Psalms On Saturday ~ Psalm 52

Psalm 52 begins with . . . 

A psalm of David, regarding the time Doeg the Edomite said to Saul, “David has gone to see Ahimelech.”

One Biblical scholar describes Doeg as one of the top five evil men in the entire Bible. And David seems to concur when he describes Doeg . . . 

Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever? (v. 1) 

If we didn’t know he was a Biblical character, we might consider the name “Doeg” as the name of an Orc in the Lord of the Rings series. But he’s worse than an Orc. 

And, unusual for the Psalms that mostly depict praise, patience in difficulties, God’s goodness, angels, and great themes of theology, Psalm 52 is devoted to one evil person.  

God inspires this Psalm so that we know an evil person when we see one.

What did Doeg do?

  • Doeg, as an Edomite, is a descendant of Esau and thus has racial hatred for the Israelites.
  • With undergirding racist attitudes, Doeg becomes a proselyte of Judaism, and Jewish tradition lists him as the most intelligent scholar for Scripture during the time of King Saul.
  • David came to a town named Nob requesting food and Goliath’s sword. Nob was a town of priests, and Ahimelech, their leader, gave David food and the sword. But Doeg was in the background watching this transaction (1 Samuel 21).
  • Doeg informed King Saul of Ahimelech’s actions, and Saul summoned Ahimelech and the priests of Nob. Enraged, Saul ordered his servants to kill the priests, and when his soldiers refused, Doeg willingly obliged by killing Ahimelech and 85 other priests.
  • Then Doeg went to Nob and killed the priests’ families (men, women, children, and babies) and cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats!

Evil!!!! Top five evil in the Bible.

King David writes of Doeg . . .

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 (vv. 2-3).

A reason that I believe the truth of the Bible is that it doesn’t hide evil.  

Scripture never overlooks sinful actions, even when committed by God’s people. My wife recently told me of a website listing all the evil deeds mentioned in the Bible, with the website written to disprove the goodness and greatness of God.

The Bible doesn’t cover up the evil in Psalm 52. Nor does the rest of Scripture overlook evil occurrences in Biblical history. These depictions help us understand the end game for rebellion against God. 

As evil flourishes today, it’s easy to question God’s justice and grow impatient while wondering when God will act.

David describes the end of Doeg.

But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and uproot you from the land of the living. 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” (vv. 5-7).

While reading about tenacious evil in Psalm 52, King David reminds us of God’s ultimate purposes.

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 (vv. 8-9).

I conclude as David does in Psalm 52 about the increasing evil of our times . . . I will trust in Your good name.

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