This Psalm looks at Christmas from the perspective of God's people 500 years BC - looking forward to God fulfilling his promises to send the Messiah, the perfect King. Through this lens, we can consider what it looks like for us to live in hope of God fulfilling his promises.
Read Psalm 89:1-4
What are the key themes in this opening stanza?
Read 1 Samuel 7:12-16
This is the covenant God made with King David. What do you think was God's purpose in doing this?
What do you think these promises (and warnings) would have meant to the faithful Davidic Kings that inherited this promise?
What do you think these promises would have meant to the people of Israel under their rule?
Read Psalm 89:5-37 (you might like to share this long section between a few readers)
What is the overall feeling or tone of this section?
Were there any verses that particularly stood out to you (consider verses that really spoke to you and verses that confused you!)
How does the author of this psalm weave together the promises and warnings of 1 Samuel 7:12-16 with God's character? How do these two themes interconnect in these verses?
What promises has God made to us through Jesus?
What does it mean to you that God has revealed his character and made specific promises to us? How do these two things help to build hope in us?
Read Psalm 89:38-51
The psalm makes a sharp turn here, in light of the present circumstances. When this Psalm was written, Babylon had destroyed the palace and the temple, killed or kidnapped members of the royal family, and left Israel without their promised land and without their promised king.
How does the author respond to this terrible situation?
Do you think the author has maintained hope in spite of the hopeless situation? Why/why not?
How can we learn from these verses how to maintain hope in God when things look really bleak?
Do you have any stories from your own life that you are willing to share with the group when you managed to maintain hope in God through hardship?
Read Psalm 89:52
How does the author choose to end this Psalm?
How can deciding to praise God despite our circumstances change our hearts and rebuild our hope?
Spend some time sharing and praying together - share
something your are rejoicing in
something you are struggling to maintain hope in
something about God that you want to praise Him for