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Advent Psalms: Psalm 89:1-5

I will sing of the steadfast love of the LORD, forever;

with my mouth I will make known your

faithfulness to all generations.

For I said, “Steadfast love will be built up forever;

in the heavens you will establish your faithfulness.”

You have said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one;

I have sworn to David my servant:

‘I will establish your offspring forever,

and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,

your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

– Psalm 89:1-5

This is the last Advent Psalm before Christmas, and I don’t have any great revelation, except to say, this one is hard for me.

I could talk to you all day about the sinner/saint divide in each of us. I love fleshing that out for you so you might be brought low to humbly walk alongside other beggars who’ve been told where there is food. I want the playing field to be leveled the way God made it, so when we come to Jesus, we do it equally as sinners, then are transformed equally into saints, co-hidden in his righteousness forever. I relish in the law/gospel talk, that by the working of His Spirit, he effects that transformation that first lays a person low, and then raises him up to God through his Son’s precious work.

That is why this portion of Psalm 89 is so difficult to me. It pleads enthusiastically within me to do two things; Shut Up, and Praise God. Neither of these things are areas at which I excel at.

Shut up

Sometimes, you just need to quiet yourself down and read His Word, maybe speak them softly back to yourself. In that silence, let what they say about God’s steadfast love and faithfulness take deeper root, co-mingling with that seed of faith God has planted within you. Hear his covenant promise of Jesus settle within you. Remind yourself that this promise, now fulfilled, was made hundreds of years prior. Let that expanse of time bring you to a place of awe as you think on God’s faithfulness and perfect timing.     

This is hard for me. I know how good God is, and what he’s done for us. But sometimes the only way I sense the awesomeness of his power is when he breaks through in some miraculous way in my current situation. I forget to silently reflect, and allow the truth of who he is within all of scripture, and not just my “Book of Now”, to bring me to that awe as well. I don’t want to be in awe of “the next thing”, but in awe of all the things.

So yes, I need to shut up sometimes. This psalm, when I read all there is to be awed at and humbled by, is what it reminds me to do.

Then it reminds me to do one more thing…        

Praise God

I need to remember in my silence, as these truths ruminate around in my head, what the response is from the psalmist. It’s praise!  This portion of the psalm is a psalm of praise. Praise for what he has done, and what he will do. It’s not reminding God of the past, and pleading for the future, like the other psalms.

I made a point back in Psalm 85 to note who was doing the “salvation verbs”. It was God. Well, here are some other action words:     

I will sing…

I will make known…

For I said…

The psalmist is responding to God’s goodness and mercy. “He’s been steadfast, and I will sing! I will tell every generation that I have the privilege to guide, of how good you are!”

We know about that right?

We know what it’s like to be caught up with God and want to tell the world about him, sometimes before we know some of the things we eventually need to know. Our enthusiasm is unmatched as newly minted members of God’s universal church. But, it’s the same response we should have as seasoned, well-read Christians, as the Spirit reveals to us in his Word, how good he is, which is praise:

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,

your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!

So here is my encouragement to you. Take a day, or maybe two. Read these first five lines of Psalm 89 over and again. Stare at them and think about them. Read them softly to yourself and meditate on them.

Then thank God for them. Thank Him for what they mean for you, for your family, for this broken world, for the restoration of all things.

Finally, praise him for Christ of Christmas.


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