Psalm 89:15-18 - This is the Psalm portion from which the Introit for next Sunday is taken. The antiphon is taken from verse 1, “I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known You faithfulness to all generations.”
The love and faithfulness that appear here will be repeated fourteen times throughout the course of this Psalm. We trust in the mercies of our Lord because of His love and faithfulness.
Psalm 89 speaks of the rise and fall of David’s kingdom, suggesting a date during the time of the Kings. Because David’s sons, the kings of Judah, did not remain faithful to God, the Lord visited judgment upon His people. Lamenting this harsh treatment, the psalmist call upon God to relent and to restore His people once again.
God is merciful. His wonders never cease. This is the focus of this Sunday’s introit.
Verses 15-18, is best read as a joyful enactment of the psalmist's promise from v. 1 to sing of God's steadfast love and faithfulness. Verse 15 proclaims that "blessed" are the people who know the "festal shout"; who walk in God's light.
This expression, "festal shout" might sound strange. The Hebrew word, can be used to convey such things as trumpets blowing and war cries. Here in the Psalms it usually denotes a shout of acclamation or joy towards God.
To "know the festal shout" is thus to express the joy that comes from experiencing God's steadfast love and faithfulness. It is significant that it is "the people" who is said to know this--a singular noun in Hebrew. This "festal shout" is something that can only be known collectively, as the gathered people of God. However loud one might yell, one cannot produce a "festal shout" on one's own!
Slowly our churches are opening. It is a good thing for us to gather. Yet we proceed with caution. We are given to serve both faithfully and responsibly in loving service and care for souls and the health and safety of our members and our neighbors in the world. If you are ill or unable to gather due to health concerns I would be more than happy to serve you. As we care for each other we express the joy not only knowing the Lord but serving our sisters and brothers according to their need.
Mighty God, in fulfillment of the promise made to David’s descendants you established a lasting covenant through your Son Jesus. You anointed your servant Jesus with holy oil and raised him higher than all kings on earth. Remember your covenant, so that we who are signed with the blood of your Son may sing of your mercies forever; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Te Deum copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Lutheran Study Bible © 2009 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis
Prayer for Psalm 89, For All the Saints – A Prayer Book For and By the Church Year 1 © 1994American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, Delhi NY