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Deeper Commentary


Psa 89:1

A contemplation by Ethan, the Ezrahite-
"By" can as well be "for"; the author seems clearly to be David, so it may be that Ethan was the one responsible for publishing it or setting it to music. This Psalm praises and expounds God's covenant with David, but then from :38 onwards accuses God of breaking that covenant. It seems we have here the kind of thing we are used to in electronic communication; the reply to the accusation includes the original accusation beneath the text of the reply. The complaint about breaking the covenant was rooted in a misunderstanding- that the covenant implied an unbroken line of kings from David onwards, literally reigning on Zion. But now that line has been broken, and Zion destroyed and ploughed as a field. The covenant with David promised that David's throne and kingdom would continue eternally because the resurrected ["set up"] Messiah, Son of God and Son of David, would reign eternally from Zion, and David would be resurrected to see this "before [him]", in David's presence. The first part of the Psalm explains this. And so all the complaint about Divine fickleness and injustice was in fact based on a misreading of what He had promised, and interpreting God's words of promise according to the narrative of what David and others wished or fantasized to be true.

The thoughts of the complainer from :38 ff. are very similar to Lamentations; we wonder whether these are Jeremiah's reflections, answered by "Ethan". The final verse of the complaint concludes with an expression of trust in Yahweh despite all the doubts, which is typical of Jeremiah. However if Ethan is the Ethan of 1 Kings 5:11; 1 Chron. 2:6, then he was contemporary with David and Solomon. It could be that his inspired commentary on the promises to David is appended with a complaint from Jeremiah, because actually the complaints had already been answered centuries earlier in Ethan's commentary on the Davidic covenant.

I will sing of the grace of Yahweh forever. With my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations-
The point of "forever" and stressing God's eternal faithfulness is in answer to the complaints which begin in :38. Despite all seeming injustice and lack of God coming through, the Psalmist still believes God's grace is eternal. God's grace and faithfulness to the covenant are paralleled. The fulfilment of the promises is by His grace; and therefore to question whether His word is true is to question His grace. "In mercy shall the throne be established" (Is. 16:5). The building up of David's throne, with Messiah ruling on it, will be eternal. Because as Paul says, God will then lavish His grace upon us throughout the eternal ages.

This Psalm is originally David's reflection upon the promises to him in 2 Sam. 7, and his struggles with believing and understanding parts of them. But it has been reworked by later inspired hands in the context of the exiles, struggling to believe that the Davidic covenant still has meaning. Yet the Psalm is introduced as being about grace. For that is what those promises reveal; and it begins and ends with praise, despite David's struggle with how God was apparently fulfilling them. We can therefore note that David’s greatest insight into the promises was at the time he doubted them the most. Those who have these crises know the love of God in the way that the prodigal son knew it far more than the son who stayed at home, living in obedience each day. And for all his doubts and struggles, David wishes to declare God's faithfulness to all and for all time. And he chose this song to do so.

Psa 89:2

I indeed declare, Love stands firm forever because You established the skies; Your faithfulness is in them-
The solid existence of all creation is seen as evidence enough that the love of God, as expressed through the Davidic covenant, would remain firm likewise. We need only look at the natural creation for evidence that God is going to keep the promises found in the Bible. The same idea is found in :37. In answer to the complaints which begin in :38, the answer is that God is love and keeps His promises, and the natural creation proves this. The idea is that in Heaven, God's faithfulness to His covenant with David is total and immutable. It is only to the observers on earth, whose complaints are from :38, that there appears anything wrong. 

The promise to David declared that even if the Son of David sinned, God would never withdraw His love from Him. The complainers expected a Davidic dynasty of kings to last eternally, but God never promised that. He promised that His Son would reign eternally on the throne of David, at a future point. And that parental, paternal never to be withdrawn love would indeed never be withdrawn. But those focused on seeing blessing in the here and now didn't see the wonder of that. They demanded a fulfilment before their eyes, and refused to see that "hidden love of God". Just as God maintains constantly His covenant with the natural creation, so He maintains His covenant with David. He is not a liar nor covenant breaker. He is working ceaselessly towards fulfilling the covenant with David in the return of His resurrected son, and the eternal establishment of Him upon David's throne (:4).

Psa 89:3

I have made a covenant with My chosen one, I have sworn to David My servant-
It's hard to know whether this is a direct revelation from God, or whether these words are as it were put in God's mouth by the poetry of the psalmist. David was clearly the "chosen one... My servant" (Ps. 89:3), but these very terms are applied to Israel as a whole (Ps. 105:6,43; 106:5) and to the "servant" of later Isaiah, who refers to both Israel and their Messiah as their embodiment (Is. 42:1; 45:4). David's path of sin, repentance and restoration was intended to be that of all God's people, as he himself recognizes in Ps. 32. But the exiles refused to repent and therefore their restoration was precluded. They were not therefore treated as His "chosen one".

