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Psalm 1:1-6
Psalm 2:1-12
Psalm 3-4
Psalms 5-7
Psalms 8-9-10
Psalms 11-14
Psalms 15-16-17
Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 19:1-14
Psalms 20-21
Psalm 22:1-31
Psalm 23:1-6
Psalm 24: 1-10
Psalm 25-26
Psalm 27:1-14
Psalm 28-30
Psalm 31-32
Psalm 33-34
Psalm 35-36
Psalm 37-38
Psalm 39-40
Psalm 41-43
Psalm 44-45
Psalm 46-47
Psalm 48-50
Psalm 52-55
Psalm 56-58
Psalm 59-61
Psalm 62-65
Psalm 66-68
Psalms 69-72
Psalm73-1-28
Psalms 74-77
Psalm78-1-72
Psalms 79-81
Psalms 82-83
Psalm84-1-12
Psalms 85-87
Psalms 88-89
Psalm 90:1-17
Psalm 91:1-16 Psalms 92-93 Psalms 94-95 Psalms 96-99 Psalms 100-102
Psalm 103:1-22 Psalm 104:1-35 Psalm 105:1-45 Psalm 106:1-48 Psalm 107:1-43
Psalms 108-110 Psalms 111-113 Psalm114-116 Psalm117-118  
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Psalm 52:1-9

 

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech

 

“Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man?  the goodness of God endureth continually.  Thy tongue diviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.  Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.  Selah.  Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.  God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.  Selah.  The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:  Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.  But I am a green olive tree in the house of God:  I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.  I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it:  and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 52, you’ll see the heading of the Psalm there says, it is “to the chief Musician” which means, ok, it was sung publicly.  It’s a Maschil, which means it’s a song of instruction, much as a sermon as a song.  It is a Psalm of David, he’s the author, and the timing of it is clear, “when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.”  That gives us the timing of this Psalm.  David is probably about 20 years old.  The most generous figure you can come up with is early 20’s, but probably 20-years-old, right in there.  He is fleeing from Saul.  Saul has been jealous over his victory over Goliath, the way the people have rallied around David, and they’re singing ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David has slain his tens of thousands.’  Saul has tried to murder him, Jonathan, who was his dear friend, and realize though almost 30 years older than David, most people don’t realize that, told David, ‘David, you need to get out of town, my father is determined to kill you.’  So he flees, and as he flees, he comes to Nob, north of the Mount of Olives, where Ahimelech is the active Priest at that point in time.  And Ahimelech is kind of shocked to see David, ‘What are you doing here?’  David is not honest with him, Ahimelech, and says ‘I’m on a secret mission from the king.’  You know, he was on a secret escape from the king.  And of course he said, ‘These men that are with me, there’s nothing to eat,’ and finally Ahimelech gives him the Show Bread, and he eats, and finally he says ‘Do you have any weapons here?’  And he says ‘I have the sword of Goliath,’ which evidently had become some type of a national treasure, and was kept at the Tabernacle.  And he gives him then the sword of Goliath, which I can’t imagine walking without that dragging on the ground.  And he flees from there, and he ends up down in Gath, in Philistine country.  He figures that Saul’s not going to follow him there.  And as he’s brought before the king in Gath, he feigns madness, and he starts to drool and act like an insane person, and scrape the doors with his fingernails now, and he’s laughing and drooling.  And the king of Gath said, ‘Haven’t I enough madmen in my council already, and you bring me one more?  Just get this guy outa here.’  David flees, he escapes with his life, and he ends up in the Cave of Adullam.  And there it tells us, men began to gather to David, those who were in debt, those who were discontent, those who were depressed and discouraged.  And David at 20 years old, has gathered now an army of 400 to 600 men.  Imagine a 20-year-old with an army of 400 to 600 men.  And a lot of them are mighty men, these men, some of them are very remarkable, older than him.  But his problem at this point, is when he was at Nob, and Ahimelech gave him there the sword of Goliath, and gave him also the Show Bread to eat, that Doeg was there and watched that.  Doeg is an Edomite, and normally Edomites were perennial enemies of Israel [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophets/edom/Edom%20in%20Prophecy%201.html to learn more about the Edomites].  But somehow Saul has drawn him close, and made him the master herdsman over all of his flocks everywhere.  And when David then is safe, and he sent his parents to Moab, Saul is talking to his men, saying ‘There’s nobody like me, some of you think of David or somebody else, they wouldn’t give you herds and flocks like I have, and so forth, like this David guy,’ and then Doeg says ‘You know, I saw him with Ahimelech.’   He said, ‘What?’ he said, ‘Yea, Ahimelech gave him food, gave him the sword of Goliath, and blessed him,’ which wasn’t true (the blessing part), he didn’t do that.  So then Saul calls for Ahimelech, and Ahimelech comes to him, and he said ‘What’s the deal, you’re a traitor, you’ve turned against me, you’re helping David behind the scenes.’  He said, ‘Master, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  If David comes to me and says he’s on a mission for you, he’s the king’s son-in-law, he’s married to the king’s daughter, what am I supposed to do?  Doubt him and so forth?’  And Saul of course won’t hear that, and I’ll read to you what takes place from 1st Samuel 22:16-19, Saul then commands his men to kill Ahimelech.  The king said, “Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father’s house.  And the king said to the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me.  But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.”  They’re in awe, they’re in fear.  “And so the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests.  And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.”  So he kills 85 priests and Levites, “And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”  Doeg then goes to the town of the priests, and he slaughters everybody, men, women, children, sucking babes, animals, this is Doeg.  So you kind of get an introduction as we go in here, they should have just taken the “e” out of this guy’s name, it should be the Psalm of the Dog.  So, he’s here, and David, as he writes this, remember, he’s 20 years old, just imagine the emotion here.  And he’s going to cry to the LORD about the tongue of the wicked, how it’s almost inescapable.  Look, we find this all through the Bible, a human tongue that’s under control, can be a blessing.  A human tongue that’s out of control is destructive.  James tells us that, it’s like a forest fire, it destroys.  James, the Lord’s half-brother says ‘Look, consider a ship, and a little rudder steers the whole ship.  That’s the way it is with the tongue.’  He says, Or a horse, with a bit, bridle, big animal, you can steer it.  Or a spark, how it starts a forest-fire,’ like Smokey the Bear there in James chapter 3.  And he says ‘So it is with the tongue, the tongue is set on fire of Gehenna,’ he said, ‘and it sets on fire the round of existence.’  The idea is, there’s people you hang around with, there’s people that are around you.  You know, when you tell somebody a secret, that’s something you only share with one person at a time.  But you know, stuff spreads like that.  There’s gossip-prayer sometimes, where people love to pray (with others, obviously) and say ‘Lord, I know we shouldn’t talk about this, but so and so did this.’  You know, don’t pray out loud about that stuff.  There’s all kinds of ways that the tongue [and now especially with online social networks] does damage.  We would be shocked, the amount of people that are sitting here this evening, either as a child growing up in an abusive situation, or in a relationship, or by close friends, the tongue in the long run can be much more damaging than the rod, if you’re spanking your child or some other thing, it can cut much deeper. 

 

The Tongue Can Be Like A Sharp Razor, Working Deceitfully

 

And here David says, “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man?  the goodness of God endureth continually.” (verse 1)  speaking of Doeg, a destructive person.  the goodness of God endureth continually” this young man, David, is 20, as he realizes that, he says ‘Why are you boasting, here’s the thing that never changes, the goodness of God endureth continually.’  “Thy tongue diviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” (verse 2)  Isn’t that true, sometimes?  like a sharp razor.  And everybody here has been cut, haven’t they?  If you’re around human beings, you have.  “Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.  Selah.” (verse 3)  ‘What do you think about that?’  ‘Who do you think you are’ he says, ‘boasting yourself?  Your tongue’s like a razor, you work deceitfully, you love evil more than good, lying more than righteousness, but the goodness of God endureth continually.’  He makes that very clear, and he says, ‘What do you think about that [Selah]?  What do you think about that?’ 

