Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day.

   Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.

   You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah

   You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

   But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

   The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,

   “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

     But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.

    I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

    I will thank you forever, because you have done it.

    I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. – Psalm 52

The way the Psalms are arranged is not inherently inspired but it is important. Psalm 52 is one that focuses on the wickedness of a person verses the faithfulness and constancy of God. But, both psalm 52 and psalm 51 are written by the same man, David. The dramatic contrast yet consistency between the two perspectives of David here are essential.

David’s prevailing and constant focus is on the Lord. No matter who is involved in the situation God is the focal point. No matter what the situation is God is the focus. The contrast comes from the differing perspectives of David.

In Psalm 51 you see David returning to the Lord knowing he is owed a great punishment. David had a man murdered. David had a man murdered to cover up his own selfish and prideful sin. The David killed not only was honorable, he honored David repeatedly throughout the situation. David was dishonorable. David lied and deceived Uriah before murdering him. David plotted to either manipulate or to destroy of Uriah for his own preservation.

But, in Psalm 52 we find David as a younger man (1 Samuel 21-22). We find David not as the evil one returning to the Lord for mercy. We find David broken because of what evil men are doing. This psalm is attributed to a time when David had just started to flee the King of Israel, King Saul. He was fleeing a man whom he had fought as a mighty man, a warrior for, won great victories for, he was a musician for the king, and married the king’s daughter as well as befriend the king’s son.

As David fled he went to a priest, Ahimelech, and while there he collected the sword of Goliath, David’s first great victory. Ahimelech did not know that David was fleeing from Saul. David did not tell him. The country did not know that the mighty warrior David the defender of Israel and musician for the king was fleeing the king.

But, Saul in his fury finds out about this moment and confronts Ahimelech. Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?”

 Ahimelek answered the king, “Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king’s son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household?  Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father’s family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair.”

But the king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.” – 1 Samuel 22:13-16

And, Saul’s bodyguards and army would not kill the priest or his family. So, Saul orders the man who had reported to him Doeg the Edomite. And so, Doeg killed the priest, his whole family, and took it further by killing an entire town of priests and their families. Only one escaped.

At this point in David’s life he was doing everything right such as slaying Goliath for the Lord, marrying King Saul’s daughter, winning numerous battles under Saul’s banner, befriending Saul’s oldest son, helping protect Saul as a bodyguard, and calming him through song. Yet, David was still pursued as an enemy and anyone affiliated with him was treated the same, with the exception of Saul’s son Jonathan.

And so, as you look at Psalm 52 you find that Doeg is the focus of this psalm, Saul’s pursuit of David in order to kill him is the context of this psalm, and God being greater than everything is the purpose of this psalm. His steadfast unending, undeniable, and always present.

Do Not Boast in What is Temporary.

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?

The steadfast love of God endures all the day.

   Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.

   You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah

   You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

Where do your words direct others? Where do your thoughts direct you? What is your happiness found in where is your joy found?

These are important questions. I doubt any of us want to be defined by the statement above. It would be rare even for us to speak of someone we know, we truly know not someone we know of, in this way. Understand what had happened to David. Someone he knew, someone in the court of the king that he was intimately engaged in, had went against all others present in order to gain the favor of the king and gain status through murder of hundreds of people, hundreds of people whose families’ purpose was to point others to God.

Yet, there are those you may have met, those whom you may know, that will sacrifice anyone around them in order to get an advantage. When I was younger that was what we defined as a bully, someone who would attack someone else in order to be seen as more than. God’s Word calls them wicked and evil and deserving destruction.

The hardest to part to remember is not what has happened. We often remember what has harmed us and those we remember with detail to a fault. But, David’s second statement in this text is truly what must impact us. The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Remember who is with you.

Remember the difficult moment, God does. Look at scripture it records some of the most horrific and painful moments, David was obviously affected by the death of the priest, the city, and the families. David put a perspective that is essential when reflecting on any and all parts of life. He shined the light on the Lord.

We learn from Psalm 5 that those who lead us should point us to the Lord. But, we learn that from the whole of scripture. When we reflect on life, as we plan life, and as we live life our first and greatest direction should be on the Lord.

    As we reflect on those who have harmed us. As we reflect on those who have attacked us. As we reflect on life’s burdens. As we reflect on those who we see acting wickedly and yet prosper we must look to the Lord.

