Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures
to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.
They continue this day
according to Your ordinances,
For all are Your servants.
Unless Your law had been my delight,
I would then have perished
in my affliction.
I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life.
I am Yours, save me;
For I have sought Your precepts.
The wicked wait for me to destroy me,
But I will consider Your testimonies.
I have seen the consummation
of all perfection,
But Your commandment is
In 1716, Christopher Bullock wrote, “Tis impossible to be sure of any thing but Death and Taxes.” And while this sentiment is no doubt intended to be ironic, it is simply not true. God’s word is far more sure than any experience of man, even the sureties of death and taxes pale in comparison to the truth which is firmly established in the unchanging nature of God. In fact, the Psalmist notes that, by observation the heavens and the earth reveal that God has established laws which govern all of nature, and the same One who has set nature’s laws has given His word to men. Indeed, he recognizes that even the heavenly bodies are only servants of God’s will, and this serves to illustrate the incredible faithfulness of God. His never-failing rule over the heavens and the earth provides an objective testimony to his continuing goodness to man from one generation to the next.
And while some would take v.89 to teach that God’s word is written in stone somewhere in the heavenly realm, in the context of this stanza the Psalmist contends that His word is not kept out of reach but is readily accessible to men, even while it surpasses the scope of human experience. This same God who set the stars in the heavens and assigned each a name, gives strength and life, hope and deliverance to the one who would delight in His word. So the Psalmist declares that if it were not for God’s word, his affliction would have been his destruction, and his enemies would have overwhelmed him. He is so convinced of God’s eternal steadfastness that he turns to Scripture as his solace and defense when wicked men trouble him. And when he considers the sum of life, all the experiences of which man may taste, he echoes the Preacher, who states that God has put eternity into the hearts of men, but within the limited confines of this brief life, no one can see all of God’s work (Eccl. 3:11). In contrast to the vapor that is our lifetime, God’s word endures for all time, exceeding the entire breadth of human experience.
So what can we truly count on? God’s faithfulness knows no bounds, and as He reveals Himself to us in His word, we can truly find the strength, hope and life He promises as we meditate on its truths. Though the years of our life may be few, and our experience will fail to compass the scope of God’s plan, it is His word which enlightens our eyes to the true meaning and purpose behind everything He does. Truly all things exist to serve and glorify Him.