My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: "O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!"

13 December 2005


Psalm 108

Theme By reflecting on God’s greatness and His great promises in Christ, those longing for the Promised Land take heart in singing to their great God.


I. 1-4 – Our Promise of praise

II. 5-6 – God’s plan for praise

III. 7-9 – God’s Promise of victory

IV. 10-13 – Our Plea for God’s presence

This is a song of David, but it may not be his directly. Rather, this is a song that is composed of parts of two other psalms that he wrote: Psalm 57:7-11 makes up the first five verses of Psalm 108. And Psalm 60:6-12 makes up the second half of 108. We can make sense of this if we understand that, perhaps many generations after David, Israel was facing a hard time (maybe the return from exile), looked to her songs for comfort and thus came up with this new but not-new song of David. Both Psalm 57 & 60 are songs which David wrote when he was facing or had faced God-hating enemies.

Put together, the two parts to this psalm naturally form four different sections. While the song is born from a plea and longing for God’s presence, it rightly begins with a promise of praise. Singing verses 1-4 we promise to praise God steadfastly, without wavering or ceasing. While this is impossible by ourselves, if our praise is based on God’s faithfulness and steadfastness (v. 4), we can take up this great mission of lifelong praise!

Next we sing of God’s plan in v. 5-6. God has always purposed through creation and Christ to bring Himself glory from every corner of earth; wondrously, His glory is most achieved when sinners such as us are brought into His family through grace. This means singing for God’s glory also means singing for the growth of the church, and vice versa.

Then, quoting from Psalm 60, God promises that Christ’s kingdom will extend to every part of the earth, that His victory will be achieved in every nation and tribe and tongue. Despite appearances and whatever doubts we may have, Christ’s kingdom is sure and His victory is certain. It was sealed by the resurrection and will be consummated on His return to claim the world as His own. In the meantime, our duty is to go forth believing in (and singing of) His kingdom.

Finally, the song ends on more of a low note, wondering why God does not go forth with His people to victory. But the question we sing, “Who will lead me to Edom?” (that is, who will bring us to the Promised Land?) is one which has a sure answer: With God we shall do valiantly, He will tread down our foes. Despite appearances, take heart in God’s sovereignty and His certain promise of victory through Christ.

Application James Boice suggests two applications from this Psalm. First, gain strength for your present conflicts from faith in God’s promises. Sing this song to learn those promises and work them deep into your heart. Second, trust in your Warrior King who along will bring His people to the Promised Land. Look always to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

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