We are all going to be somewhere, whether it is where you are, where you are going, or where you were. It is apparent though, that throughout God’s word He displays an unstoppable desire for you to be with Him.

You Will Either Seek Refuge in the Lord or Seek Your Own Destruction, Both Will be Forever.

   But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

   The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying,  “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!”

There should be a real weight to these verses. You might already feel it. You may feel the weight through how you never want pray this about someone you know. The fact is that the righteous still fear the judgement of the Lord. They do not fear God’s judgement on them, but they fear the power that He holds over the whole of creation.   

There is a real question here for you and for me. This psalm is so impactfully intertwined with Psalm 51. David eventually could have been described in many ways by the first section. David was a mighty man, who rested during the time of battle at home, trusting in the might he and his kingdom had.

David actively deceived and manipulated a man who fought for him, a man who honored him. David when not able to deceive and hide his sin through a man who praised him and the Lord, though different than him, used him to personally deliver the instruction to have him murdered by the head of the army. David became like the anointed king he had replaced. David had started to love evil more than the Lord.

And so, this psalm could have easily been sang about David.

But, he returned to the Lord. He wept and found himself guilty. He did not boast or take comfort in his wickedness instead David turned to the Lord. In fear, in brokenness, and because of love David sought the Lord’s forgiveness. David sought to praise God and despise his own wickedness if only God would forgive him.

Who is your refuge? What is your refuge? In your failings do seek the Lord for strength to recover or do you press, push, and force yourself to make amends. God will make things right you can’t earn it, you can’t fix what you have done. The Lord is who makes wrongs right.

Let us remember, The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” You may be wiser and not make the same mistakes as David, you may not be as wicked as Doeg who would murder to exult himself. You may not even be as bad as your sibling or that other guy/gal.

But, I can guarantee you, you cannot save yourself; not in this life or the next. Instead find your direction in the Lord. Help your sibling, or that other guy/gal find their direction, their refuge and help, in the Lord. Otherwise, you are not finding refuge or strength at all, instead you are heading toward what you thought you were safe from, destruction.

Do not rest in what you once did whether you were godly or evil. David once was the righteous man writing this psalm. David then became the man described in this psalm. Desperately seek the Lord daily. Spend time in prayer, spend time worshipping Him, spend time getting to know Him through His Word, and share this with others.

If you were once the person known for speaking about the Lord always in very conversation and have stopped, return to that manner of life. Make the Lord your refuge your strength and your drive. If you have never truly sought the Lord as your refuge and instead have relied on your own strength, turn to the Lord. The Lord is trustworthy and true He grants forgiveness for sin, He alone is the way of refuge and eternity.

Our God is Consistent and Faithful Forever, Rejoice and Rest in Him.

     But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

    I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.

In this moment you must ask yourself if this defines you. Are rooted in the Lord? Do you flourish in His presence? Truly ask that question. Ask yourself where you spend time, as yourself what you look forward to at the end of the day. Reflect on this past week, when simple and major situations frustrated your week did you find joy in prayer, God’s Word, or worship of the King?

Where did you go for release, relief, and happy through the sting that pain brings?

It is not an uncommon statement, but Levi Lusko a church planter and author of Through the Eyes of a Lion (a.co/0DDU7mN) was doing an interview for Vertical Church with Luke Macdonald, and as he spoke about life with the Lord and difficulties in life he wrestled with the question, “Do you love God or do you love what God is doing?” This just caused me to pause. It was spot on with this psalm.

See David, like many of us have seen God do some fantastic things in our lives. We have endured difficult moments, for some that’s an understatement, but we have often seen God act on our behalf and do something fantastic. Psalm 52 rests in that thought.

The final statement, I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. Impresses upon a very important dynamic. We know what God has done and so we wait to see God be good again.

This is no small task. This is not relying on your time of rest. It does not beg the question of whether you have had enough alone time. David surely did not with an army around him and another army hunting him. This statement does not make your time the focus. Rather, the focus is on the steadfast love of God. God is purposeful and perfect.

We can remain in our current and infuriating circumstances and trust in God. We can remain in our pleasant and exciting situations and focus on the Lord. But, it all comes back to the Lord. Is He your delight and your desire? Do you long to be with Him right now? Do you long to not simply rest, but to rest in the God of the universe’s steadfast love forever?

But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.

    I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

    I will thank you forever, because you have done it.

I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly. – Psalm 52