Psa 89:4 ‘

I will establish Your seed forever, and build up Your throne to all generations’. Selah-
This was true, but only if his seed had the characteristics of David. As noted on :3, David's path of sin, repentance and restoration was intended to be that of all God's people, as he himself recognizes in Ps. 32. But the exiles refused to repent and therefore their restoration was precluded. And so the eternal establishment of his throne didn't come true as it could have done at the time of the exiles. It will become true in the Lord Jesus, whose throne will be eternally built up in that His rulership will eternally expand. That opens up a vista of us eternally extending His rule- in our own hearts, over other beings and dimensions. "Build up" is also translated "to obtain children". It's as if the seed continues to grow eternally, the throne is built up in that more people submit to the king, so His "kingdom", those beneath His dominion, increase eternally. This suggests we will spend eternity bringing other beings beneath that dominion, and we can begin living that spirit now in our witness and bringing others into that dominion. The contrast was with David wanting to "build [up]" a house for God. His response was that He didn't want David spending a few years building up a house for Him; but rather He would spend eternity building up David's house in the sense of his family, who would also be God's family and kingdom (2 Sam. 7:5,7 etc.). Solomon totally missed the point of all this in reasoning that David could not build the house because of his bloodshed, but therefore he [Solomon] was intended to physically build a house for Yahweh (1 Kings 5:3,5). Perhaps this is why we read several times that Solomon built [up] the house and finished it (1 Kings 6:9,14), he was building the house seven years and then finished it (1 Kings 6:38), which appears to be stating the obvious until we see the intended contrast- Yahweh's building up of David's house, which was also to be His house, would be eternal and never finish. And 1 Kings 8:13 is almost comical in the contrast; Solomon proudly says that "I have surely built [up] for You a house to dwell in, a settled place for You to abide in for ever". But no, Yahweh is about eternally building up a house for David where He will live, in the hearts of an ever and eternally expanding group of people who would be David's true seed. Solomon built a physical house for God's Name... but how can a Name, Yahweh's characteristics, abide in a cold stone building? They can only be found in the hearts of humans made in His image. This is why Ps. 89:2,4 parallel the "building up" of the throne and "Mercy shall be built up for ever". The ever expanding dominion of God in hearts and minds is all of His grace and mercy, and that will continue to grow and be magnified for ever. Although David set Solomon up for failure with his insistence on building up a physical house rather than let Yahweh build up his spiritual house, David does also 'get it' that it is Yahweh who is the builder and not him. He does often admit this in his Psalms: "Do good unto Zion, build Thou the walls of Jerusalem... Yahweh built up His sanctuary... Jerusalem is builded up as a city compacted together... Except Yahweh builds up the house they labour in vain who build... Yahweh builds up Jerusalem... " (Ps. 51:18; 78:69; 122:3; 127:1; 147:2). And this time of building up would not be until the Lord Jesus returned: "When Yahweh shall build up Zion, he shall appear in His glory" (Ps. 102:16). This is the time of the new covenant: "I will build you [up] and you shall be built, O virgin of Israel... I will watch over them to build them up... I will build them [up] as at the first... I Yahweh build up the ruined places / people... in that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David and will build it [up]" (Jer. 31:4,28; 33:7; Ez. 36:36; Am. 9:11).

Psa 89:5

The skies will praise Your wonders, Yahweh; Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones-
This is a reference to the court of Heaven. Although the exiles on earth couldn't see the progression of God's purpose according to His covenant with David, the Angels in heaven perceived it and rejoiced. And our perspective is to be theirs. The implication is that those on earth who considered God to have broken His promises were out of step with the Angels in the court of Heaven above, who praise Him for fulfilling the promises.

Psa 89:6

For who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the heavenly beings is like Yahweh-
Here again we seem to have a criticism of idolatry. The idols are often not baldly stated to be non-existent, but rather Yahweh is so highly exalted and powerful that effectively they have no real existence. Likewise the Lord Jesus didn't specifically state that demons don't exist; rather the supreme power of His miracles showed that effectively they don't, as they have no real power even if they do exist. Idolatry was an abiding problem in Israel at David's time, and also at the start of the exile, as Ezekiel makes clear.

Psa 89:7

a very awesome God in the council of the holy ones, to be feared above all those who are around Him?-
The awesome nature of the court of heaven is stressed, into which we have a glimpse in 1 Kings 22. God has a "council", discussing His plans with the Angels. This is because although the exiles on earth couldn't see the progression of God's purpose according to His covenant with David, the Angels in heaven perceived it and rejoiced. And our perspective is to be theirs.

Psa 89:8

Yahweh, God of Armies, who is a mighty one like You? Yah, Your faithfulness is around You-
Any suspicion that God hasn't come through for us is effectively a disbelief in His Almightiness. Any lack of 'coming through' is not because He lacks the power.

The Angels around the throne in :7 are here equated with God's faithfulness. They would surely bring about the fulfilment of the Davidic covenant, in their time and way. The apparent lack of fulfilment of the covenant was not therefore because of any inability on God's part; which leaves the implication that it was due to failure on Israel's part on earth.

Psa 89:9

You rule the pride of the sea; when its waves rise up, You calm them-
As so often in the Psalms, in times of doubt and depression concerning why God doesn't come through as we think or hope He should, thoughts turn to how God has acted mightily in the past, and the Red Sea deliverance is the favourite of the psalmists; and of how His constant activity is seen in the natural creation. If He rules the sea, thought by the ancients to be the home of mysterious powers and Satan-like monsters, then how much more can He control the movements of the nations, represented by the seas. The complainers from :38 ff. seem to have attributed the disaster of Zion's overthrow and the ending of the Davidic line of kings as being due to God being somehow powerless against the cosmic forces of evil. But the answer is that Yahweh rules over all any such supposed powers and has shown this abundantly in His past behaviour. The God who had historically calmed the seas at creation and at the Red Sea would just as easily calm the seas before the Son of David (:25). But the complainers thought that what God had historically done He was bound to do at any time, on demand, as if God is a cash machine. They assumed God should act now as He had historically: “Where are your deeds
of steadfast love of old, O Lord?” (:50). But He is not bound by man. His power is unlimited and He can do this again- through His Son, but when He wishes and not simply on demand.

Psa 89:10

You have broken Rahab in pieces, like one of the slain. You have scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm-
As noted on :9, the appeal is to the fact that God had destroyed the might of Egypt ("Rahab") and scattered the tribes of Canaan. Faith continues that He can do the same again with Babylon. In answer to the complaints which begin in :38, the Psalmist recalls God's historical actions and fulfilment of His promises. Even though the deliverance from Egypt appeared much delayed and long drawn out. Verses 10 and 11 clearly allude to the victory song over Egypt of Ex. 15. The complainers were perhaps arguing that Yahweh had indeed rescued Israel from Egypt, so why could He not do so from Babylon? He would, ultimately, although it was a redemption largely refused by Judah. And He would do so spiritually in the establishment of the eternal Kingdom of His Son. But the complainers didn't care to accept that the temporary triumph of Babylon was because of their sins, and they failed to focus upon the future establishment of Yahweh's eternal Kingdom on earth.

Psa 89:11

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and its fullness; You have founded them-
The fact that "the earth is the Lord's" is used to highlight the wonder of the fact that therefore how much moreso do His people belong to Him, and are cared for by Him with such sensitivity (Ex. 19:5; Dt. 10:14; Ps. 50:12; 89:11). Just as the eretz / earth / land promised to Abraham is Yahweh's, so is in fact the entire planet (Ps. 24:1), and His purpose was perceived by David as incorporating the entire planet and not just Israel. The 'founding' of the physical planet is compared to how God has 'founded' Zion Is. 14:32). Zion had apparently been removed; but that meant that it must be founded again eternally. But the response of the exiles was to think that if Zion had been removed, then God's purpose was over. They failed to appreciate that just as Abraham was promised eternal inheritance of the land but didn't receive that in his lifetime, so likewise the fulfilment of God's promises requires a future time of restoration and resurrection.

