God is Great, But Where is He? (Psalm 89)

This psalm is a contemplation of Ethan the Ezrahite.  He offers prolific praise for God in the majority of the psalm, speaking of His great mercies, and His faithfulness to the covenant of David.  He then speaks of the praise that comes from the heavens, from the assembly of the saints, from the world.  He extols the power of God over creation.  He enumerates the creative acts of God, including the heavens, the earth, the poles, the cities, and all the good things made in the earth.  He lifts up the Lord’s strength, His righteousness and justice, mercy and truth.  He glorifies God’s protection of His people, and celebrates His anointing of David.  He describes God as more cunning than His enemies, and stronger as well.  Ethan describes the blessings afforded to God’s people, and then describes the evil that accompanies disobedience of God’s commands.  He finally bemoans the circumstance of the anointed of God being estranged from God, with God’s fury and displeasure being upon Him.  He sums it up with the following prayer:

46 How long, Lord?

Will You hide Yourself forever?

Will Your wrath burn like fire?

47 Remember how short my time is;

For what futility have You created all the children of men?

48 What man can live and not see death?

Can he deliver his life from the power of the grave?

Ethan, perhaps one of the Sons of Korah, writes an ode to the greatness of God, but ends it with a lament about the supposed abandonment of David’s house by God.  What a prevalent theme in the psalms!  God is great and has done great things for Israel and Judah.  However, when it appears that He is not present in the midst of troubles, people will moan over the isolation and loneliness of those moments.  The great truth is that God is always faithful and never loses sight of the plight of those who serve Him.  Trust in the Lord in good times and in bad, knowing that the same God Who saved you from your enemied last year, last month, or last week, is the same God to whom you pray today.  What He has done, He can do and will do again!

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