Ever play that game where you say a word over and over and over again until it sounds like a different word,? The game involves a sort of a mind trick where the repeated word seems to lose its meaning. Say the word repeatedly until the mind sort of “clocks out” and the word sounds foreign. Children at that moment laugh when they realize what happened. I think this has happened with “forever.”
What does “forever” mean? Well, the word as we know it has been around since at least the late 17th century, combining the concept of “before” with “at any time” or “always.” The Hebrew word is “o-lam” which carries the idea of “hidden time, long” or simply “ancient.” So how long has the LORD been enthroned? Since ancient hidden time.
How long will He remain? Will He ever leave the throne? Look again at what has been happening since ancient time: the LORD sits enthroned (“sits” is present tense). Like His name, “I AM,” (present tense), here translated “the LORD”. He is now sitting on His throne since before ever. He’s not going to move.
Though we’ve only mentioned it, let’s take a closer look at that on which the present-tense, personal, covenant-making God sits. “Throne” means much more than the exalted chair on which a regal sits. “Throne” carries the idea of support, of that which is steadfast, strong and stable. We can easily picture this in a chair but the best meaning says this is the seat of law, the seat of statutes. Without going to the dictionary and looking up “throne”, the Psalmist tells us this is the place of justice, of judgment. The LORD dispenses justice from established law. He does not make things up as He goes. He does not change His mind to fit situations.
The LORD sits on an established throne of justice judging the world with righteousness. The people of the world, all nations are judged with uprightness. Judgment is present-tense, not future. The LORD is at this very moment passing down judgment from His ancient throne upon all ethnicities. God determines what happens to people now and in the future. The formula is simple: obedience brings blessing; disobedience brings consequences. The LORD is not unjust to give any person what he or she deserves. He is the same way with nations and governments as a whole.
The LORD is on His throne and His reign is over all the earth. No nation is excluded from His rule or judgment.
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” (Psalm 9:9-10)