That God is faithful is a constant refrain in Scripture. That he seems not to be is an experience that many have also known, including this psalmist.
God had promised that David’s throne would be occupied “for all generations” (v. 4; 2 Sam. 7:5-16) and, indeed, forever (vv. 4, 28, 29, 36, 37). God fulfilled this promise. Christ now occupies that throne.
And yet, despite the fact that the psalmist had begun with an almost lyrical reflection on the “steadfast love of the Lord” (v. 1), he then plunged into despair. In the midst of some national crisis, he concluded that God had rejected his people (v. 38), renounced the covenant (v. 39), and elevated their foes (v. 42)! “How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?” (v. 46).
It is ever thus. We are fallen and fragile people! But as variable as we might be, given to this mood and to that, God is utterly steadfast and in him “there is no variation or shadow due to change” (Jas. 1:17). When we are tempted to doubt this, or imagine that God has abandoned us, it is the coming of Christ that should put all such thoughts to flight. Indeed, “all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory” (2 Cor. 1:20).