Why Do You Boast of Evil? Judgement is Coming–Psalm 52:1-9
1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
2 You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
3 You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
4 You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
He will uproot you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
7 “Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
8 But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the House of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
9 For what You [Lord] have done I will always praise You
in the presence of Your faithful people.
And I will hope in Your Name,
for Your Name is good.
When the psalmist David wrote Psalm 52, he was going through one of the most difficult times in life. He was on the run from King Saul who wanted him dead, and pursued by enemies on all sides. This psalm is primarily focused on the wickedness of men (mankind), yet the confidence we have in God’s divine judgement over evil.
King David’s era was thousands of years ago but we share much of the same worry, frustration and conflicts today. We, too, live in a world dominated by evil. Turn on the news or scroll the Internet and you’re quickly bombarded with images of violence and wickedness. Perhaps, though, this should be of no real surprise. After all, we are told in John 16:11 that the devil himself is the ruler of this world. And we are also warned that while the spirit may be willing (to do good), the flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41).
What we surmise from reading Psalm 52 (as well as much of the Word of God) is that, as stated above, God will eventually bring just judgement upon the wicked; His Name will once again be praised; and the Lord is always victorious. Of the Lord’s opposition, the psalmist writes: “Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent; He will uproot you from the land of the living” (v 5). And upon his own impending (and final) deliverance he exclaims, “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the House of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. For what You [Lord] have done I will always praise You in the presence of Your faithful people. I will hope in Your Name, for Your Name is good” (v 8-9).
The divine workings of God — His judgment and wrath as well as His miraculous deliverance and provision — are not usually easy to understand. But it is nonetheless a spiritual and physical aspect of life we cannot ignore nor escape. And Scripture has a lot to say about this, particularly the surety, severity and the rightness of God’s authoritative judgment. But the Good News is this: while God is indeed just and therefore must punish sin, He is also forgiving. Wholly receiving of the repentant sinner. So as we reflect upon God’s infamous wrath, let’s not forget to bask in gratitude and adoration for His unfathomable saving grace and mercy towards us! Let us praise Him for our gift of faith. The supernatural perseverance needed to continue the “good fight” against all odds (1 Tim. 6:12).
As you meditate on this powerful psalm today, reflect on ways you can protect yourself from being led astray — from becoming a “disgrace in the eyes of the Lord” (v 1)? Our Lord tells us to “watch and pray” (Matt 26:41). To remain rooted in the Word of God, steadfast in our faith, and obedient to His Holy Law and precepts. And while you’re in meditation, humbly reflect upon the feeble nature of all men, the supreme justice of our Lord, and how we as believers should consider these things as we go about our daily lives. Above all, and as David so often did, prayerfully meditate on and give thanks for God’s great mercy, His fairness in the world, and His unwavering love for you.