Promise maker, promise keeper

Back in the summer my pastor spent several months diving into how we can see God in the Psalms. I loved studying the Psalms because it revealed the depths of a book that I had never paid much attention to. I had read through the Book of Psalms before, but I had never really studied it.

One particular Sunday, Matt spoke on Psalm 89 and “The God Who Keeps His Promises.”

Matt said, “The most important time to believe that God’s promises never fail are when they seem to have failed.”

Psalm 89 directs Christians to worship the God who is faithful in love (vv. 1–4), faithful in power (vv. 5–18), faithful to save (vv. 19–37) and faithful when we’re faithless (vv. 38–52).

The writer of Psalm 89 was facing hardship. In particular, it was written at a time when the house of David was suffering. Some believe it was during Babylonian captivity.

Throughout that distressing time for God’s people the Psalmist still remembers God’s promises to them.

The Psalmist opens by announcing his intention to sing of the “Lord’s great love forever” (v. 1). The Psalmist goes on to reaffirm God’s promise to David that He would establish his line forever (v. 4).

We can trust in God’s promises to us because God is faithful in love. Even in the midst of trouble the Psalmist declares that God’s “love stands firm forever” (v. 3).

We can trust in God’s promises because He is faithful in power. God is revered “in the council of the holy ones” (v. 7), God rules over the “surging sea” (v. 9), all of creation “sings for joy” at His name (v. 12).

We can trust in God’s promises because God is faithful to save. The Psalmist repeats God’s promise to send a Savior whom the “wicked will not oppress” (v. 22) and whose throne will reign “as long as the heaven’s endure” (v. 29).

Finally, We can trust in God’s promises because He remains faithful even when we’re faithless. The Psalmist comes to God with his complaints. He cries out, “Will you hide yourself forever? How long will your wrath burn like fire?” (v. 46). Looking from this side of history, we know things the Psalmist couldn’t see then. We know that God restores the house of David and that through Jesus establishes the line of David forever.

In our lives we are in the same position as the Psalmist. We know God’s promises and we know God’s power and faithfulness. But that doesn’t stop us from questioning God when things are hard and don’t make sense. As the Psalmist had to wait to see God’s promises fulfilled, we too must wait for God to fulfill His promises. We may not see them happen in our lifetime. Many people in the Bible didn’t live to see God’s promises fulfilled. But every single promise that God has ever made either has been or will be fulfilled. We must be patient.

But what should we do while we wait?

We need to continue to praise God. The Psalm ends with the writer declaring, “Blessed be the Lord forever! Amen and Amen” (v. 52). Even when questioning God, the Psalmist praises Him.  We should praise God and continue to follow Him even when we don’t understand. We must trust in God, lean on His word and follow His commands because God will not fail and His love endures forever.

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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