Psa 89:12

The north and the south, You have created them; Tabor and Hermon rejoice in Your name-
LXX "North and the west", which would better fit Tabor and Hermon as the great mountains of the west and north. AV "shall rejoice..." reflects faith that finally the land and kingdom would be restored, and rejoice instead of mourning. Reflection on God's extreme power shows that the fears expressed from :38 that God has failed to 'come through' are not due to any lack of power His side.

It has been noted that "north and south" can be translated "Zaphon and Yemin". These are "the traditional Ugaritic mountains of the gods, namely Zaphon and Amanus"; the idea is that Yahweh is supreme over the gods and the supposed powers of evil. Any blaming of the end of the Davidic line on cosmic forces of evil was therefore impossible; for Yahweh was clearly king over them, to the point they effectively didn't even exist.

Psa 89:13

You have a mighty arm, Your hand is strong and Your right hand is exalted-
God's apparent inaction was never to be interpreted as meaning that He was too weak to fulfil His purpose. God's power remains permanent and ultimate, even in the face of our defeats and before death itself. Again, the logic of this demands that the apparent lack of progress with God's purpose isn't due to any deficiency on His part; and therefore it means that we are the reason for that lack of progress.

Psa 89:14

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; grace and truth go before Your face-
Never should Israel think that because the throne of David was apparently cast down, so therefore was God's throne. His throne is eternal, and before His face, always in His awareness, is "grace and truth", a phrase often used of His promises to Abraham and David. If God's promises are grace and truth, then it's unthinkable that they should be broken- otherwise they wouldn't be "truth". Those from :38 who claimed God's "truth" had been broken were therefore saying God is untruthful. But He is fundamentally truthful, and so their positions were arrived at due to misinterpretation of His word and interjecting their own narratives onto His word. The eternal establishment of the Messianic Son of David, Son of God, would be by grace and truth. To argue that seeing there was no human Davidic king was to posit that God's grace and truth were no longer. But they are. It's just they are not immediately visible before our eyes.

Psa 89:15

Blessed are the people who learn to acclaim You; they shall walk in the light of Your face, Yahweh-
David often asks for forgiveness and restored fellowship with God in terms of walking again in the light of God's face. As noted above, his path of repentance and restoration was to be that of the exiles; if they acclaimed God in repentance, which the exiles generally didn't. The people who praise God are those who are praising Him for faithfully fulfilling His word- whereas those who don't perceive this, those speaking from :38 onwards, are miserable and not at all blessed / happy. Those who do perceive God's faithfulness "learn to acclaim You". Perceiving His faithfulness is something that must be learnt and is beyond any surface level observation of life.

"Learn to acclaim You" is the language of the acclamation at a coronation. Although there was no visible Davidic king at that point, blessed were those who still perceived that Yahweh was still their king, and His throne was to be given to David when His promised Son reigned upon it. We too acclaim Yahweh as King and ourselves as His Kingdom, although the literal visible evidence of that isn't there in our current situation. But that is a 'learnt' position and the Psalmist wishes it for us all. The complainers hadn't learnt that. 

Psa 89:16

In Your name they rejoice all day. In Your righteousness, they are exalted-
This again alludes to how David was forgiven for his sins through the imputation of God's righteousness. The exiles were to follow his path to restoration; and like David, rejoice in this imputation of righteousness. But they refused. Experiencing God's grace (:17) leads to the possibility of living in constant rejoicing at our high status before God- regardless of whether we consider He hasn't come through for us right now as much as we would like (as the complainers from :38 onwards felt).

Psa 89:17

For You are the glory of their strength. In Your favour, our horn will be exalted-
The idea of the horn of the righteous being exalted is used about what David envisaged happening for God's people in this life (s.w. Ps. 148:14), although the final fulfilment was to be at the last day, when the horn of the wicked is cut off (Ps. 75:10). But there are potential foretastes of the last day in this life. Jeremiah appears to struggle with the Psalms which taught that the horn of the righteous would be lifted up, lamenting that instead the horn of their enemies had been lifted up (s.w. Lam. 2:17). This confirms the suggestion made on :1 that the complainer from :38 ff. is Jeremiah. The truth was that the horn of God's people would only be lifted up if they were identified with the lifting up of the horn which was Messiah (Ps. 89:17,24). And because this didn't happen, their horn was not exalted.

Psa 89:18

For our shield belongs to Yahweh; our king to the Holy One of Israel-
This may be commentary upon the fact that the Davidic line had been temporarily overthrown. God was the ultimate king of Israel, and so there was no need to think that Israel were left without a king. "Shield" is a metaphor for "king" (as in Ps. 47:9). Even in exile, Israel were not without a king who would protect them. AV "The Holy One of Israel is our king" is the answer to the complainers of :38 ff. lamenting that there was now no Davidic king on the throne. They were making the mistake Israel had historically made- to forget Yahweh was their king, and thus resign themselves from being His Kingdom. For a kingdom is a group of persons who have a king. He was still their king and shield, even with Zion ploughed and no Davidic king on the throne. All they could see was what was immediately in front of their eyes- they had no human king and so they thought they were now not a kingdom. The answer is that Yahweh was still their king, and His throne was paralleled with the throne of David in the Davidic covenant. And that throne and kingdom would be eternal- in the future, when the Son of David was resurrected and David too was resurrected to see that eternal throne and kingdom established "before [him]".

Psa 89:19

Then You spoke in vision to Your saints and said, I have bestowed strength on the warrior. I have exalted a young man from the people-
Dahood renders: “I made a lad king in preference to a warrior, I exalted a youth above a hero”, with reference to Saul.

2 Sam. 7 says that the vision appeared to Nathan by night and he shared it with David. But here we read that the vision is to all "Your saints". Is. 55:3-5 call individuals to choose to personally enter the Davidic covenant: "Incline your ear, and come to me; Listen so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, My steadfast, sure love for David". The complainers just assumed that their interpretation of the Davidic covenant must come true for them automatically. See on :51.