 

God Is Going To Beat Down And Pluck Out The Wicked From The Land Of The Living

 

He talks now, in verse 4 he says, “Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.”  Now look, some of the things that Doeg said were true.  Ahimelech did give him bread, Ahimelech did give him the sword of Goliath.  There are ways that somebody can say something that’s true, and still do it in a malicious and derogatory way, and they repeat it, and even though it’s true, because they know it will hurt or it will do damage.  Sometimes it’s better to say nothing. [My wise father always said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”]  When in doubt, shut up.  I mean, for all of us, there’s more things in my life, when I think back that I wish I hadn’t said, then things I think back and think ‘I wish I had said something.’  You know what I mean?  There’s just more times in your life, that you in retrospect that you think ‘I just wish I had kept my mouth shut.’  Because once it’s out, it’s out.  There’s fewer times I think, ‘You know, I really should have said something there.’  You know, when you stand before the Lord, I’m probably gonna hear, ‘I’m glad I’m under the blood of Jesus, aren’t you?’  Because, what’s been blotted out, there’s more blotting on the things that I shouldn’t have said, than on the things I should have said, I guarantee you.  He says this to the deceitful, the fate of the wicked, and this man slaughtered priests, this man was wicked, “God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.  Selah.” (verse 5) ‘What do you think about that, Doeg?’  “God shall likewise destroy thee” the Hebrew is “beat thee down” like you’re beating down the wall of a city, ‘God shall beat thee down for ever,”  It sounds like God’s going to do some plucking and picking and cutting down and beating down and rooting out here.  Look, the wicked in the earth, we’re not to be discouraged to the point [about what they’re doing], this world is under the prince of the power of the air [i.e. Satan.  see, http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/TheMatrix.htm].  This city [i.e Philadelphia], this nation, there are [unseen] principalities and powers that rule.  There’s only one piece of real estate in the Bible that has a Godly angelic power over it, that is the land of Israel, and that is Michael  the archangel, there’s only one archangel [I thought there were originally three, Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer, and now there’s only two, Michael and Gabriel.  I could be wrong, but it’s not a major doctrinal point, we’ll learn more in the future about this], and he specifically has duty in regards to Israel, which is about to begin very soon.  Because the Lord himself is going to descend with a shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, because the Church is going up, and the other ministry is coming down in regards to Israel and the archangel.  That’s why he’s involved in the rapture.  [Comment:  The body of Christ has differing beliefs about the rapture and second coming of Christ.  log onto and read http://www.unityinchrist.com/Prophets_Prophecy.html to see what I’m talking about.]  ‘God’s going to destroy, beat them down, take them away [the wicked, that is], pluck them out of their place, root them out of the land of the living, Selah’  And then he says, “The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:” (verse 6)  So verse 6 says the perspective of the righteous in regards to verse 5, God’s beating down, taking away, plucking out, rooting out, he says ‘the righteous shall see this,’ somehow we’re going to see, we know the last chapter, the good guys win in the end.  We know it, we’re going to see it.  The reaction [of the righteous] is this, first awe, then scorn.  The righteous shall see it, ‘they will fear,’  you’re talking about Almighty God, ‘and laugh,’ that is not a laugh of delight, this is a laugh of scorn, that ‘who do you think you are, boasting yourself?’ in verse 1.  He says ‘We’re going see it, we’re going to be struck with awe, and then after that scorn will follow.’ 

