Highlights from yesterday’s sermon on Psalm 52:
If we want to understand ourselves, our people, and our God, we must read the story that God is writing. We all recognize the bad guy in the movie who is snapping at his kids or criticizing his wife, all while telling himself that he is the real victim in the story and not the tyrant. He deludes himself and thinks he’s the good guy, but his kids and his wife see him as petty and malicious.
In this psalm the evil man is described as loving evil, lying, and deceit. Saul had become a persecutor who felt like he was the persecuted one. He felt sorry for himself. And Doeg lied to advance himself in Saul’s eyes and make David look bad. Four verbs describe what God will do to Doeg: destroy, take away, pluck out, and root out (vs. 5). But the righteous will see, fear, and laugh (vs. 6).
When the saints see God destroy His enemies, they are not to react with petty malice or a vain triumphalism; they fear God. Therefore, they can rejoice in a solemn and righteous way.
Seeing the story rightly helps us to know which character we are in the story. Are we a Saul, a Doeg, or a David? David can laugh because God will destroy the one who boasts in his mischief. Likewise, when we see those who put their trust in riches and strengthen themselves in wickedness, we can laugh. “Isn’t that the guy who said he didn’t need God?”
Saul did not know who he was in the story. Doeg, no doubt, thought he was the good guy. But David read his story right.