The bestowal of strength refers to David (Ps. 20:2; 21:5). The "chosen man" (AV) is clearly David (Ps. 78:70; 89:3; 1 Kings 8:16). The "saints" or "holy one[s]" who were told of the choosing of David were the Angels in the court of heaven (see on :5-7), and was reflected upon earth by Samuel the prophet being told to choose and anoint David whilst still a young man. We appear to have here the record of a vision given to Samuel, on the basis of which he went seeking for David to anoint him. The Angels in the court of heaven were going to bring about God's purpose with David and the complainers should not have considered them impotent to perform it.  

Samuel appeared to have assumed that Eliab must be Yahweh's anointed, seeing he was tall and handsome (1 Sam. 16:7). But he had not learnt the lesson he should've learnt from his experience with Saul, who was exceptionally tall, and yet was no true leader of God's people. God tries to remind Samuel of this by saying of Eliab: "I have rejected him"; God had used the very term about Saul very recently (1 Sam. 16:1,7 RV). Ps. 89:19,20 imply that God had specifically told Samuel to anoint David- so his desire to anoint tall, handsome Eliab appears to have been a failure on Samuel's part, rooted in simply not joining the dots. And even when David was brought in, Samuel seems to have somewhat failed in his judgment- for he was impressed by David's fair appearance (1 Sam. 16:12), when God had just laboured the point to Samuel that the choice of a ruler was not to be based upon his appearance (1 Sam. 16:7).

However, the account of this "vision" about David then goes on later to repeat and expand parts of the promises to David given to him by Nathan the prophet in 2 Sam. 7. So it could be that here we are being given an account of a vision given to Nathan which included parts of what Samuel had been told. Or it could be that we are reading here the inspired commentary of the psalmist upon those visions, which are largely unrecorded in the historical records.

Psa 89:20

I have found David My servant, I have anointed him with My holy oil-
The Bible reveals that God is in search of man. "Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel" (Hos. 9:10); "He found him in a desert land...he encircled him, he cared for him" (Dt. 32:10); "I have found David my servant" (Ps. 89:20). Jeremiah's search for believers was a reflection of God's: "Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth" (Jer.  5:1). God hunts for us like a lion, Job came to realize; and in this "You show yourself wonderful to me" (Job 10:16). And we are searching for God. God is not indifferent to our searching for Him. Those awestruck moments of wonder, of radical amazement, are where God finds us at the time we are searching for Him. Both sides are seeking each other; and in those moments, they meet. As a Jewish poet put it: "And going out to meet thee / I found thee coming toward me". In those moments, heaven and earth kiss each other. There is a click, a flash, between Almighty God and us- as we stand at a bus stop, turn left into Acacia Avenue, lay there on our bed meditating.

Psa 89:21

with whom My hand shall be established; My arm will also strengthen him-
This hand of God made a specific branch "strong". This branch was the Lord Jesus (Is. 11:1; Jer. 23:5; Zech. 3:8;6:12). The psalmist perceives that the restoration will come through an individual Messianic figure, who would as it were be a spiritual reincarnation of the historical David. There were various possible potential fulfillments of this, such as Zerubabbel and Joshua, but they all let the baton drop. The final fulfilment is therefore in the Lord Jesus, who allowed Himself to be made strong by God's hand (s.w. Ps. 80:17). Whilst His utter moral perfection was in a sense His own achievement, and that must never be taken away from the Lord, the path there involved allowing God to make Him strong for Himself. And this is our pattern too, in allowing the work of the Holy Spirit to do likewise with us, paralleled here with God's hand being upon us, making us strong. The prophecy could have had an earlier fulfilment in Hezekiah, 'made strong by Yah', but he too disallowed it and went off to this present world. The lead characteristic of Jacob was that he and his descendants would be 'made strong' (s.w. Gen. 25:23), even though they were so spiritually weak. So many times Israel are encouraged to be "of good courage", s.w. "made strong" (Dt. 31:6,7 etc.), so that they might inherit the promised kingdom. But they generally didn't make use of this potential strengthening. The exiles likewise were potentially "made strong" but they refused to make use of that, remaining in Babylon for the most part (s.w. Is. 35:3; 41:10).

Psa 89:22

No enemy will tax him, no wicked man will oppress him-
The initial reference was to the terrible taxation of Saul, which David avoided through killing Goliath (1 Sam. 17:25). The reminder is that despite this interpretation or implication of the promises to David, the "wicked man" Saul did indeed "oppress" him; for these phrases are used throughout the wilderness Psalms about Saul. But the point was, the Davidic covenant did come finally true for David, despite periods when apparently it failed for him. And the exiles were bidden likewise look to the end of things, rather than demand immediate and constant experience of God's promises coming true in this life. This is a lesson for all those tempted to believe the "prosperity Gospel".

The complainers from :38 onwards felt that the enemies were oppressing them. But what God had promised was a time when no enemy would ever oppress God's people, under the rulership of the Son of David. So the complainers were wanting the Kingdom situation right now, and felt it unreasonable that they didn't have their jam both today and tomorrow.

Psa 89:23

I will beat down his adversaries before him, and strike those who hate him-
This again only came true for David in the longer term and not immediately. Absalom and Saul both died from being 'struck down' but this was only after they had appeared to be in the ascendancy over David. And so it was to be true for all in covenant relationship with God.  

Psa 89:24

But My faithfulness and My grace will be with him; in My name, his horn will be exalted-
It was in this exaltation of the Messianic horn that the horn of the people would be exalted (s.w. :17). There existed even in these earlier days the idea of being "in Christ", the Messiah, and those in Him being blessed with the experience of His exaltation and glory. But the various possibilities of a Messiah figure in the period of the restoration all came to nothing.
Knowing this openness of God, women like Hannah clearly hoped and prayed that their sons would be Messiah (1 Sam. 2:10 = Ps. 89:24); for they perceived that God’s purpose was open to such a thing. But finally the fulfilment was to come in the person of the Lord Jesus, after all the other potential fulfillments had let the baton drop. 

Psa 89:25

I will set his hand also on the sea and his right hand on the rivers-
"The rivers" can be understood as an intensive plural, referring to the great river, Euphrates. From the sea to the Euphrates was the territory promised to Abraham. The fulfilment of the Davidic covenant was to be understood as involving the complete fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham. This didn't happen in David's time, but this was the promise. We appear to have here an extension of the promises to David, perhaps given to the psalmist by direct revelation from God, although the promises recorded in 2 Sam. 7 are alluded to and expanded.

