Salvation for the House of David (Lk 1:69-1:69)

“He has raised up

A mighty savior

For us

In the house

Of his servant David.”

 

καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας ἡμῖν ἐν οἴκῳ Δαυεὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ,

 

Luke had Zechariah continue with his canticle of praise.  Zechariah said that God had raised up a horn of salvation (καὶ ἤγειρεν κέρας σωτηρίας) or a mighty savior for them in the house of his servant David (ἡμῖν ἐν οἴκῳ Δαυεὶδ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ).  This was a reference to the savior Jesus rather than to his son John.  This horn of salvation was a common theme in the psalms, like in the victory Psalm 18:2, where God was David’s shield, his horn, his stronghold, and his savior.  In Psalm 89:17-24 and Psalm 75:5, the psalmist glorified in his strength, since the horn was a symbol of strength.  Clearly this strong savior was linked to the house of David.

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Blessed be Yahweh (Ps 89:52-89:52)

“Blessed be Yahweh forever!

Amen and Amen.”

This third book of the psalms comes to end with this doxology praising Yahweh. He is to be blessed forever, with the usual “Amen” as the last word ending this psalm and this psalm book.

Help us, Yahweh (Ps 89:49-89:51)

“Yahweh!

Where is your steadfast love of old?

By your faithfulness,

You swore to David.

Remember!

Yahweh!

How your servant is taunted!

I bear in my bosom

The insults of the peoples.

Your enemies taunt us!

Yahweh!

They taunt the footsteps of your anointed!”

The psalmist has a cry to Yahweh to remind him of his famous steadfast love from ancient times. He had sworn to help David. Did Yahweh forget? His servant has been taunted and insulted. They have taunted the footsteps of the anointed one David. This is a final plea to this psalm, probably at the time of the captivity.

Remember me (Ps 89:46-89:48)

“How long?

Yahweh!

Will you hide yourself forever?

How long will your wrath burn like fire?

Remember!

Yahweh!

How short my time is?

For what vanity have you created all mortals?

Who can live?

Who can never see death?

Who can escape the power of Sheol?”

Selah

The psalmist continues his complaint. He wanted to know how long Yahweh would hide himself. How long would his anger continue? He reminded Yahweh that his life was short. No one can live and not see death. Sheol awaited all. No one could escape from the power of Sheol, the underground world of nothingness. This section ended with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.

The rejection (Ps 89:38-89:45)

“But now you have spurned him.

You have rejected him.

You are full of wrath against your anointed.

You have renounced the covenant with your servant.

You have defiled his crown in the dust.

You have broken through all his walls.

You have laid his strongholds in ruins.

All who pass by despoil him.

He has become the scorn of his neighbors.

You have exalted the right hand of his foes.

You have made all his enemies rejoice.

Moreover,

You have turned back the edge of his sword.

You have not supported him in battle.

You have removed the scepter from his hand.

You hurled his throne to the ground.

You have cut short the days of his youth.

You have covered him with shame.”

Selah

Now there is a switch in tone in this psalm. Instead of the everlasting dynasty of David, this psalmist complains that God has abandoned David. In a series of complaints directly to God, using the second person “you,” he says that God has spurned and rejected David. His wrath or anger has turned on David. God has renounced the covenant with David. He has thrown his crown on the ground. He has broken down all the walls and ruined his fortresses. His foes now plunder him and scorn him as all the enemies now rejoice. The edge of his sword has turned on himself as he no longer has any support in battles. His scepter is gone as well as his youth. He is full of shame. This could be at the time of the revolt against David or a metaphor for the captivity that came to the descendents of David. The Israelites saw this captivity as a punishment from God. This section also ends with the musical interlude pause of Selah.

The descendants of David (Ps 89:29-89:37)

“I will establish his line forever.

I will establish his throne as long as the heavens endure.

If his children forsake my law,

If they do not walk according to my ordinances,

If they violate my statutes,

If they do not keep my commandments,

Then I will punish their transgression with the rod.

I will punish their iniquity with scourges.

But I will not remove from him my steadfast love.

I will not be false to my faithfulness.

I will not violate my covenant.

I will not alter the word that went forth from my lips.

Once and for all

I have sworn by my holiness.

I will not lie to David.

His line shall continue forever.

His throne shall endure before me like the sun.

It shall be established forever like the moon.

It shall be an enduring witness in the skies.”

Selah

The throne of David is not just for him, but his descendants. His line of descendants will last until the heavens disappear. However, this is not an unconditional gift. There are conditions. If his children do certain things they will receive the rod and be scourged. They should not forsake God’s law. They have to walk according to his ordinances. They cannot violate his statutes. They should keep his commandments. This punishment to those who do not follow the laws and ordinances will not be permanent. They will always have the steadfast love of God and his covenant. God would keep his word that he gave to David. He would not lie. The line of David will continue forever just like the sun and the moon in the skies. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.

David, the anointed one (Ps 89:19-89:28)

“Then you spoke in a vision

To your faithful one.

You said.

‘I have set the crown

On one who is mighty.

I have exalted one chosen from the people.

I have found my servant David.

With my holy oil

I have anointed him.

My hand shall always remain with him.

My arm also shall strengthen him.

The enemy shall not outwit him.

The wicked shall not humble him.

I will crush his foes before him.

I will strike down those who hate him.

My faithfulness shall be with him.

My steadfast love shall be with him.

In my name shall his horn be exalted.

I will set his hand on the sea.

I will set his right hand on the rivers.

He shall cry to me.

‘You are my Father!

You are my God!

You are the rock of my salvation!’

I will make him the first born.

I will make him the highest of the kings of the earth.

I will keep by steadfast love for him forever.

My covenant with him will stand firm.’”

This section is based on 2 Samuel, chapter 4, when the prophet Nathan had a vision or dream from Yahweh about the building of the Temple, the importance of David, and his role. David was to be the faithful one. The crown was placed on this mighty servant of God. He was chosen from the people to be the anointed one as king. The hand and arm of Yahweh would remain with David, so that his enemies and the wicked ones would not outwit him or humble him. Yahweh would be with him, so that his hands and arms would control the rivers and the seas. He would cry to Yahweh because Yahweh was his father, his God, and his rock of salvation. Yahweh would keep his steadfast love and covenant with David forever.