The second book of the Psalms is comprised of 31 Psalms, 42-72. David wrote 18 of these Psalms, Solomon wrote one (Psalm 72), and the rest were written by Korah. These are thought to parallel the book of Exodus, for herein we get the sense of a nation in ruin who is calling out to God for deliverance. While inspiring us with a sense of wonder when we worship the Lord, these 31 Psalms are prayers of deliverance, for they speak of how God is able to rescue His people.
In this series, some of the Psalms of this second book have already been showcased. Part 2, based on Psalm 55, focused on the fact that God has already done everything required to deliver us; Part 3, based on Psalm 43, teaches us that God is our only hope of joy in trouble; and finally, Part 6, based on Psalm 46, gives us a recipe for coping when the enemy comes upon us.
Today's lesson comes from Psalm 52, a Psalm of David, written for the choir director. It is believed to have been written at the time that David, in fleeing Saul, went to see Ahimelech, and Doeg the Edomite was sent after him (See 1 Samuel 21,22 for the complete story). The Psalm begins with a vivid description of the enemies that come against us:
"Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior?
Don't you realize God's justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction.
Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
you're an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
and lies more than truth.
You love to destroy others with your words,
you liar!" (Vs. 1-4 NLT)
Interestingly, though we can see the vivid picture being painted in a way that we can all relate to, the first verse: "Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don't you realize God's justice continues forever?" speaks forth a powerful message: The enemy has no real power! No matter what he (temptation, trials, circumstances, etc.) boasts, no matter how deadly the trials or the temptations, no matter how weak we are when they choose to strike, no matter how hard they strike, this enemy is already defeated, for "...God's justice continues forever"!
Still not convinced that what you are up against is already defeated? Read on through verse 5:
He will pull you from your home
and uproot you from the land of the living." (Vs. 5 NLT)
Friends, it doesn't matter if the enemy is as formidable as Doeg the Edomite. It doesn't matter if it is spiritual in nature, or even if it is disease or broken relationships or financial difficulties. God will bring them all down, once and for all!
The Psalm, in fact, goes on to tell us that we, the righteous, will see this happening and be amazed:
"The righteous will see it and be amazed.
They will laugh and say,
'Look what happens to mighty warriors
who do not trust in God.
They trust their wealth instead
and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.'" (Vs. 6-7 NLT).
It matters not what the enemy is doing, or how badly he is succeeding in hurting God's people, God will bring them down!
Meanwhile, where do the righteous stand while we await this deliverance? Aren't we still going through the pain of the attack?
However, we have a huge advantage available to us. If we would only make use of these amazing gifts of God outlined in the next? verses of Psalm 52, we would weather these trials so much better:
"But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.
I will always trust in God's unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God,
for what you have done.
I will trust in your good name
in the presence of your faithful people." (Vs. NLT)
According to these verses, our part in the battle is as follows:
1. Remember that we are thriving in the House of God;
2. Always trust in His unfailing love and in His good name;
3. Praise the Lord forever;
4. Take that stand of faith, exemplified by our praise, in the presence of God's people!
What are you going through right now?
Remember: Our enemies are already defeated, and we can thrive in the house of the Lord as we go through the trials when we trust in His unfailing love and good name, and when we praise the Lord in the presence of God's people!
In His love
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Lessons From the Psalms" mini-series, please click here.)