Seeing the Son of David had not yet reigned from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, the complainers of :38 ff. were wrong to think that a Kingdom of God situation had ever come about.

This is a response to :42 "You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries". But the eye of faith looked to the day when the Son of David would have His hand on the full extent of the land promised to Abraham.

Psa 89:26

He will call to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation!’-
The Lord Jesus appears to allude to this in calling God his Father and his God (Jn. 20:17); hard proof against the "Jesus = God" theology of Trinitarians. We note too the need for salvation of David's Messianic seed; hardly appropriate if that seed were to be God Himself.  

Psa 89:27

I will also appoint him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth-
The fulfilment of the Davidic covenant was to be primarily in a person, who would rule over all kings and would be God's firstborn; the first child He ever had. 2 Sam. 7:12-14 implies this would have to be through a woman in David's line becoming pregnant not from man but from God Himself, through His Spirit. And this was to have ultimate fulfilment in the virgin birth (Lk. 1:31-35). But the exiles focused instead upon a visible restoration of the Davidic throne and kingdom before their eyes at that time. We too must be Jesus centered more than Kingdom centered. Otherwise we too will start to complain that God appears not to be coming through for us personally in this life. The complainers of :38 ff. observed that God's people were now beneath all the nations, and not above them. But this was because they didn't have the firstborn, only begotten Son of God reigning over them in God's Kingdom. They wanted and indeed expected the full Kingdom blessings to be experienced in this life. Just like many today who complain of God not coming through. This language is applied to the Lord Jesus "the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth" (Rev. 1:5). But it was to come true in His resurrection and later in the full establishment of His Kingdom on earth. But the complainers wanted the Kingdom life here and now, and didn't factor in the "Jesus" issue.

Possibly the allusion is to Ex. 4:22 "Israel is My son even My firstborn‟. God's intentions for Israel had now been replaced by focusing them in His Son. Or it could be that His Son is presented as the ideal Israel. Likewise in Ps. 89 the son of David is the highest of all kings on the earth, but this is the language of Dt. 26:19; 28:1 about Israel “high above all nations that He has made". The Son of David is to reign "as the days of heaven", for ever (:29). But Israel's days were to be "as the days of heaven" (Dt. 11:21). Again, the Messiah becomes the epitome and representative of God's true Israel. Salvation and eternal days are to be found in Him, and not through some eternal line of Davidic kings.


2 Sam. 5:12 and 1 Chron. 14:2 observe that "David perceived that Yahweh had established him king over Israel; for his kingdom was exalted on high, for His people Israel’s sake". The establishment of the Davidic kingdom was for Israel's sake (as noted also in 1 Kings 10:9; 2 Chron. 2:11). Ez. 21:25-27 comments that the last king in the Davidic line was a "profane, wicked prince" and therefore the continuation of the Davidic line of kings was not good for the sake of Israel. It had to be removed and replaced with the Davidic son of David. But the complainers of :38 ff. could not see any other narrative than their desire to see a Davidic king reigning on Judah's throne, no matter how profane and wicked he was. 

Psa 89:28

I will keep My grace for him forever. My covenant will stand firm through him-
The exiles were complaining that the Davidic covenant wasn't being fulfilled in their experience. But they failed to perceive that it required the appearance of a Messianic seed for this covenant to be realized in practice. And those who might have partially fulfilled it in their time (especially Zerubbabel) had all failed. The fulfilment was to be "through him" and not simply through the exile being ended.

Psa 89:29

I will also make his seed endure forever and his throne as the days of heaven-
Again the point is made as on :28, that the Davidic covenant didn't promise immediate blessing for the kingdom of David. It was primarily focused upon an individual seed of David who would have an eternal throne; and personal blessing and salvation was only to be found through association with this seed, becoming "in Him". See on :24.

Psa 89:30

If his children forsake My law and don’t walk in My ordinances-
I have noted on :24,28,29 that the blessings of the covenant were to come particularly and specifically upon the singular seed of David; blessings for the rest of Israel would depend upon their association with this seed. This is why the promises about the seed in the singular (the Lord Jesus) are now applied to God's people in the plural (2 Sam. 7:14 cp. Ps. 89:30-35). This is now realized through baptism into the Lord Jesus. Baptism is not an initiation into a church. It isn't something which just seems the right thing to do. And even if because of our environment and conscience, it was easier to get baptized than not- now this mustn't be the case. We really are in Christ, we are born again; now we exist, spiritually! And moreover, we have risen with Him, His resurrection life, His life and living that will eternally be, is now manifest in us, and will be articulated physically at the resurrection.

But this plan of salvation through identification with the seed was conditional. Both he personally and those "in him" had the possibility of sinning and thereby nullifying the covenant. And the exiles had done just this. We note that the Lord Jesus had the possibility of sinning [otherwise His temptations were fake]. This again disproves any idea that He was God Himself in person.

Psa 89:31

if they break My statutes and don’t keep My commandments-
The covenant was broken (:34 s.w.) because they had broken the laws which were part of that covenant. The law repeatedly stated that if Israel didn't keep God's commandments, they would be exiled from their land (Lev. 20:22 s.w.). After centuries of patience with them, this finally happened. Any complaint at the consequence for sin was therefore unreasonable. It would be as unreasonable as Adam complaining that he had been exiled east of Eden.

This is the development of the clause about David's individual seed in 2 Sam. 7: "If he [Jesus] commit iniquity...". Here in Ps. 89, the individual seed is spoken of as the community. There are many connections with Is. 53, in this case to the way that "the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all". The Lord Jesus was so identified with the sinful seed of Abraham and David that He bore the curse for their sins, despite being personally innocent.

Psa 89:32

then I will punish their sin with the rod-
This is the equivalent of "I will chasten him with the rod of men" in 2 Sam. 7. Ultimately this connection between the singular seed and the community of God's people led to the Lord's death on the cross: "For the transgression of my people was he stricken" (Is. 53).

And their iniquity with stripes-
This is the equivalent of "And with the stripes of the children of men" in 2 Sam. 7, resulting in the final truth of what was achieved on the cross: "With his stripes we are healed" (Is. 53).

