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Psalms 58-60

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Dealing with wicked rulers in this world is nothing new. People like Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and Pol Pot, are just a few names that come to mind who were responsible for the killing of millions of people collectively around the world. These kinds of rulers will always exist. Why? Because of two critical factors. The first factor is that Satan is at work in this world - 

"Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 

The second factor is explained by David in Psalms 58:3 - "These wicked people were born sinners." They are wicked, self-centered, controlling individuals who are void of justice and mercy. 

How does evil overtake and consume these men?  God tells us how it happens in 2 Timothy 2:26 -

"Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants."

In Psalms 58, David is disgusted with the wicked rulers of his day. In this chapter he indicts them of a lack of justice, the spreading of violence around the world, and wicked self-centeredness. He also prays that the Lord God Almighty would destroy them and wash them away from the world so that true believers can see God's power, the proof that wickedness does not prevail, and that God is the ultimate Judge of justice whom all men will one day stand before.

Psalms 59 is yet another prayer to the Lord requesting that God avenge the wicked for their wickedness so that all of Israel will know God prevails in justice.

Psalms 60, however, is a different kind of song and prayer. David uses it as a teaching tool. He reminds those who sing this song of the need all of us to depend on God. David learned early on the human help is nothing. Only God can work the mighty and the impossible!


Psalms 55-57

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Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed to the point where your body started physically shaking...and you couldn't stop it? Have you ever been threatened by others who wanted to kill you and had contracted professional assassins to take you out? Well, King David has!

I know it sounds extreme, but this was a daily reality for many years while David (Israel's future king after the death of King Saul) was frantically running from the elite special forces of King Saul. Imagine if you will, having King Sauls "Navy Seals" or "Green Berets" seeking YOU as a target for destruction! It would be enough to totally unnerve any of us.

While some Bible scholars belief this narrative may describing his son Absalom during his revolt against his father's rule, I tend to think it's reflective of King Saul. And, whether it's Saul or Absalom, David is terrified and tells us about it.

In Psalms 55, David (now King) I believe may have written this song while on the run from Saul's forces. There was a time when David and Saul enjoyed companionship, ate together, and worshiped God together. They formed an incredible team - especially in battle. However, Saul became jealous over David's rising stardom within the kingdom of Israel and banished him from the kingdom.

In Psalms 55, David goes into unbelievable detail as to how he was feeling and what was going through his mind during this banishment and ultimately exile-on-the-run. It was so frightening to him that his wished he could simply become a dove and fly off into a distant land far away from what he described as "this wild storm of hatred."

As terrible as David must of felt, I am also reminded of the hatred that filled Saul's heart. Saul's jealousy of David consumed him. That all consuming desire to kill David wasted an indescribable amount of resources. This rage took Saul down a path of personal destruction. Instead of focusing on more positive things he could do to help the nation he ruled, he was caged in with a tunnel vision that even surprised David. David asked Saul one day "Why do you search for me. I'm nothing but a flea."
David could not believe the hatred Saul felt.

No one was more deceitful in his attitude toward David than Saul. Saul constantly assured David of their deep, abiding friendship. It wasn't until David spoke to Saul's son, Jonathan, that he truly knew how Saul felt. I think that's why David writes:

"As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. His words are as smooth as butter, but in his heart is war. His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers!"

Nevertheless, David put his trust in the Lord!

In Psalms 56-57, David continues to share his feelings and his willingness to trust the Lord regardless of the circumstances surrounding him. These awkward feeling between fear and faith became a battle between daily. Fear happens in the absence of faith. When you can't trust the Lord, fear takes over. And the contrary is true. Faith in God and His strength conquers fear.

David struggled with this for a long time. Fear would over take him for a while, then after thinking of and dwelling on the Lord he would push away the fear and boldly pronounce his faith in God.

Fear happens. But, when it does, turn your eyes on Jesus. When you do, the things of earth - it's trials and affliction - grow strangely dim in the light of his glory, power, and grace! Take time to read the Word of God and meditate on His promises. The results will yield strength for the journey!

What are your thoughts?

Psalms 52-54

Psalms 52-54 - Click to read passage.

These have got to be the shortest three chapters we'll read. Still, there are things we can learn from this very brief reading.

Chapter 52 sounds a little odd, but scholars say it was a song written by David that addressed and condemned the disgusting actions of Doeg, the Edomite. You'd have to go back to 1 Samuel 21 to read what happened, but let me say this - if you wanted to put together a list of  the “bottom 10” people in the Bible (excluding Satan), arguably Doeg the Edomite would be in that list!  

Though little is divulged in the Bible about him, he was a loyalist to Saul and a traitor to David. In the subsequent chapter, Doeg the Edomite is mentioned only three more times – but his impact is tragic. He divulges the actions of David to the maniacal Saul, proceeds to kill the eighty-five Israeli priests of Nob, and then, without explanation, slaughters the entire city – man, woman, and child. He is the epitome of evil. That's why David attacks him sharply in Psalms 52.

But, here's why I find interesting. 

When you go back to 1 Samuel 21:7, you read something very interesting. You read how Doeg was "detained before the Lord." In other words, God intervened and caused Doeg to be detained so that he would see David and report him to Saul. While this seems very perplexing since as a result of this delay, not only was all the priests and men, women, and children of Nod slain (a horrible act), but David was subsequently hunted down like a dog.

The question I have is, "Why would God allow this?" If I were God (and I'm not), I would have forced Doeg out of there early so as to save hundreds of lives. However, we can't see what God sees, nor do we fully understand the loving purpose of God in the final end of this horrible tragedy.

My point is - God never causes evil, but he allows it to happen. It breaks His heart when it does. He hates evil. But in His infinite purpose, He uses evil people to accomplish something greater and better that we could NOT possibly understand unless God could explain it to us fully. God always acts in love and perfection. Yes, it's hard to understand this as a loving act of God, but it is. Just because we can't fully grasp the full scope of "why" this happened, it doesn't undermine the infinite love and perfect purpose of God.

You may be experiencing the success of evil people around you. But understand, God is seeing everything that's going on! He sees the evil and will one day punish according to the evil of that person. There will be payday some day! But, to understand the mind and heart of God is simple - He loves you and "all things work together for the good for those who love God."

What other things to you see in these chapters?

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Quotes To Live By!

The greatness of a man is not measured by his position, power, plaudits, or pleasures, but by what it takes to discourage him. - Dr. Jerry Falwell

A truly GREAT man doesn't discourage easily. He understands the risks in life. And if he fails, he fails FORWARD! - Dr. John Maxwell

"I will speak the ill of no man, but all the good of everyone." - Benjamin Franklin

Life is about living out your passions and figuring out how to get paid to do it. - Glenn Beck

You can give without loving, but you can't love without giving! - Anonymous

Love...as though you'll NEVER get another chance! - Anonymous