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Psalms 89; 96; 100; 101; 105 Listen
Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite.
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 fulness 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 for ever, 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.
In the introduction, "Maschil" indicates that this is an instructional song or poem. Also, Ethan the Ezrahite is found mentioned among David's musicians in I Kings 4:31 (see notes) and I Chronicles 15:17, 19 (see notes). That would seem to fix the date of the writing of this Psalm during the reign of David. However, the content of this Psalm has caused many scholars to fix the date of the writing of this Psalm much later - as late at the 8th century B.C. They maintain that this Ethan the Ezrahite must be another of the same name who lived centuries later.
One thing is certain; the writer is reminding God of his promise to Israel; look at Psalm 89:3-4, "I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant, Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations." This Psalm is rather to the point. The writer is reminding God of his covenant and pleading for the restoration of Israel. Notice Psalms 89:46, "How long, LORD? wilt thou hide thyself for ever? shall thy wrath burn like fire?" It would appear that the author is writing at a time when Israel is being chastised by God for their sin. It is difficult to find a period during the life of David where these words make sense, but they make perfect sense during or after the falls of Israel and Judah. Psalm 89 serves as one of the many Old Testament confirmations that David's rule is eternal (see "The Davidic Covenant). The direct statements to that end here make it impossible to interpret any other way. Notice also the following verses from this Psalm that validate God's covenant with David:
Psalms 89:35 Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David.
Psalms 89:36 His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me.
Psalms 89:37 It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
However, the verses that immediately follow verse 37 create the strong impression that a descendant of David is not occupying the throne at the time of this writing; that's why many have suggested that it was written during the exile period.
Incidentally, "Rahab" (verse 10) is a Hebrew transliteration and literally means "boaster, strength, proud." Here it is used as a reference to Egypt as is also the case in Psalm 87:4 (see notes). In verse 12, Tabor and Hermon are two mountains - Hermon marking the northernmost boundary of Palestine while Tabor is approximately 11 miles southwest of the Sea of Galilee.
Here's a great praise song! (Psalm 96)
1 O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
2 Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.
4 For the LORD is GREAT, AND GREATLY TO BE PRAISED: HE IS to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the nations ARE IDOLS: BUT THE LORD made the heavens.
6 Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
7 Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
8 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.
9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously.
11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof.
12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice
13 Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.
The author is not specified, but he's just praising God for his salvation. This appears to be the song that was sung at the return of the Ark of the Covenant in I Chronicles 16:23-33 (see notes), making David's authorship likely, but still not known. Notice Psalms 96:5, "For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens." The Hebrew word for "idols" in this verse is "el-eel´" which means "something worthless." There's no political correctness in that; anything except faith in the one true Lord God Jehovah is worthless.
God's steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 100)
A Psalm of praise.
1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is GOOD; HIS MERCY IS EVERLASTING; AND HIS TRUTH ENDURETH to all generations.
The author of this Psalm is not known. He calls upon men to serve God for two reasons - because he is God (verses 1-3) and because he is good (verses 4-5). Several contemporary praise songs contain lyrics found in this Psalm. It's upbeat and encouraging. And here are three things in this Psalm we should know about God in verse 5:
God's standards are permanent; his truth does not waiver. In a world where truth is relative and social standards continually change, it's good to know that we have a God and His Word serving to keep us grounded on unchanging truth.
A commitment to excellence (Psalm 101)
A Psalm of David.
1 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.
7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.
David is the designated author of this one according to the title and is determined to be fully committed to God in this passage. Not only so, he also pledges to keep his people towing the line of righteous living as well. However, from verse 3 to the end of this Psalm, David speaks of how he will deal with the wicked within his kingdom. He sums it up in verse 8, "I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD."
Lets just praise the Lord! (Psalm 105)
1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
4 Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
7 He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
17 He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
18 Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
19 Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
20 The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
21 He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
22 To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27 They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
29 He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.
30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.
31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.
32 He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.
33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
34 He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,
35 And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
39 He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
40 The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
44 And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
45 That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.
In this Psalm the unknown author is encouraging the people of Israel to praise the Lord. And why? Just look at everything God has done for our people - enough reason to praise the Lord. The writer gives a rather extensive history lesson on God's gracious provision for Israel down through the centuries from Abraham to the possessing of Canaan. We're reminded in verse 42 that all of God's provisions through those centuries was because of the promise God had made to Abraham. They had a lot to be thankful for, and the Psalmist wants to make certain they realize it.
Following is an outline of the history lesson found in this Psalm:
Some of this psalm is quoted in connection with Davids procession when bringing the ark to Jerusalem (I Chronicles 16:8-22, see notes).