The point of all this is to show how our sins were somehow born by Jesus, to the extent that He suffered for them. But how was this actually achieved? It is one thing to say it, but we must put meaning into the words. I suggest it was in that the Lord  so identified with us, His heart so bled for us, that He felt a sinner even though He of course never sinned. The final cry “My God, why have You forsaken me?” clearly refers back to all the many passages which speak of God forsaking the wicked, but never forsaking the righteous. The Lord, it seems to me, felt a sinner, although He was not one, and thus entered into this sense of crisis and fear He had sinned. He so identified with us. In the bearing of His cross, we likewise must identify with others, with their needs and with the desperation of their human condition… and this is what will convert them, as the Lord’s identification with us saved us.

Psa 89:33

But I will not completely take My grace away from him, nor allow My faithfulness to fail-
I have noted on :31,32 that the promises of 2 Sam. 7 about the singular seed of David are interpreted as applying to the entire community of God's people, and therefore the singular in 2 Sam. 7 is changed to the plural here in Ps. 89. But now there is a reversion to talking about "him", the singular seed. He personally would always receive God's faithful covenant grace; and the implication is that God's sinful people must therefore identify with Him. We now do this by baptism into the Lord Jesus, but until He came, it was impossible for God's people to make this connection with the seed.

Remember that the reasoning here is in answer to the complaints from :38 ff. that God was not preserving His people from their enemies, and therefore was breaking His promise to David. But the answer is here in :30-33- if David's children sinned they would be punished. And that was happening. But God's grace would never depart from the Messianic son of David once His Kingdom was established. A lack of acceptance of personal sin and its consequence is often at the root of complaints about God's supposed injustice. Several of the Psalms which lament God's inaction and judgment totally fail to make any reference to human sin (Ps. 44 especially), or tend to gloss over this factor. Thus Ps. 44:18 complains "our hearts have not gone astray" when Jer. 17:9; 18:16,17 specifically blames the tragedy of the exile on the state of Judah's heart.

Psa 89:34

I will not break My covenant, nor alter what My lips have uttered-
LXX "profane my covenant". The covenant was broken (:31 s.w.) because they had broken or profaned the laws which were part of that covenant. But there had been no change on God's side, as they perhaps imagined. God on His side had not broken covenant. Their complaint that He had broken covenant (:39 s.w.) was completely overlooking that it was they and not Him who had broken the covenant. The exiles are specifically described as breaking the covenant in Mal. 2:10,11 s.w. We note the intimacy of God in saying that the covenant was uttered by His "lips". The words of the covenant were from His very mouth and lips.

Psa 89:35

Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie to David-
To claim that God has broken His side of the covenant is tantamount to calling God a liar. This is what we are doing if we doubt our ultimate salvation. Paul seems to have this in mind in his reasoning in Rom. 3:3-7. The fact some like the exiles didn't want to believe Him doesn't make Him a liar, because His promises to them weren't experienced by them. That was their choice, and they as it were put God in the dock and accused Him of being a liar. And in the revelation of God's final judgment, all who have done so will be revealed as liars.

"I will not lie", in the context of David's throne / kingship (:36), is an allusion to 1 Sam. 15:29 "The Strength of Israel will not lie nor change His mind". The context is Saul and possibly Samuel too, wanting to change God's mind about rejecting Saul and choosing David as king. Saul's "kingdom", either his personal kingship or his dynasty, had already been removed in 1 Sam. 13:13,14- but God had been open to amending that. Saul's behaviour in 1 Sam. 14 and then with the Amalekites in 1 Sam. 15 meant that the window of opportunity was now closed. And meantime, it seems God had "found" David as a replacement; we are given the impression that God began searching in 1 Sam. 13:13,14, and then in 1 Sam. 15:28 He says that He has given the kingdom to Saul's neighbour. The statement that God will not lie i.e. retract is perhaps referencing the choice of David as a replacement: "Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David” (Ps. 89:35). And yet despite these apparently final words of rejection of Saul and replacement with David, Samuel mourns for Saul with the implication that he is begging God to even so, rethink and find a way for Saul (1 Sam. 15:31); hence God's rebuke of Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul... since I rejected him", 1 Sam. 16:1. He knew God well enough to know that He does rethink. We have many examples likewise in the prophets. 'This is it... no re-thinking, no about turn again... I will save you no more'. But still God does.

Psa 89:36

His seed will endure forever, his throne like the sun before Me-
The emphasis is upon "will". The promises to David will come true. His Messianic seed would indeed have an eternal throne and kingdom. The fact that was not being immediately fulfilled in the experience of the exiles at their time didn't mean that God was a liar (:35) or incapable of doing what He has said. Rather the problem was with the exiles, in that they didn't want to believe that at some point, fulfilment would come. A demand that God's promises must come fully true for us in this life is really a lack of faith in His future Kingdom. Faith in the things of the Kingdom and the name of the Lord Jesus is faith in a future reality as well as a present one. If all the focus is upon our immediate blessing, then like the exiles we will have a crisis of faith.

It was "his seed", Messiah, Son of David, who would "endure forever" with an unending throne. The complainers from :38 ff. were assuming that there would be an unbroken line of Davidic kings in order to fulfil God's promise to David. But this was a typical case of interjecting a human narrative, what we would wish to be true, into the reading and interpretation of God's word.

Psa 89:37

It will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky. Selah-
The solid existence of all creation is seen as evidence enough that the love of God, as expressed through the Davidic covenant, would remain firm likewise. We need only look at the natural creation for evidence that God is going to keep the promises found in the Bible. The same idea is found in :2.

Psa 89:38

But you have rejected and spurned, You have been angry with Your anointed-
This may originally have begun with David in depression feeling that although he had been anointed king, his persecution by Saul and later by Absalom indicated that God had changed His plans. These thoughts of David are now developed by the exiles and exaggerated and expanded to refer to the breaking up of Zion.

Psa 89:39

You have renounced the covenant of Your servant; You have defiled his crown in the dust-
The covenant was broken (:31 s.w.) because they had broken or profaned the laws which were part of that covenant. But there had been no change on God's side, as they perhaps imagined. God on His side had not broken covenant. Their complaint that He had broken covenant (:39 s.w.) was completely overlooking that it was they and not Him who had broken the covenant. The exiles are specifically described as breaking the covenant in Mal. 2:10,11 s.w. They are acting like a serial adulterer who laments the break up of his marriage. But I have argued above that additionally, they failed to correctly understand what the covenant was promising- it was not promising what they assumed [an unbroken line of Davidic kings], but spoke specifically of fulfilment in the Lord Jesus.

