89 Forever, O Lord, your word*
is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day,
for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
* Through these reflections, those phrases that identify God’s word, revelation, or law will be highlighted in the text in the hopes of accentuating the many and varied ways we can visualize what God has given to us for our good.
There is one aspect of God’s character that may be, at least to me, the most comforting. We see it here described as God’s faithfulness.
When I think about one of my great concerns in the Christian journey, it is wondering if God’s attitude toward me will ever change. Will my struggles and weakness become too much for God to tolerate? Will we fail one too many times? And what is more horrifying, will I even know if that moment comes?
But, when we see verses like this, I find great comfort. God is faithful, but his faithfulness is not limited my time or culture. God’s ability to remain true to his word and consistent to his character are realities that transcend one generation. What God offered and promised to Moses is still true for us. Not because we are wiser than Moses, but because God is just as good to us as he was to him.
God is faithful. And for that I am grateful.
Verse 89: God’s word is unchanging. The fixed nature of what God has spoken is a guarantee of God’s promises. God will never reject or countermand his word. This reality is what we build our faith on. There has never been a time when God has vacillated in keeping his word. This fortitude is what gives us confidence in believing today what God has said in the past. But it also fosters hope that we can expect in the future what God has promised to us.
Verse 90: God’s faithfulness is one of the great mysteries of the Christian journey. We all know that we are frail and inconsistent. We all, at some point in our lives, struggle to do what we know God expects of us. It is one of the great sources of discouragement. To know what we should do, and still be unable to perform it in our daily journey. But, God’s goodness and kindness toward us is most gloriously seen when God continues to give us what we do not deserve, his grace.
Verse 91: All that God has created persists because of God’s sustaining power. Nothing exists apart from God’s presence. He not only created, but he maintains the parameters of existence itself. Without God nothing can exist. But with God, even that which rejects him, cannot escape his influence. God may not impose, but nothing can prevent him from being where he chooses to be.
Verse 92: We find again another reference to delighting in God’s law. This is a theme for which we, in our modern times, have little point of reference. We struggle to see how the Law of God and the grace of God exist in harmonious relationship. Discovering this connection is key to experiencing what the Psalmist describes here. To delight in God’s law provides for us a ballast of hope and relief in times of great struggle. When these times of affliction come, if we have waited to delight in God’s law, we will have waited too long.