We learn from Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16, and Ephesians 6:1-3 about honouring one’s father and mother, so that one may live long in the earth.
Here, David sings about the prolonging of the life of the king: “may his years endure to all generations! May he be enthroned forever before God“. David is not, however, merely singing about himself. He is singing about the rock who is higher than him; he is pleading to the Father, who has been his refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. The Father who heard David’s vows, the vows which enabled David to be given the heritage of those who fear His name. Are we not also honoured to be co-heirs with Christ? That we are given the heritage of Abraham our spiritual forefather, that we too will enjoy communion with the multitude of his descendants in new creation?
Yet, it is in David’s keeping of his vows as king of Israel, and in the performance of such commitment (which should never be broken: see Numbers 30), that David relies not on his own strength; he turns to the King whose throne is to endure to all generations. David did not endure – like every man after Adam, he died. Yet, his throne is eternal, only because David was but a shadow of the True David, of Jesus the man after the Father’s own heart.
So Spurgeon observes as regards the central object of affection in this personal psalm:
Though this is true of David in a modified sense, we prefer to view the Lord Jesus as here intended as the lineal descendant of David, and the representative of his royal race. Jesus is enthroned before God to eternity; here is our safety, dignity, and delight. We reign in him; in him we are made to sit together in the heavens. David’s personal claim to sit enthroned for ever is but a foreshadowing of the revealed privilege of all true believers. O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him. As men cry, “Long live the king, “so we hail with acclamation our enthroned Immanuel, and cry, “Let mercy and truth preserve him.” Eternal love and immutable faithfulness are the bodyguards of Jesus’ throne, and they are both the providers and the preservers of all those who in him are made kings and priests unto God. We cannot keep ourselves, and nothing short of divine mercy and truth can do it; but these both can and will, nor shall the least of the people of God be suffered to perish.
Yet, how is this King to endure to all generations? In Christ’s obedience, in His honouring of the Father that He inherited the ends of the earth and shall dwell in the land forever. Had Christ succumbed to the temptations of the enemy in the desert; had he left the cross to pursue his own desires; had he let the cup of wrath be passed to another, then there is no hope for anyone. There will be no enduring. There will be no everlasting life. All kingdoms will crumble, because the only Anointed King would have fallen. Yet, we praise Christ for his obedience to a life crucified. And for us, by hiding in the Rock, we too inherit Christ’s obedience. We, too, shall experience eternity in new creation because he is the firstborn of those who experience such renewed eternity.
Let us, like David, therefore seek God’s face by crying, by tears, by prayer, by petition, from the end of the earth. This God is not some local deity, not a cultural phenomenon, but a global truth. Let us call to him not when we are filled in our belly; not when we are wealthy with the materials of this world; not when we have other securities to place our confidence in. No — let us call to him when our hearts are faint, when we realise that other than His tabernacle, we do not desire to dwell in any other; other than His wings, we do not desire to find other refuge.