Imagine you are Ethan the Ezrahite (author of the final poem in Book III of the Psalms). …Ethan – that famous sage in the entourage of wise men – along with Heman, Calcol, and Darba – in the days of King David and King Solomon. This Ezrahite saw firsthand the glory of the Davidic empire! They were unparalleled days of success and security. It was an exciting time to be alive, and it was especially exhilarating to have a position like Ethan’s – a premiere spot on the roster of elite wise men who lived in the thick of the prosperity. And there was every reason to expect bigger and better things to come, for David was only the second visible king in Israel’s history, and it seemed that his son would surpass him – a successor invincibly wealthy and wise! But then the kingdom faltered, the offspring of David contracted disease, the deterioration was dramatic and rapid. What started out looking so promising, was now careening off a cliff. They had hit some rough waters in the days of Saul and David, but they had weathered the wind and waves, and with the inauguration of Solomon it seemed that the golden era had arrived. But as Ethan surveys the situation he cannot help but observe, “God has cast off and rejected; He is full of wrath against His anointed. God has renounced the covenant with His servant; He has defiled his crown in the dust. God has breached our walls, and laid our strongholds to ruin. Kings and Queens no longer come to witness the wisdom of our king, but to plunder and scorn. God has caused our splendor to cease, and cast the throne of David to the ground.”
Ethan the Ezrahite, who had seen such a glorious, God-given, rise to power (the lowly shepherd boy turned king of the world)! Stands shocked and grieved over the ruins asking, “How long, O LORD? Will You hide Yourself forever? How long will Your wrath burn like fire? …Who can deliver my soul from the power of Sheol? Lord, where is Your steadfast love of old, which by Your faithfulness You swore to David? Remember, O Lord, how Your servants are mocked, and how I bear in my heart the insults of all the many nations, with which they mock the footsteps of Your anointed.”
Ethan is a wise man. He is wise enough to know that you tell God the truth. When you pray to The Maker, you don’t cover up your honest questions and quaking emotions; you lay yourself bare before the face of God.
Ethan is a wise man. He is wise enough to know that the beginning of knowledge is the fear of the LORD. Ethan knows that there is no other God like this one whose steadfast love will be built up forever; and in the heavens He will establish His faithfulness. So as this wise Ezrahite stands amidst his discouragement, he ends his poem with the words, “Blessed be the LORD forever! Amen and Amen.”
Ethan – like Moses – endured as seeing Him who is invisible. And though he was perhaps not even aware of it, he considered the reproach of Christ. In Ethan the Ezrahite’s poem we have a prophecy of the One who knew no sin but who would become sin (cast off, rejected, object of full wrath, defiled, plundered, and scorned), so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. Here is the fulfillment of God’s steadfast love, which by His faithfulness He made forever promises to David. This is the One who delivers our soul from the power of Sheol.