Today: [Psalm 52-54] Dealing with Traitors and Fools. The three psalms covered in this teaching give you wisdom and encouragement how to deal with broken faith and broken relationships. David was constantly on the run while king Saul lived and was betrayed many times. Rather than rely on his own strength to deliver him, David called on the Lord to judge between himself and his betrayers and was delivered every time.
[Psa 52:1-9 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.]] Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God [endureth] continually. 2 Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; [and] lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O [thou] deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of [thy] dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. 6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him: 7 Lo, [this is] the man [that] made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, [and] strengthened himself in his wickedness. 8 But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever. 9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done [it]: and I will wait on thy name; for [it is] good before thy saints.
This psalm is written regarding the actions of a man named Doeg. You can read about Doeg and his crimes in 1 Sam. 22. The events recorded there occurred before David was king when he initially fled from king Saul. After living at Saul’s house for some time David finally realizes how seriously he is in jeopardy and decided to flee as a fugitive from the wrath of the king. On his way from Jerusalem he stops and inquires of the high priest Ahimelech. There was a man there by the name of Doeg who informs Saul that Ahimelech inquired of the Lord in David’s behalf. Saul sees this as treason and orders that the entire company of priests, including the high priest be executed immediately.
Now in this psalm we see the backstory. There was evidently a line of communication that reaches David in his self-imposed exile and he composes a psalm to express his disdain and anger at the sin of the king and the collusion of Doeg. You will notice that Doeg was an Edomite, working in the employ of the king. The Edomites were a left over nation of people that the children of Israel failed to fully remove from the Promised land as God commanded. Here we see the cost of incomplete obedience. The same can be said of the Amelekites who were also allowed to remain in the land contrary to God’s command twice that they be removed completely and exterminated. It was an Amelekite but the name of Hamon that nearly succeed in destroying the people of God in Esther’s times.
Doeg and Haman the Amalekite speak to us of the cost of compromise. Saul did not want to fully obey God because he saw in the Amelekites something of himself and also out of greed for their treasures that Samuel ordered to be destroyed. Ultimately as well it was an Amelekite who Saul begged to kill him after his mortal wound on the battlefield. Do you have a Doeg or an Amalekite in your life? Someone that you know God has spoken to you about but for various reasons you have delayed obeying the Father in removing that relationship?
What about Abraham and Lot. Lot was Abraham’s nephew who followed Abraham out of the land of Ur. God did not instruct Abraham to bring Lot along but he presumed it was acceptable. Nonetheless Lot was a thorn in Abraham’s side the entire time and Abraham did not fully enter into the blessing of God until he separated from Lot. It is also important to know that while Abraham might have felt he was acting in Lot’s best interest in the end Lot was destroyed because of Abraham’s perverted mercy toward his nephew. You may have friends or relatives that you know God has commanded you to distance yourself from but you don’t want to put them at a disadvantage. You don’t want to incur their disapproval therefore you have delayed in your obedience. Let the stories of Doeg, the Amalekites and Lot be a lesson to you – obey quickly because you have no idea what heart break and devastation you are sparing yourself from by obeying the Lord in these relationship issues.
[Psa 53:1-6 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David.]] The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: [there is] none that doeth good. 2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were [any] that did understand, that did seek God. 3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; [there is] none that doeth good, no, not one. 4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people [as] they eat bread: they have not called upon God. 5 There were they in great fear, [where] no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth [against] thee: thou hast put [them] to shame, because God hath despised them. 6 Oh that the salvation of Israel [were come] out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, [and] Israel shall be glad.
Here we see in this psalm the great value of the word of God as a discerner. The writer of Hebrews tells us that the word of God is a sword that discerns situations and people with unfailing accuracy:
[Heb 4:12 KJV] 12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
It is so important to use discernment in dealing with the world about you. People can be very deceiving in their interactions with you and often manipulate us by their false motives. Always rely on the word of God as your guide. In this instance we see the discernment of God’s word concerning the atheist and the agnostic. “The fool says in his heart there is no god…” It is interesting that the atheist always presents himself as a thinking man, an intellectual who cannot abide the so-called primitive superstitions of the Christian faith. Be not deceived. This man or this woman is a fool who has wrapped themselves up in the false garment of academia in order to hide their own sinful motives for denying the Lord that bought them.
In identifying the character of an atheist we also find a strategy for dealing with them. When someone in your life declares to you that they don’t believe in God you should use care in how you respond. The enemy’s great tactic is to get you bogged down in endless debate and distraction to get your eyes off the harvest and the path of your feet from seeking first the kingdom. Solomon gives his counsel in how to deal with the fool and the atheist:
[Pro 26:4 KJV] 4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Do not waste your time trying to best an atheist in an argument. If they will not listen to the voice of their own heart within them they will never listen to you. The scripture tells us that Jesus is the light that lights every man that comes into the world. If the atheist has rejected the light of God that is in him there is little likelihood that you will change their heart. Is there no hope? Yes of course but it does not lie in wasting your time and energy trying to reason with a person who has their mind made up and doesn’t want to be confused with the facts. Your role as a believer is to proclaim truth not convince of truth. Be a truth teller and leave the debate to the hand of God to so move in the life of a fool as to bring them to repentance.
[Psa 54:1-7 KJV] 1 [[To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us?]] Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength. 2 Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. 3 For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah. 4 Behold, God [is] mine helper: the Lord [is] with them that uphold my soul. 5 He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth. 6 I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for [it is] good. 7 For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen [his desire] upon mine enemies.
This psalm has much in common with Psalm 52. In Psalm 52 we saw Doeg betraying David to king Saul and many died as a result. In this chapter an entire people – the Ziphims inform Saul that David is hiding out in their territory. What is David’s response? He goes to God for vindication. Here again we see the faith of David. He doesn’t resort to trying to solve his problems in his own strength. He calls upon God to stand as judge in his situation. You never have to fear the judgment of God. When you are overwhelmed and don’t know where to turn look to the hand of God’s judgment to be just and merciful in your behalf. As in David’s case the judgment of God will deliver you out of your troubles and He delivered David from the betrayal of the Ziphims.
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