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The fantasy that one can rebel against God and get away with it is laughable. It leads to a life that hides behind lies and ends in complete destruction. Meanwhile God’s people enjoy eternal life. They follow God’s lead and dwell with him now and forever.
…Hey everyone welcome again to trainingforliferedeemed. I’m Dan with my father. David Jackson working our way through the Psalms. Dad has translated the more beautifully. Let’s see what he says about Psalm 52.
0 For the director. A Maskil of David.
When Doeg the Edomite came and reported to Saul and said to him, “David came to the house of Ahimelek.”
1 Why do you boast in evil, big man?
God’s faithfulness is all through the day.
2 You plan destruction.
Your tongue is like a sharpened razor,
You doer of treachery.
3 You love evil more than good;
a lie rather than a right word.
4 You loved all the devouring words,
You deceitful tongue.
5 Yes, God will demolish you forever.
He snatches you up and he tears you away from a tent.
He uproots you from the land of the living.
6 The righteous see and they fear.
They laugh at him.
7 Look, the big man!
He does not set God as his place of safety,
but he trusts in the abundance of his riches.
He is strong – in his destruction.
8 But I am like a luxuriant olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the covenant faithfulness of God forever and ever.
9 I will praise you forever because you act.
I will wait for your name,
Because it is good that it is ahead of your faithful ones.
Well Dad that sounds delicious. I feel like this Psalm is a massive taunt that David has written in a little letter and sent off via pigeon or something over to Doeg. Here. Doeg, read this. You’re such a big man. Reminds me
Charlie my son. Loves the How To Train Your Dragon Series Oh. And in there is this guy called, “Humongously.” “Humongously Big Shot The Hero,” Yeah. Yeah “Humongous Big Shot The Hero.” That’s it. So that’s what he gets called the whole way through And everyone loves him He does all this Yeah. It’s just a big shot the hero but I’m retired from my hero business Anyway. it’s kind of how I feel like he’s doing, as kids calling him this big man throughout the throughout this psalm dad.
So it’s coming…
Yeah it says it’s a Psalm of David about Doeg the Edomite after he has basically caused Ahimelech’s entire household to be destroyed…
Can you get a bit more of the context for us for the psalm. Again remembering that this is probably not written by David and sent Doeg. Like I have in my head it’s written later for us to reflect on about Doeg. Yeah. Didn’t burst into song and start singing this thing.
And you still out in the wilderness somewhere hiding from these people when he wrote this, I’m sure. But, I resonate with this because when I was at when I was at school, an all boys high school, and you’re the smallest kid in the grade and you’ve got asthma and you’re the weediest little runt, There is there’s always these fellows that are, you know, the big heroes in the year, the rugby union players, the tough guys. And we used to refer to them as “the men.” That was such a pack of idiots.
And I went to a reunion, with my HSC grade. And it was embarrassing because “the men” were there. And as people started talking about how they’d lived the last 40 years of their life, I didn’t want to tell my story because God’s been gracious to the runt, the cyril, the reject. Here I sit happily married for 48 years, four great kids. God has been really, really good to us. And I’m listening to these guys tell their stories. And it’s. It’s shattering. And sad.
A couple of them got converted and the difference was just horrendous. God’s grace versus the alternative. And you don’t want to sit there and take any credit for it, because there really is no credit you can take. God has been gracious.
You look at David in 51. And what a horrendous man he was, and there is God, doing grace as he responds, you know, with repentance and faith. And now we’ve got this clown. and Doeg is just the picture of the unrepentant man. and in a world of, you know that picture, if I die I cease to exist there for survival of the fittest. Who’s going to be the fittest? the big man. You know, the hero. And we look at that and we think that’s silly but,
I look back at Anzac day and World War One. And I’m a historian. 90% of the blokes that went off and signed up for that war went over there to win their manhood. They had no idea what they were fighting for. There were slogans you know for King and Country and God and Country and God and Empire and all this stuff. It all sounded really noble. But really at the end of the day, it’s pictured by Norman Lindsay. With a little boy in short pants and across his belt is the word Australia. And lying on the ground is a woman in her nightie with a gorilla standing over with a German helmet. And obviously the lady has been raped and murdered. And he’s got blood on his hands. And the caption underneath says, What are you going to do about what’s happening to your mother? And the woman lying on the ground is the UK. So there’s mother country and there’s little boy. And we’re going to go over there and become one of the big boys by going to war and winning a Victoria Cross.
That’s a psychosis that was involved in that whole process and I think it’s built into manhood generally. We want to go and win our manhood. We want to be the big man.
