Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! (Psalm 89:5 ESV)
Psalm 89 is a song of lament from God’s people. The reality that the Bible contains lament should in and of itself be a great comfort for us today. The truth of living in a fallen world is that in different seasons and times of life we all deal with sorrow, whether it be due to sickness, death of a loved one, broken relationships, a wayward child, addictions, etc. The great news is that the Bible gives us permission to grieve, and it is in our grief that we are able to experience the faithfulness of a God who gives us a garment of praise out of our distress.
The psalmist builds this lament upon the faithfulness and steadfast love of God. But why? What is it about God’s faithfulness and steadfast love that gives us permission and confidence to bring our troubles to him? Some would argue that sorrow is proof that our God is not faithful. But this is not true because God’s faithfulness is not circumstantial, rather God’s faithfulness is a part of His character. Although our circumstances may change, our God does not. This is why the psalmist can proclaim in verse one that God is faithful to all generations. Times change, sin damages, our flesh fails, but our God redeems through his steadfast love and faithfulness. This was the promise that God gave to Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and David. In times of difficulty, we should cling to a God whose Word is unable to fail. The psalmist does this by calling to mind the promise given to David that his throne would be eternal (vv 3-4).
The beauty for the church today is that God kept his promise to David through Jesus. It is in Jesus that God’s steadfast love and faithfulness is most clearly seen. The death of Jesus for our sins is the evidence that God takes evil and uses it for good. Because of this truth the Apostle Paul writes, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor 1:20). So now we too can sing as Israel did, “Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!”
Written by Pastor Rick Bartek