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Psalm 52

It’s one thing to do evil.  It’s quite another to be proud and brag about it.  In Psalm 52, David calls out Doeg the Edomite and most likely King Saul as well for their evil acts found in 1 Samuel 21-22.  With an evil heart, Doeg told King Saul, who was trying to kill David, that Ahimelek the priest had helped him by giving him bread, a sword, and prayer.  Saul ordered his guards to kill the priest, but they couldn’t bring themselves to do it as Ahimelek had done nothing wrong.  Saul was so furious that he couldn’t even call David by name (he called him Son of Jesse).  Perhaps he wanted to remember him as a little boy and not the future anointed king of Israel that would replace him (Acts 13:22)!  Saul ordered Doeg to kill the priests (1 Samuel 22:18).  Doeg went on a killing rampage and slaughtered 85 priests along with the whole city of Nob, even killing the children, infants, and animals!  Here in Psalm 52, David condemns their evil acts and proud boasting. 

We should always publicly stand against evil acts and those who boast about them.  David asks why they boast of evil (v. 1a).  Who in their right mind boasts about slaughtering people?  David tells it like it is: “You who are a disgrace in the eyes of God” (v. 1b).  Not only do people see this as disgraceful, but the Lord also does!  Their actions, words, and motive of their hearts are evil, deceit, and destruction (v. 2-4).  David may have pretended to be a mad man once (1 Samuel 21:10-15), but Saul and Doeg truly were madmen!  David knew God would take care of them, striking them down (v. 5a).  Their wealth and power wouldn’t stop the Lord from “snatching them up and plucking them from their tent” (v. 5b).  Although they had massacred God’s people, the righteous would have the last laugh as God destroyed them (v. 6).  Wicked people “do not make God their stronghold but grow strong by destroying others” (v. 7). 

While we must call this kind of evil out, we must trust the Lord to avenge His holy name.  Those who brag about atrocities like those who blatantly support abortions and those who kill or side with those who kill Christians (martyrs), are not on God’s side.  He will eventually repay their evil acts unless they repent of these egregious sins! David knew God was in control even if a mad king slaughtered innocent followers of God.  David trusted God and was planted like an olive tree in God’s house (v. 8a), unlike these evil men who uprooted themselves from the Lord.  He placed his trust in the unfailing love of the Lord his God (v. 8b).  While we weep over and call out the outrageous sins committed by others, we must remain like David and praise God publicly with other believers (v. 9a) and hope in good Him (v. 9b).


  1. Are you calling out evil while trusting the Lord?
  2. Do you trust the Lord and believe He is good even when evil seems to prevail?
  3. Are you praying for God to turn the hearts of those who proudly do and support evil?


Lord, help me to trust you when evil people do horrendous things.  Help me not retaliate, but trust in You.  Your name is good, even when theirs is not.  Help me to call out evil against the innocent and hope in You for divine justice.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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