 

Where We Stand In The LORD

 

He says, verse 7, this is the right perspective, “Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.”  This is Doeg, the wicked, this is what happens.  ‘This is the man that made not God his strength,’ I pray this evening, all of us, that we’re learning to make God our strength, to make God our strength.  You know, life beats us up as time goes on, and as we get older, and the machine wears out, and you still have a 16-year-old living inside [tell me about it], like we all do.  We realize that we are passing through.  The right perspective is, ‘This man, this evil man, he didn’t make God his strength, but he trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness,’ this is what David says, at 20-years-old, here’s the difference, remarkable, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God:  I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.” (verse 8) If you’re the victim tonight of malicious talk, if I ask you to raise your hand, don’t do it, a lot of hands will go up.  If you’re the victim of a wagging tongue, malicious talk, slander, gossip, stand here with David in verse 8.  “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.”  Now I know for us, that doesn’t sound real exciting.  ‘I always wanted to be a green olive tree.’  The Hebrew is, “I am like an olive tree luxurious in the house of God” the picture is of something that is flourishing, and it’s healthy, and the idea is, David said, ‘this is in the context of the house of God, I am planted, I have roots, the wicked are plucked up, cut down, torn out, taken away.’ he says, ‘But I am like an olive tree luxurious in the house of God.’  What a picture.  The reason, he says, it’s not because anything he does himself, he says it’s because “I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.” (verse 8b) that will make you flourish.  Here’s his prayer, finally at the end, he says, “I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.” (verse 9)  So, “I will praise thee” looking back at God’s faithfulness.  And he’s only 20-years-old, just think.  “I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: in other words, ‘I am planted, I am flourishing, though the wicked are around me,’ “and I will wait” that looks forward, “I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.”  You know what?  It’s healthy for everyone else, where is your hope this evening?  As we watch the world, we see what is devaluating besides the American dollar.  For you and I, we have stock in things that are becoming more and more valuable.  I don’t know what the Dow Jones is doing, but 2nd Thessalonians, Revelation and Daniel, Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, the value of those has gone way up, hasn’t’ it?  And he says here, he says, ‘Look, I’m going to praise him for what he’s done, I’m going to look forward to, I’m going to wait on thy name,’ and he said, ‘this is good before thy saints.’  You know, we’re to stir one another up to faith and good works.  It’s good for us, if we have genuine hope.  We’re to give an answer to every man for the hope we have.  He said, ‘This is good before the saints, that I am waiting for him.  The wicked are surrounding me,’ and this is no game, this is somebody who slaughtered an entire town.  But he says, ‘But I am waiting for you, LORD.’

 

 

 

Psalm 53:1-6

 

To the chief Musician, upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David

 

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.  Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity:  there is none that doeth good.  God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.  Every one of them is gone back:  they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.  Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge?  who eat up my people as they eat bread:  they have not called upon God.  There were they in great fear, where no fear was:  for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee:  thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.  Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!  When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.”

 

Introduction

 

“It says, “to the chief Musician,” so it’s for public worship, again it says “Maschil” there’s instruction here.  “A Psalm of David,” “Mahalath”, it’s uncertain, it’s either to the dance, or in dancing.  The idea is there is a rejoicing in this Psalm.  If you’re a student of the Psalms, you know that this Psalm is the same as Psalm 14.  Ah, slight differences, the last two verses are put together, verses 5 and 6, from Psalm 14 are put into verse 5, and verse 7 here is verse 7 in Psalm 14, and if you just read it through it’s the same.  The main difference is, seven times through this Psalm we have the name Elohim, God is spoken of.  In Psalm 14, the name God four times is Jehovah, and three times is Elohim, that’s the difference.  It’s that Psalm 14 is speaking in more the covenantal context.  Here it seems the picture is for all people everywhere, it’s a Psalm of rejoicing for sure.  Why is it in there twice?  Because we need to hear it twice, evidently.  You ever raise kids?  You have a kid, and you say ‘Do you understand what I’m saying?’  ‘Mmm,’ you know.  And five minutes later they’re doing something else, and you say What did I tell you!?’ and they just look at you.  ‘Did I tell you something?’ ‘Uhmhum.’  ‘Were you listening?’  ‘Uhmhum.’  What did I tell you?’  ‘Mmmmm.’  They don’t know.  So, there are certain commands that are repeated, there’s certain things we have in repetition.  This is a great Psalm, God decided we needed to hear this one twice…It’s almost exactly the same.  It’s the same as God’s Word tonight, you know, we live in a different culture, we live in a different time, but it never changes. 

