lord and they all rejoice at their victories. You have made his sword of the king blunt and in battle the king cannot stand. The king’s glory has come to an end and his throne is thrown down. You made him an old man before his time and you have covered him in shame. Think about that. How long says the Psalmist will you allow this to continue? Will you hide your face forever? Will your wrath burn forever? Remember Lord how brief my life is. You have made the lives of men too short that they cannot accomplish anything. Who will never die? Can he save himself from the grave? Think about that. Lord, where are the blessings that you once gave us and which you swore that you would give to David? Lord remember the shame of your servants – how that I am shamed before all men. Ethan closes saying May the Lord be blessed for evermore. Amen, Amen. This is the close of the next section of the Psalms. Psalm 90 begins the next section of the Psalms which relates to the fourth book of Moses – Numbers. It begins with a prayer of Moses. In Psalm 90 Moses brings a prologue to this part of the Psalms and he speaks of the rest that is lost and sought after. He is speaking of what he knows - the restlessness of the wilderness experience. He begins with the eternity of God and follows with the frailty of men. And then he comments on the relation between the two. He says in v1-2 that the Lord has been the home of Israel in all the time Israel have lived and before the mountains were created or even before the earth was formed, from eternity the Lord is God. The Lord destroys men and causes them to return to dust. A thousand years to the Lord is like the moments of unconscious sleep. You carry men away like men in a flood. They are like a blade of grass that comes up one morning and has died the next day. We are consumed in the anger of the Lord and you Lord trouble us in your wrath. You show us our sins, even our secret sins are open to the light of your presence. All our days have gone in your wrath and we spend our days like a story that has been told. Our lives are just 70 years and if we are strong we might manage 80 years, yet in the best days they are full of hard work and sorrow, and our days will soon be gone and our spirits will fly away. Who knows the power of your anger? Men fear you in direct proportion to your wrath. Therefore Lord, teach us to count the days of our lives so that we might be wise in their use. O Lord how long will you be before you return? Will you change your mind about your servants? Lord, bring us satisfaction by showing mercy to us – soon, so that we will be able to rejoice and be full of joy all our days. Make us glad in direct proportion to the length of the days of our troubles. May your work grow and be a blessing to us and may your glory be on your children. And may the beauty of the Lord be upon us and cause your work to be established on us.