20. I have found David my servant; with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21. My hand will sustain him; surely my arm will strengthen him.
22. No enemy will subject him to tribute; no wicked man will oppress him.
23. I will crush his foes before him and strike down his adversaries.
24. My faithful love will be with him, and through my name his horn will be exalted.
25. I will set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers.
26. He will call out to me, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Savior.”
27. I will also appoint him my firstborn, the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
28. I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.
29. I will establish his line forever, his throne as long as the heavens endure.
30. “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes,
31. If they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,
32. I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
33. but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
34. I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
35. Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness— and I will not lie to David —
36. That his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun;
37. it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky.”
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
The psalmist here affirms the unbreakable legacy passed down to the descendants of King David. For David’s personal relationship with the Divine, a similar closeness is promised to his descendants. For much of Church history, such scriptures were likely used to justify the “Divine Right of Kings” and its resulting tyranny and social inequality. Yet the true meaning of this Psalm promises a personal, spiritual sovereignty (i.e.,
Liberty) to anyone who seeks the Divine Presence. Liberty in the Divine Presence, however, requires obedience to the inner voices of Morality and Justice, or else endure “flogging”.
In your care crush me in your tireless hands!
Break all my bones of prejudice, my will
To quarrel. Of your softness which endures
All insult, mold in me new bones until
I recompense with mercy wounding stabs
And insults enemies upon me deal.