Warning: This is a long post (a Bible Study).
You call yourself a hero, do you? Why boast about this crime of yours, you who have disgraced God’s people? 2 All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you’re an expert at telling lies. 3 You love evil more than good and lies more than truth… 4 You love to say things that harm others, you liar! 5 But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and drag you from the land of the living… 6 The righteous will see it and be amazed. They will laugh and say, 7 “Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.” 8 But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. 9 I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will wait for your mercies in the presence of your people. Psalm 53
Revenge, vindication, retribution, vengeance, justice, and more… ugh! Ahhhh, we’ve ALL wanted it, asked for it and dreamed of it! No one should be allowed to get away with hurting people, being insensitive, lyin’ like a rug, cruelty to kids and, especially, messin’ with God. Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know, we all want to act like we only speak those “praiseworthy” statements found in Psalms but IF we’re honest, we get frustrated, ticked off, upset, hurt, heartbroken, bitter (and worse) – and when we do… LOOK OUT! Can you imagine IF others could hear our thoughts? YIKES!
In this psalm, David throws down and lets it ALL out. Right away, let me say something important: IF you’re gonna get mad and blow up (verbally), do it with God ALONE. It IS possible to get angry and not sin — what a relief! Look how the Message puts it: “Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry – but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry” (Ephesians 4:26). When you get angry in God’s presence it won’t last long because you will gain His perspective and understand “Who” is THE vindicator: God, and no one else. Plus, IF He deals too swiftly with the “wicked” – He’ll have to deal with our own wickedness… think about it. Can we trust His justice (and mercy)? Are we willing to wait for His timing? Is it possible to move forward when we don’t see God dealing with the issue?
Ok, back to the psalm — so, why is David SO worked up?? Two words: Absolute Evil. It’s shocking when we witness undiluted wickedness – it takes your breath away, fills your stomach with knots, dries out your mouth and burns with heat in your face & fists. David saw this when Doeg and Saul absolutely wiped out the priests of Nob for giving some bread and sword to David. Doeg’s evil was simple political manipulation at the expense of the lives of the innocence. King Saul’s guilt rested in using brute power to massacre the harmless. David was once Saul’s guard, worship leader and military hero. Saul was also once a man of God. And now… ?!! A merciless butcher totally blinded by jealousy & rage.
So, what absolute evil have you seen? Probably some pretty horrible stuff… I’m truly sorry. And, wow, we live in some crazy, sick, evil days… But, please remember that in the presence of absolute evil we MUST believe in absolute truth!
Let’s break down Psalm 52 into a simple outline:
- What evil is. (1)
- What evil does. (2-4)
- What does God do? (5-7)
- What should we do? (8-9)
Let’s focus on the last 2 verses (our part) and observe the “4 I’s” of David:
- I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
– David refocuses on peace & grace – in times of turmoil fight the urge to hide in solitude; instead be found in God’s house.
- I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever.
– Rather than be blinded by pain, see clearly through love – our only hope is not in governments, or even Christian organizations, but in God Himself.
- I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done.
– Never forget what God has done and who God is! IF God never did anything but save us it would be more than enough (but He does more).
- I will wait for your mercies in the presence of your people.
– Lastly, David commits himself to wait upon God for what comes. The waiting speaks of confidence in God’s timing and plans. - During times like this, surround yourself with people of faith not gossips or others equally offended.
My friends, we live in difficult times and we are surrounded by so much abuse, pain and treachery — yes, absolute evil. It’s during such times when your heart cries out for things to be made right and punishment for those who choose to harm, hurt & harass. Let me remind you, again, that there IS absolute truth. His name is Jesus. Tell Him everything and then trust Him enough to place it ALL in His nail-scarred hands. He will help you forgive and release you to resume the life He has called you to live. He will love you back to reality.
Choosing to trust, Chilly
Q: What jumped out to you in this study? How will you apply it?