But you have rejected, you have spurned, you have been very angry with your anointed one. You have renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.

Psalm 89:38-39 (NIV)

Until verse 38, this psalm was a typical one devoted to praising the Lord. Even verse 38 aligns with a praise psalm in which the writer has sinned against the Lord and now feels wrath. However, verse 39 indicates that the psalmist (Ethan the Ezrahite) finds some fault with God. Indeed, verses 30-32 show the writer’s view on what should happen if the anointed one (in this case, David) sinned against the Lord.

“If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;

Psalm 89:30-32 (NIV)

However, despite their sin, Ethan states that God is still faithful. 

But I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.

Psalm 89:33-34 (NIV)

Therefore, verses 38-39 declare that God wasn’t faithful, at least according to how Ethan sees things. This is astonishing and changes the tone of the entire psalm from praise to one where the writer is trying to persuade God to change his mind. 

Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have created all humanity!

Psalm 89:47 (NIV)

While reading this psalm and thinking about how quickly it changed, I’m reminded of how quickly we can turn from following the Lord to looking at our circumstances. It’s not just in the face of hardship, which we’re to endure as discipline (cf. Hebrews 12:7), but in those times when we don’t see the reason for our difficulty because we think we’ve done nothing to deserve them. If we consider Psalm 89 to be around the time of Absalom’s rebellion, then it might seem to someone like Ethan that David hadn’t deserved everything happening. Yet, we know from reading the Bible that God pronounced this judgment over David because of committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 12:11). Therefore, Absalom’s rebellion happened because of David’s actions not just with Bathsheba but with his approach to raising his children. 

This psalm also reminds me of how human we are and how graceful the Lord is. I don’t think for a minute that what we read in Psalm 89 about the Lord’s “unfaithfulness” is anything more than the anguish in a man’s heart being laid out for all to see, and in the end, we see that no matter how Ethan felt about the situation, he ends the psalm with praise for the Lord.

Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.

Psalm 89:52 (NIV)

Do you know God? God knows you, and he loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, and he wants you to know him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, freed from death, and live eternally with him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe you died on the cross and were buried, and God the Father raised you from the dead on the third day. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart and receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.