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YEAR B: PENTECOST
(Sunday between July 10 and July 16)
Psalm 89:20-37



For more general comments about this psalm see the comments for Advent 4 earlier this year. The verses set for todayís reading, vv. 20-37, are specifically those dealing with the Lordís promise to the house of David. The wording in places is very close to that in 2 Samuel 7, for example compare Ps 89:30-34 with 2 Sam 7:13-16.

The psalm, like its narrative counterpart in 2 Samuel 7, emphasises strongly the utter reliability of the promise of the Lord. The theme of the passage is not so much the promise made to David or at least the content of the promise, of security and a permanent dynasty, as it is on the security of the word of the Lord itself. It is the Lordís steadfast love, the Lordís covenant promise, word and faithfulness (vv. 28, 34-35), that are really as enduring as the moon and stars in the sky (even more so v. 37). That is what makes the enduring nature of the Davidic dynasty possible.

Moreover, this enduring steadfast love of the Lord for Davidís line will not be interrupted, threatened, or dismantled by the behaviour of the individuals in that line. That is not to say there is no accountability along the way (vv. 30-32) but not even the undeserving nature of the recipients of the covenant promise is enough to make this Lord of enduring word sway in purpose. These are Gospel thoughts at their strongest.

Suggested use of the psalm in worship:

Verses 33-34 could be used as a call to worship or before the words of assurance of forgiveness.

God says: I will not removeÖ my steadfast love, or be false to my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant, or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
Old Testament reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a

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