You know who the big man is? The guy who is on his face in Psalm 51. And this clown is not a big man. No, he’s a gutless little wimp. He kills 80 priests, all of their wives and children, and all of their animals. The entire town is wiped out. Saul’s own men refuse to do it. And you go. Yeah, here is a history of Jacob versus Esau. Israel versus Edom. And he’s an Edomite. And you end that story with Jesus versus Herod, who is also an Edomite. And Herod ends up being eaten by worms…
Yeah. Big man…probably was a big man…
Yeah. Yeah They were internal worms…
it’s not. Yeah, this, this put this is God putting life in perspective. And while we fear the big man, you know, and I, you know I’d go and hide in the library. These guys really they’re the ones who should be afraid.
Yeah Which kind of comes throughout the Psalm. We’ve got this big man, big man stuff for then around verse five it starts to talk about how God is going to actually come and demolish him forever. Yep. It doesn’t matter how big a man you are if you’re up against a creator God. What do they say there’s always someone bigger…
Vern Poythress preached a chapel sermon at Westminster. On Psalm 1, “Why do the nations rage the King’s imagine?” Psalm 2. God in his heaven laughs. And I’ve never been able to track down all the words but I remember he said there were five Hebrew words for laughter. One is where a chuckle. And the one at the other end has you rolling on the floor holding your ribs. All right. And the one that he uses here has Yahweh in his heavens, the creator God, who is above the creation, rolling on the ground laughing at this little wimp. of a big man. Big man is, all of, you know, six foot tall on the third rock from the sun, in among a billion stars in one galaxy. Billions of galaxies going, “You can go jump on the lake.” It’s hysterically stupid. Yeah. but frighteningly so…
Yes. Yeah. God’s going to snatch him u, demolish him, take him away from his tent to uproot him. Then, about the righteous then. In this psalm there is a contrast That’s not just about Doeg. Yeah, the righteous fear God. And they. They laugh Like even the righteous people that they go look the big man Yeah. It’s not, it’s not Oh look there’s a big man It’s a. They’re mocking him. Yeah. Because he does not set his place to thank God for his safety.
He’s got life out of perspective completely Yeah. Yeah And it’s a it’s a ridiculous cartoon. This man is the one that’s gets described as the olive tree. Yeah so luxurious one even. Yeah.
You look at this. This was a hard line to translate. He snatches you up and he tears you away from a tent. He uproots you from the land of the living. So, this big man And in the previous psalms, he’s building bigger barns and he’s got big houses and his name is invested in his inheritance for his children and all this sort of stuff. And God reaches down and just plucks him up. And he…pulls him out of his tent. You want to be undignified get dragged out of your tent. And tossed out of the country. He’s a homeless nobody. That’s a contrast to. If you go back to the first psalm, the righteous man, is a tree planted by the waters. And his roots go down into the water And he’s, he’s always green and flourishing. Whereas this guy is just a dried up stick that we throw away.
There’s a great line in Jude. In the epistle of Jude he’s dealing with people who were part of / If sneaked into the church to try and corrupt the churches understanding they’d deny that Jesus is God. Right So, in the process of. Basically labelling these people for who they are. He describes them as autumn trees twice did uprooted. And these people if I’m right. associated with the Essenes and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their label for themselves was that they were a plantation of righteousness. Which is a phrase used in Isaiah. And this is. No, you’re not you’re not the plantation of righteousness mate You’re just a dead stump that we’re going to pull up and throw in the fire. you’re unfruitful. You haven’t produced the fruit of righteousness. And you look at Doeg and you think, Yeah. Yeah. So the curse on Edom was that. And the Amalekites and so forth…is that their name would be forgotten they’d blot out the name of Amilek. They’d blot out the name of these people. That means that they’ll have no descendants…
And so the last defenders of Jerusalem, ironically, were Edomites. And the Romans wiped them all out. Yep. Nothing left. Nothing left. Yeah God keeps his word.
Yeah. And he does flourish The righteous. Luxury Olive trees. Yeah.
Where’s it like a luxurious olive tree.
Well, Paul picks up that image doesn’t he? In Romans nine and eleven. He talks about you know God’s people are this plantation of righteousness. He’s planted them in his creation. And they’re going to flourish if they don’t, if they’re not faithful it’ll chop you off. And if you’re a gentile or whoever you are, and you repent and believe he’ll graft you in. Yeah, and that tree will just keep growing and growing and growing. So here we are, 3000 years after this, sitting on the other side of the planet, doing a podcast, because the kingdom of God has flourished all the way here. Yeah. Yup.
Well thankfully so, and thankfully so…
Would that brings us to the end of Psalm 52. if you want to come and grab the study nights for this episode you can head over to trainingforliferedeemed.com/108 and grab those there. If you haven’t hit the subscribe button yet please do that. Follow us along and we’ll be back again next week looking at Psalm 53 I presume Dad.
Yup. Yup. Keep going through these psalms We’re going to go to 72, God willing. We’ll see you then.