Psa 89:40

You have broken down all his hedges, You have brought his strongholds to ruin-
The vineyard of Israel was indeed broken down by God and its protective wall removed by Him (Is. 5). But this was because they had refused to bring forth fruit to Him, and had themselves introduced the Gentiles into that vineyard, worshipping their idols in His temple. The complaint against God focuses upon the consequences of sin, rather than recognition of sin and repentance.

Psa 89:41

All who pass by the way rob him-
The same word for "rob" is used to the exiles in warning them that even the restored Jerusalem is to fall and the houses robbed (Zech. 14:2). God's purpose with David's seed was no guarantee that in this life, that seed would not suffer. The exiles were refusing to understand that what they were complaining about was merely the consequence of their sins, and not due to God's unfaithfulness. These same exiles had been reminded that they had committed fornication with all those who "pass by the way" (s.w. Ez. 16:15,25). It was as if they had hardened their hearts against all these prophetic messages. And Malachi accuses them of robbing God.

He has become a reproach to his neighbours-
This Psalm may have originated in David's complaint that he had become a reproach to his neighbours and family after his sin with Bathsheba (s.w. Ps. 22:6; 31:11). But such complaints were a willful disregard for Nathan's prophetic word to David about the consequence of his sins. And it seems that the exiles were making the same mistake in refusing to accept that their situation was a result of consequence of sins.

Psa 89:42

You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries, You have made all of his enemies rejoice-
This seems an intentional repost to the statement in :13 that God's own right hand is exalted (s.w.). The exiles refused to see that God's hand can be exalted even in His apparent silence; and went further to imply God was being somehow vindictive and unreasonable. This is the classic mistake made by all who stumble at the problem of evil.

Psa 89:43

Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword and haven’t supported him in battle-
This however was exactly what was promised as a consequence of breaking the covenant. Israel had signed up to that, and God had been patient in bringing those consequences for centuries. And when it came, finally, they accuse Him of hating them. Again, all stumbling over the problem of evil results is rooted in a denial of the consequences of human sin [whether it be our own or the sin of others]. And as a result, God ends up being falsely accused.

Psa 89:44

You have ended his splendour, and cast his throne down to the ground-
This again fails to factor in the reality that God can fulfil His promises at a later date, even through resurrection from the dead. Abraham died in full faith that the promises to him would be fulfilled at the resurrection, although he didn't receive them in this life (Heb. 11:13,39,40). But the exiles didn't have this faith; they considered God was only any good if they had it all now. And they went further to almost mock God when they didn't get what they expected, with no account of their own sins and the consequence of sin. They also failed to consider that David's throne was the throne of Yahweh; and He remained enthroned as king in heaven, with the earth [s.w. "ground"] as His footstool (Is. 66:1).   

The complainer saw the throne as cast down to the ground, presumably from some symbolic 'heaven' of power. But earlier in the Psalm we have seen the assurance that God is still king in Heaven, in Heaven He and His Angels are still faithful to the covenant, and His throne will be eternally established through the Son of David resurrected and enthroned. But the complainer saw only the situation on earth and lacked the eye of faith to see Heaven's perspective.

Psa 89:45

You have shortened the days of his youth, You have covered him with shame. Selah-
LXX "the days of his throne". This reflected a total lack of faith and willful lack of understanding of the fact that the promises of an eternal throne depended upon the revelation of the individual Messianic seed of David. He had not come at that point, but the exiles still demanded the blessings promised to Him. 

The complainer may have the sons of Zedekiah and especially Jehoiachin in mind, who was only 18 (2 Kings 24:8), or according to 2 Chron. 36:9, only 8 years old, when he came to the throne, and he reigned only three months and ten days. The prime of his life was spent in exile, apparently in actual confinement in which he was literally ‘clothed with dishonour’ (2 Kings 25:29). Likewise the complaint in :51 that the footsteps of the anointed were mocked could allude to Jehoiachin as he was led through the streets of Babylon in the conqueror’s triumph.

Psa 89:46

How long, Yahweh? Will You hide Yourself forever? Will Your  wrath burn like fire?-
The answer was that God had hidden His face from His people because they had hidden their faces from Him. They were as Cain, exiled from Eden [the promised land] to the east, hidden from God's face (Gen. 4:14). This was the specific curse for breaking the covenant (Dt. 31:17).
Is. 40:27; 45:15 specifically rebuke the exiles for saying that "My way is hid from Yahweh", because they should rather have faith that ultimately God's face would in due time shine forth. It was their sins which had hidden God's face from them (Is. 59:2; Jer. 33:5; Ez. 39:23; Mic. 3:4). Again there is a focus simply upon removing the consequence of sin, rather than repenting of sin.

God's wrath was indeed like fire, but that fire had a purpose. It was to purify the dross from God's people. But they didn't respond: “in vain did the smelter smelt - the dross is not separated out” (Jer. 6:29). Likewise Jer. 2:29,30: “in vain I have beaten your sons; they would not accept correction”. But the complainers only saw the suffering and refused to accept that human sin was the essential problem. We note the parallel: "How long will You hide... how long will Your wrath burn?". The complaint considers God hiding unless He stops being angry about sin and basically dishes up all the good stuff. Anything less than that warrants criticism of Him. This is man at his most petulant, spoilt, autistic and unreasonable.

Psa 89:47

Remember how short my time is! For what vanity have You created all the children of men!-
This may well have been based upon an original prayer of David, lamenting the brevity of his life as in Ps. 39:5 (s.w.). But the exiles are reasoning as if this life is all we have; and therefore to not see the restoration in their lifetime was tragic. And they considered God somehow cruel to not bring about the restored kingdom in their lifetimes. Because life is short, they therefore expected Him to act very quickly; or else, they accused Him of creating people for "vanity". This is the kind of unreasonable talk which comes from all who stumble over the problem of evil. David's perspective was that it is "men of the world" who have "their portion [s.w. "short"] in this life" (Ps. 17:14). The exiles were totally devoid of the hope of resurrection and final fulfilment then. This lack of faith in the things of the future Kingdom of God, sometimes encouraged by theological misunderstandings, is often at the root of stumblings over the problem of evil. If the perception is that man only has this life, then the problems of evil within that life will indeed weigh heavy, as life then appears a mere lottery, with some people getting a better deal than others.   

