Psalms – Prayers of Honesty
We are past another election of officials who will speak for us because of our vote…or at least that is what we hope will happen. We pray that we will come together, “one nation, under God” and ask what God wants. Some will rely on the wisdom of God, others will go their own way, seeking more power. But, we are still one nation, under God as we pledge in our allegiance to our country.
But there is a greater, higher allegiance we have to God, the Creator, the One and Only who is above all and in all. We are under His protection, living in the shadow of His wing. We are under His Hand of grace, mercy and blessing. We are under His authority. We are under His will and purpose for our lives. He is God and we are not.
We are UNDER GOD but sometimes we don’t show it in our behavior. God gives us success in the work HE invited us to join Him in and suddenly we think we are in control. When things start to fall apart we blame Him, complain to others, blame each other and then gossip until the work is destroyed all because we forgot that we are under God. No matter how high we climb, we will always be under God.
David knew where he stood with God. He was under God’s authority. He knew all the reasons why we should not cross God, go our own haughty ways or try to control God. What are we thinking? We are not thinking.
Psalm 52, The Message
A David Psalm, When Doeg the Edomite Reported to Saul, “David’s at Ahimelech’s House”
1-4 Why do you brag of evil, “Big Man”?
God’s mercy carries the day.
You scheme catastrophe;
your tongue cuts razor-sharp,
artisan in lies.
You love evil more than good,
you call black white.
You love malicious gossip,
5 God will tear you limb from limb,
sweep you up and throw you out,
Pull you up by the roots
from the land of life.
6-7 Good people will watch and
worship. They’ll laugh in relief:
“Big Man bet on the wrong horse,
trusted in big money,
made his living from catastrophe.”
8 And I’m an olive tree,
growing green in God’s house.
I trusted in the generous mercy
of God then and now.
9 I thank you always
that you went into action.
And I’ll stay right here,
your good name my hope,
in company with your faithful friends.
SOMETHING TO CHEW…
We read three things going on with this anxious prayer of David about those who are not living “under God”. These three highly contrasting themes are honestly evaluated.
1. The Sinners Are Boasting (vv. 1-4). The phrase “mighty man” is the equivalent of our “big shot” and was spoken derisively. Doeg and Saul were mighty in their own eyes but insignificant in God’s eyes; David was insignificant in their eyes but important to God. David depended on the mercy of the Lord (vv. 1, 8), while Saul and his men depended on themselves and their own resources.
2. The Saints Are Laughing (vv. 5-7). Verse 5 is the central verse of the psalm and marks the turning point in David’s experience as he contemplated the wickedness of the human heart. He was confident that God would one day judge Saul, Doeg, and all who follow their evil philosophy of life.
3. The Faithful Are Serving (vv. 8-9). The contrast is clear: The wicked are like uprooted trees, but the godly are like flourishing olive trees that are fruitful and beautiful. Saul and Doeg would perish, rejected by the Lord, but David and his dynasty would be safe in the house of the Lord!
When David wrote this psalm, he was angry, and rightly so. (For the reason, see 1 Sam. 21:1-9; 22:6-23.) Doeg was one of many men around Saul who catered to his whims and inflated his ego in order to gain power and wealth. He typifies all who promote themselves at the expense of truth and justice. (Cough, cough, election ads)
The battle between the flesh and the Spirit still goes on. However, it’s possible that David was also writing about Saul, who certainly fits the description given of the proud, powerful tyrant. There has always been a certain amount of evil in high places, and God’s people must learn to handle it in a godly manner.
The psalm ends with David vowing to praise the Lord in the congregation as soon as God established him in his kingdom. The private victories God gives us should be announced publicly for the encouragement of God’s people. Meanwhile, though evil may seem to triumph, we must continue to obey and serve the Lord and not get discouraged. The “last laugh” belongs to the Lord’s people.
Gossip, lies and put downs happen in and out of God’s church. Humans lean on gossip as a way to gain self power. “I know something you don’t know” and “I will use it to get what I think I need and want.” Yikes. Gossip kills. It splits the Body of Christ in many broken pieces. Gossip is not under God’s plan and best for us. Gossip is the opposite of Truth. Gossip is the opposite of God’s Word. Here are but a few of the “one another” scriptures:
“…encourage one another and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“…Be at peace with each other.” (Mark 9:50)
“…Wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)
“…Love one another…” (John 13:34)
“Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10)
“…Honor one another above yourselves. (Romans 12:10)
“Live in harmony with one another…” (Romans 12:16)
“…Stop passing judgment on one another.” (Romans 14:13)
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you…” (Romans 15:7)
“…Have equal concern for each other.” (I Corinthians 12:25)
“…Serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13)
“If you keep on biting and devouring each other…you will be destroyed by each other.”
“Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:26)
“Carry each other’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2)
“…Be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
“Be kind and compassionate to one another…” (Ephesians 4:32)
“…Forgiving each other…” (Ephesians 4:32)
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Ephesians 5:19)
“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21)
“…In humility consider others better than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
“Do not lie to each other…” (Colossians 3:9)
“Bear with each other…” (Colossians 3:13)
“…Forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.” (Colossians 3:13)
“Teach…[one another]” (Colossians 3:16)
“…Admonish one another (Colossians 3:16)
“…Make your love increase and overflow for each other.” (I Thessalonians 3:12)
“Encourage one another daily…” Hebrews 3:13)
“…Spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
“…Do not slander one another.” (James 4:11)
“Don’t grumble against each other…” (James 5:9)
“Confess your sins to each other…” (James 5:16)
“…Pray for each other.” (James 5:16)
“…Love one another deeply, from the heart.” (I Peter 3:8)
“…Live in harmony with one another…” (I Peter 3:8)
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (I Peter 4:9)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” (I Peter 4:10)
“…Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another…”(I Peter 5:5)
God’s Word proves the list is inexhaustible! So Friends, go, build someone up today! AND guess what will happen….When we are living UNDER GOD, He will bring a person to our minds who needs encouragement. Don’t delay! God uses us to encourage each other so that His glory is seen in us. Look up. Live like Jesus taught us to live.
Dear Heavenly Father,
From a honest prayer-psalm from David, you took our hearts to a place of humble realization that we live and behave under Your authority and care. Thank you, God for reminding us to build each other with tangible ways to do that instead of gossiping. Thank you for numerous opportunities to serve each other with the gifts of the Holy Spirit you have given to us. You have lifted my spirit by flooding my soul with Your Holy Spirit. Continue to help us think more like you and a lot less like the world. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen