The compilers of the Psalter wanted to show that David did trust God to be on his side when people with biased hearts and treachery in their minds tried to get him to forsake God and thus bring an end to his mission to be the king God anointed him to be. So they included this Psalm reflecting David’s feeling of disbelief that a close friend would betray him for personal gain, but also show how David still maintained his faith in the God he knew would never deceive him and he would be able to trust Him through good times and bad.

Why are you so proud about what you so shamelessly did to me? It won’t stop my Sovereign King from being my best friend. You betrayed me with your pretentious words; they were like a steel chisel aimed at carving your insults on my heart. You lied rather than tell the truth because you prefer doing what’s wrong instead of doing what’s right. You spread malicious gossip meant to embarrass me because you’re deceitful and two-faced. But our Sovereign King will see to it that you get what’s coming to you; you’ll end up being half the man you were and lose your standing in society. When believers see this they will be awestruck; they will then be unafraid to tell you what they think of you because you decided to put your faith in your ranking and your ability to fool others, rather than putting your faith in the One True God to get you through. But look at me now; I’m blossoming like a tree in the front yard of our One True God; for I trusted His unwavering love to get me through. That’s why, O One True God, I’ll never ever stop thanking You for what You did for me; oh yes, I will openly testify of my faith in You for who You are so that others who’ve put their hope in You will be encouraged.” Psalm 52:1-9

Reflection: Years ago I visited an exhibition of relics from the 900-foot opulent cruise ship Titanic that sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage from England to New York. Fifteen hundred people died in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic Ocean, resulting in the worst maritime disaster of that era. In school I heard that it struck an iceberg which caused it to take on water faster than it could pump it out, followed by a loud explosion that tore it in half. Recently an international team of divers and scientists used deep-sea submarines to probe the wreckage buried in mud some two-and-a-half miles under water. To their amazement they discovered that the original damage was not as large as once thought. Instead of finding huge, long gashes in the side of the hull, they discovered that when the ship hit the iceberg, some poorly-made rivets with a high content of slag sheared off in the collision. This caused the deficiently made steel hull to buckle, thereby flooding the so-called watertight compartments that made the ship list forward and then sink. In other words, a small almost invisible failure resulted in an enormous ship to go down, taking its passengers and the company’s reputation with it. Someone who had once been David’s friend decided to leave and sail on the ship that Saul was captain of. It was a tragic mistake. The king who once stood head and shoulders above all other men died in defeat by falling on his own sword. This former friend of David’s named Doeg, who became Saul’s chief shepherd, gets no further mention in Israel’s history. Their ruin did not result from big things that overwhelmed them, but from little things they neglected that ended up tearing them apart at their weakest point. This should be a lesson to all believers that during times of storm and turmoil keep an eye on the little weakness in your life; put your trust in God’s ability to strengthen you in those areas so you come out victorious on the other side.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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