Indeed if we expect the fulfilment of God's promises in this life, we will come to consider life as vain. Life ends with unsatisfied longing for every man. But our labour is not in vain exactly and only because of the hope of resurrection to a future Kingdom (1 Cor. 15:58, in context). As happens today, those who complain about God's apparent injustice go on to complain that life itself is vain, why did God create man and only give him a limited lifespan? So many such complainers live futile lives, ever struggling with man's search for meaning. The answer to man's limited life is, in one word, sin. And facing the consequences of sin isn't what the complainers want to do. By contrast, :10-15 cite God's creation as evidence that He will therefore be faithful, ultimately, to that creation. He keeps it all in existence and active, and likewise He will actively keep His covenant through the generations, coming to its fulfilment in the enthronement of His Son for ever upon David's throne.

Psa 89:48

What man is he who shall live and not see death, who shall deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah-
This continues the false argument of :47; that because life is short and there is only hope for this life and no further, therefore God should hurry up and restore their kingdom.
David's temporary crisis of faith in God's power to resurrect is repeated by the exiles, in stronger terms. They seem to have no sense of any future fulfilment of the covenant; they wanted to see it all now, just as many do today.

It is in the context of God promising David eternity that he questions: "Shall He (God) deliver his soul from the grave? What man is he that liveth and shall not see death?" (AV). He goes so far as to feel that God's "former graces (a word often used about the promises), which You swore to David" had been at best suspended (Ps. 89:49 AV).

The reasoning of :47,48 is that death and the brevity of human life is unfair. God should act because life is brief and He is somehow forgetting the brevity of human life. But this arises from a total failure to perceive that the promises to David are about resurrection, and the fulfilment of His covenant is set in the future not now. And God has not forgotten the nature of how we are. The Son of David would be "set up" or resurrected, as Acts 2:30 interprets this, at a point after David has "slept with [his] fathers". And yet David would see all this "before you", in his presence, again implying David's resurrection. But instead, the complainers were focusing upon a fulfilment right now in this life, of an unbroken line of kings. There was no appreciation that the wages of sin is death, and that the eternity promised to David was all on account of making identity with His greater "son" who would live and reign eternally.

The complainer is answering how own question really. No man can resurrect himself. But resurrection is at the heart of the Davidic covenant which the complainers wrongly claim has been broken. The complainer likewise answers his own question by asking "What  / which man" lives for ever? What man can save himself from the grave? Not one apart from the Son of David, the resurrected Lord Jesus, who never sinned, and so death had no power over Him. And those who are in Him and choose to accept the Davidic covenant, as Is. 55:3-5 invites.

Psa 89:49

Lord, where are Your former graces which You swore to David in Your faithfulness?-
Surely David is close to the edge here; there almost seems to be a sense of mocking in his comments on the promise that his throne would endure for ever as the sun: "His throne (shall endure) as the sun... but... Thou hast cast his throne down to the ground", rather than it being like the sun (Ps. 89:36,44 AV). Yet truly in the spirit of Job, he was able to praise God in this very same context: "Blessed be the Lord for evermore. Amen, and amen" (Ps. 89:52). Presumably this Psalm was written (or thought out) whilst fleeing from Absalom, or possibly during one of the later rebellions, when it seemed that all hope of holding on to the throne was lost. Here is David in depression, making hasty comments about the faithfulness of God, reacting to the position of the moment. This is surely an indication of his mental make up. One cannot be persuaded that the Lord Jesus did not experience the temptations which go along with this kind of personality. "My God, why have You forsaken me?" (Mt. 27:46) and the following thoughts in Ps. 22 seem to be Christ's equivalent of David's crisis in Ps. 89.  

Psa 89:50

Remember, Lord, the reproach of Your servants, how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples-
This is the language of earlier Psalms concerning how David so took to heart the words of his enemies at the time of Saul and Absalom's rebellion. But his feelings are now reapplied by the exiles to the taunts of the "peoples", the Gentiles, such as those recorded in Ps. 137:1-3.

"Your servants" assumes that all Israel are Yahweh's servants. But at the time they were serving idols as well. Again there is no awareness of personal failure and breakage of their covenant with Yahweh. The promises to David were to "My servant David" and David responds to them by agreeing that he was indeed "Your servant David". To be truly one of the servants meant identifying with David. We noted on :19 that individuals were called to accept the covenant and become "servants" of Yahweh in that they were "in" His servant David and especially "in" the Messianic Son of David, achieved in our age through faith and baptism into the Lord Jesus. But the complainers just assumed they were Yahweh's servants and failed to see the promises in the Davidic covenant concerned the Messianic Son of David and all who chose to be "in" Him.  

The complaint about "reproach" or shame is typical of those who feel shame because of the gap between expectation and reality. But the problem was that the expectation was wrong because it was founded upon a wrong interpretation of what God had actually promised. The full wonder of it, eternal life in and with David's Son in the future, had been ignored and instead the complainers had settled for a very human narrative of their own creation, about an unbroken line of Davidic rulers in Zion.

Psa 89:51

with which Your enemies have mocked, Yahweh, with which they have mocked the footsteps of Your anointed one-
David was God's anointed one and so supremely was his Messianic son, Jesus the Christ. But the complainers assumed they were the "anointed one" by reason of physical descent. They failed to perceive, as noted on :19, that to be truly the "anointed one" they must personally identify with David and his Messianic Son, like David having a heart after God's own heart. But they shied away from such personal relationship with God and assumed they had some kind of collective status as God's anointed one.

LXX "wherewith they have reviled the recompense of thine anointed" could imply that David's enemies mocked the promises to David as now having no chance of fulfilment. And the exiles felt that the mocking of their captors in Ps. 137 was a mocking of David, seeing they considered themselves to be his seed. Their "steps" may refer to their steps from Judah to Babylon, mocked at every step. 

These things had application to the Lord Jesus, the "Christ", the "anointed one", who bore Israel's judgment. Every step of the way along the Via Dolorosa, Yahweh's enemies reproached every stumbling footstep of His anointed, just as they did every step of Judah as they were marched into captivity.

Psa 89:52

Blessed be Yahweh forever. Amen, and Amen-
As noted on :1, despite all the doubts and struggles of the psalmist, the Psalm concludes with praise to God. This is a great challenge to us, no matter what struggles we have with God. We are to all the same love and praise Him. This is where the problem of evil, the difficulty of understanding the apparently harder side of God, is designed to elicit humility and tenacity of love for Him.