Much of our life of faith is spent living in between God’s promise and its future fulfillment. All through the Bible, God makes big promises and then asks His people to live in faith. God promised Abraham he would be the father of a great nation when he had not even had a child yet and was already 75 years old (Gen. 12:1–4). It would be over 20 years before this promise was fulfilled.
In today’s reading, Ethan the Ezrahite begins with a resounding word of praise. For the first 37 verses Ethan recounts the steadfast love of the Lord. He praises God for creation, His justice and righteousness, and for choosing David as Israel’s king (vv. 1–20). God had anointed David, and gave him victory over his enemies (vv. 20–23). The poet celebrates God’s covenant with David whom he had appointed “to be my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth” (v. 27). God had even promised that if David’s descendants were unfaithful, God would punish, but never abandon them (vv. 30–37).
The psalm takes an abrupt shift in verse 38. After celebrating God’s promises to David, he wonders where God is now: “But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one” (v. 38). Reflecting the crisis of the Babylonian exile, Ethan describes how Israel has been defeated. From his perspective, it seemed like God had renounced the covenant He made with David (v. 39). We know (of course) that in the New Testament a future descendant of David would fulfill all of these promises and so much more (Luke 1:32; Acts 13:22–23)!
>> Notice that even though God’s promises to David seemed broken, the Psalmist did not reject God. Instead, he turned to God in prayer (Ps. 89:46–51). Bring your worries about the future to God. We may not be able to see His plan
You have assured us that we will suffer in this life, yet calamity still takes us by surprise. Father, hold us close when we doubt Your presence, and fortify our faith when we question Your kindness.