August 30 2023
Today, Wednesday August 30
Praising God in the Tough Times
“I will sing of the mercies of the LORD forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, "Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens." "I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: 'Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations.' " Selah
And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints. For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD? God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him. O LORD God of hosts, Who is mighty like You, O LORD? Your faithfulness also surrounds You.
You rule the raging of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them. You have broken Rahab in pieces, as one who is slain; You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; The world and all its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name. You have a mighty arm; Strong is Your hand, and high is Your right hand. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O LORD, in the light of Your countenance. In Your name they rejoice all day long, And in Your righteousness they are exalted. For You are the glory of their strength, And in Your favor our horn is exalted. For our shield belongs to the LORD, And our king to the Holy One of Israel.”
Today the coast of Florida is getting hit by a major category 4 hurricane which will make its track up through the Southeastern Coastal states. Who knows how many people will be affected and suffer tremendous loss in the next hours. I have two granddaughters who live in the Tampa Bay area and of course we are praying for them and their safety as well as for everyone else that will feel the terrible force of this storm.
Psalm 89 is a beautiful Psalm that proclaims the faithfulness of God! We believe that this Psalm was probably written during the captivity of Israel in Babylon. Things were as bad as they could be at this time for the nation, and the future looked pretty bleak too. But instead of groaning and moaning and blaming God for this terrible time, Ethan or whoever wrote this Psalm, decided to reflect upon the greatness and faithfulness of God!
In the first five verses, the psalmist mentions the “faithfulness” of God at least four times. In the eighteen verses before us today, we are reminded that God is faithful in His character, and we should praise Him. Wherever we look we find the LORD being praised. In verse 5, we see that not only Heaven, but that the heavens are a place of worship. God is surrounded by His saints and angels alike who are praising the LORD for His glorious attributes (vv. 5-8; see Rev. 4 and 5), for there is no god like Him.
Maybe the writer of Psalm 89 remembered Exodus 15:11 telling how Moses and people worshipped the LORD and sang a song of praise after their Red Sea experience: "Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, Fearful in praises, doing wonders?”
In verses 9-14, the earth joins the hymn and even the mighty waves of the sea obey Him and praise Him. In the Scriptures the tumultuous sea is often used as an image of the nations (Psalm 93:3; Isa. 17:12-13; Rev. 13:1; 17:15). The psalmist then mentioned God's victory over Rahab which is Egypt (v. 10). The "scattering" of God's enemies (v. 10) reminds us of Numbers 10:35. Hermon is an imposing mountain to the far north, near Damascus, and Tabor is a much smaller mount about fifty miles southwest of Hermon. The psalmist heard the mountains singing praises to God, just as Isaiah did centuries before (Isa. 55:12).
If any people on earth have a right to praise God, it is the nation of Israel, God's chosen people. They had a holy land, given to them by God, a royal dynasty chosen by God, and the light of the holy law that guided their steps in the ways of the Lord. They had a holy priesthood to serve them and bless them (v. 15; see Num. 6:24-26), men who would blow the trumpets to signal the special holy days and feasts ("the joyful sound"; see 81:1). In verse 18, "our shield" refers to their king (Psalm 84:9), now in captivity. In many Jewish synagogues today, verses 15-18 are recited on their New Year's Day after the blowing of the shofar.
As we reflect on these verses, we should also remember God’s faithfulness despite what storms we might be facing in our lives and join all creation in worshipping and praising Him!