Saturday, July 18, 2009

Doeg: The man who dared touch God's priests

The introduction to Psalm 52 says this Psalm is about Doeg, the Edomite who came and told Saul, "David has come to the House of Ahimelech."

Doesn't sound like a big deal until you read 1 Samuel 22: 9-19. Saul was hunting David the way a hunter tracks wild game. David went to the house of Ahimelech the priest for food, rest and shelter. Doeg told Saul that his enemy found shelter with this priest. Saul sentenced Ahimelech to death for assisting the fugitive David. The problem is, all of Saul's men refused to kill the priest except Doeg. Doeg had no fear of God in him. He took his sword and killed a total of 85 priests that day! I Samuel 22: 18

Psalm 52: 1-9 is a lament and a statement of trust in God. I would imagine that David is distressed at the thought that his presence among the priests led to their death. He directs his words first to Doeg, whom he calls a mighty man (tongue in cheek).
Doeg's razor sharp tongue plans destruction I Sa 52:1
He is a worker of deceit
He loves evil more than good
He loves lying more than speaking what is right
He loves words that destroy others I Sa 52: 1-4
This is a very bad man.

But God knows how to deal with bad people like Doeg I Sa. 52: 5-7
God will one day break him down forever
God will one day snatch and tear him from his tent
Like a dead tree, God will uproot him from the land of the living
People all around will see and hear about the demise of Doeg and laugh
They will remember him as the man who thought he could live his life without God
They will remember him as the man who trusted more in his fleeting riches instead of trusting in God who lives forever.

On the other hand, David is confident that God will take care of him I Sa. 52: 8-9
In contrast to the wicked people who are uprooted, David will be like a green olive tree firmly established in the house of God

Instead of trusting in the fleeting pleasures of riches, David will trust in the steadfast love of God forever.

Instead of gloating about himself and his accomplishments, David promises to thank God because God is trustworthy and reliable. As he waits on the Lord he knows within himself and even from the testimony of godly people that God will never fail.

When evil people assail or threaten, remember God is still greater!

Heavenly Father, we look to you for help and strength; we look to you with confidence that your steadfast love endures forever. Help us to never make people so big that you become small before our eyes. We fix our eyes on you and we trust in you. Through Christ we hear your eternal promise, I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). For this we are ever thankful, through Jesus Christ our Savior, amen.