|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
89:38-52 Sometimes it is not easy to reconcile God's providences with his promises, yet we are sure that God's works fulfil his word. When the great Anointed One, Christ himself, was upon the cross, God seemed to have cast him off, yet did not make void his covenant, for that was established for ever. The honour of the house of David was lost. Thrones and crowns are often laid in the dust; but there is a crown of glory reserved for Christ's spiritual seed, which fadeth not away. From all this complaint learn what work sin makes with families, noble families, with families in which religion has appeared. They plead with God for mercy. God's unchangeableness and faithfulness assure us that He will not cast off those whom he has chosen and covenanted with. They were reproached for serving him. The scoffers of the latter days, in like manner, reproach the footsteps of the Messiah when they ask, Where is the promise of his coming? 2Pe 3:3,4. The records of the Lord's dealings with the family of David, show us his dealings with his church, and with believers. Their afflictions and distresses may be grievous, but he will not finally cast them off. Self-deceivers abuse this doctrine, and others by a careless walk bring themselves into darkness and distress; yet let the true believer rely on it for encouragement in the path of duty, and in bearing the cross. The psalm ends with praise, even after this sad complaint. Those who give God thanks for what he has done, may give him thanks for what he will do. God will follow those with his mercies, who follow him with praises.
Verse 49. - Lord, where are thy former loving kindnesses? or, "thy ancient mercies," those "sure mercies of David," whereof Isaiah spoke (ch. Iv. 3). Which thou swarest unto David in thy truth (comp. ver. 35 and Psalm 132:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lord, where are thy former lovingkindnesses,.... The spiritual blessings said to be in Christ; the grace said to be given to us in him; the sure mercies of David, such as redemption, justification, remission of sins, and eternal life; so called because they flow from the free favour and love of God, and, being many, are expressed in the plural number; and which were former or ancient ones, even promised and secured in Christ before the world began; springing from the love of God, which, both to Christ and his people, was from everlasting, and provided for in a covenant, which was as early:
which thou swarest unto David in thy truth? which were promised to Christ, the antitype of David, and that with an oath, by the truth or faithfulness of God, for the certainty thereof: but now where are all these? or how will they take place, if Christ rise not from the dead? where will be the redemption of his people, the justification of their persons, the remission of their sins, and their everlasting salvation? and what will become then of the covenant, oath, and faithfulness of God?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
49-51. The terms of expostulation are used in view of the actual appearance that God had forsaken His people and forgotten His promise, and the plea for aid is urged in view of the reproaches of His and His people's enemies (compare Isa 37:17-35).
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