The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it. You created the north and the south; Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name. Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted. Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
When it’s cloudy, we may not be able to see the all-consuming brightness of the sun or feel its warmth on our skin, but the sun is still there, behind the clouds, shining as it always is.
Psalm 89, as a whole, is about God’s forever faithfulness. Specifically, his faithfulness to uphold his promise to David and to David’s descendants. The psalmist (Ethan the Ezrahite) describes the LORD as unwaveringly faithful. And yet, Ethan describes a situation where they are not experiencing God’s faithfulness-- read Psalm 89:38-51-- David’s throne is not strong and is not honored among the other nations of the earth. A Davidic King doesn’t even appear to be on the throne.
What’s going on here? Is God faithful to his covenant or is he not? The psalmist doesn’t really answer this question but seems to be able to uphold the fact that God is faithful and also that God’s faithfulness is not being experienced at this time. Instead of questioning God’s faithfulness, he asks when his faithfulness will be manifest (v. 46). Instead of questioning whether the sun is shining, he earnestly ponders when the clouds will dissipate and the sun can be felt again.
Today may be a cloudy day for you, but God is there, shining as he always does. So today, in faith, not by sight, I encourage you to affirm that “love and faithfulness go before” the Lord. That he is the good maker of the heavens, the earth, and all that is in it, even if we cannot see goodness right now. That Mt. Tabor and Mt. Hermon, places of Canaanite worship and government that were liberated by Israel to flourish under Yahweh, are still singing for joy in remembrance of God’s faithfulness. We too can commemorate when and where the God of life itself broke through the clouds and made his life-giving presence manifest in our community.
That is our practice. We don’t blame the sun for the clouds that block its way; we don’t blame God for this corrupt world that prevents us from experiencing his love, justice, and peace.