Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.
In Psalm 51, we looked at the confession of a contrite sinner. In Psalm 52 today, we look at an arrogant deceiver. The poet says to the liar:
Why do you boast, O mighty one,
of mischief done against the godly?
You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharp razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth (vv. 1-3).
If the psalms are prayers, this is an odd one. The poet is speaking directly to his enemy, not to God. Would you say the poet is praying to his enemy?
I think this psalm is a prayer because the poet brings his situation into God’s presence. Prayer is not just asking God for stuff, it is not just conversation with God. It is also presenting to God our experiences and feelings and listening for God’s response. Here in Psalm 52, the poet composes a speech to his enemy, and recites that speech before God.
After accusing his enemy, the poet announces that God will judge him:
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.
The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
‘Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold’. . . (vv. 5-6).
The righteous will laugh at the evildoer? Laughter is often a response to humor, or a way of mocking someone. But it is also a much broader expression of emotion. Here the poet’s laughter probably includes deep relief that evil is not as important as it pretends to be, it is not as powerful and world-changing as it advertises. God will mow down the weeds of evil and pluck up the trees, leaving the righteous standing like an olive tree in the house of God.
Let’s pray, following the poet’s model:.
Our father, we speak to the evil of our society.
Why do you drug dealers sell destruction and sorrow?
Why do you sex addicts oppress women and children?
Why do you preachers love money more than God?
Why do you video game makers delight in murder and violence?
Why do you Christians go around judging people?
Why do you nations pursue war and oppression?
God is watching.
God is waiting.
God is recording your actions.
Soon he will rise up on behalf of the addicted, the entrapped, the poor and oppressed. He will show his great power against evil, he will destroy the powers of evil, he will install his son as king, he will heal his creation and create a world of peace and justice.Then we will be like the trees of Psalm 1, planted by the stream of God’s water, bearing fruit in season, praising God for his great and lasting victory.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.