 

The Fruits Of Saying And Believing There Is No God Are Evil

 

It says here, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (verse 1a)  Look, different in that culture than today.  When you call somebody ‘You fool!’ that means one thing today.  In this culture the fool was someone who could not receive instruction.  It is someone who says ‘There’s no God.’  Because (back then) everybody had a god, even if you had the wrong god, if you didn’t have a god you were a fool.  Everybody had a god, the Moabites had a god, the Ammonites had gods, everybody had gods, the Egyptians had gods, the Babylonians had gods, if you didn’t have a god there was something wrong with you.  Everybody knew there was a Supreme Being.  They didn’t have it straight, the Jews had it straight.  But “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”  What’s the fruit of that?  Romans 1 tells us that, God gives them up, they refuse to acknowledge him, his testimony is in nature, they refuse to acknowledge, we see them given over, 2nd Peter chapter 3 talks about those who refuse, they’re willingly ignorant.  “The fool has said in his heart, There is no God.  Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity; there is none that doeth good.” (verse 1)  You know, if there’s no God, then there’s no limits to what a human being can do [and we’re seeing that now in our society].  If there’s no fear, no sense of awe, there are places around the world where we have seen, through Communism, Fascism, Marxism, and the things that have come from those who say that there is no God, some of the darkest things the human race has ever seen.  If You say there’s no God, then corruption follows, they “have done abominable iniquity; there is none that doeth good.” (verse 1)  “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.” (verse 2)  And Paul in Romans of course picks up on this.  “Every one of them is gone back:  they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (verse 3)  God now speaking in verse 4, he says, “Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge?  who eat up my people as they eat bread:  they have not called upon God.”  who eat up” notice, “my people as they eat bread:  they have not called upon God.”  His observation is, that the workers of iniquity, they have no knowledge, but they know enough, that they don’t like to hear what the people of God say.  I mean, think of the persecution in our own nation, think of the persecution around the world, think of what we’re hearing in Egypt and Pakistan, Christians being martyred, churches being blown up, think of what we’re hearing around the world.  In fact, do you know that the last century, in the 20th century, there were more martyrs in the last century than in the 19 centuries before that combined.  But we live in such an insular culture here, it doesn’t get to us, it doesn’t touch us.  Around the world, Christians are being martyred.  He says here, ‘the workers of iniquity, they have no knowledge, they eat up my people as they eat bread.’  they have not called upon God.” (verse 4b)

 

God Steps In And Takes Vengeance Against Those That ‘Eat Up My People, Those That Say There Is No God’

 

And then it seems like David, the Psalmist here in verse 5, “There were they in great fear, where no fear was:  for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee:  thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”  There was paranoia when there was no reason to be afraid, “God has scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee” and “thee” is either “my people” from verse 4, or it is God, “thou” from the next word, the idea is “against anything Godly.  “Thou hast put them to shame because God hath despised them.”  Wonderful ending, “Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion!  When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.” (verse 6)  And it will, soon (salvation come out of Zion), “When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.” It says this in Psalm 102, it says, “When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in glory.”  You know, we’ve seen Israel reborn as a nation.  Again, the end, where we are in human history.  Don’t let anybody tell you, ‘Oh, they always say that, my parents said that, my grandparents said that, walked around with one of those boards on that said “the End is Coming!’  No, there’s two things that set us aside from every generation of the Church that’s ever lived.  1) Number one, the rebirth of the nation of Israel in 1948, a sociological miracle.  Every reform guy that wants to can stand around and say ‘Oh, it’s an aberration, it’s temporary.’  It ain’t temporary.  You been to Israel, and talked to a Jew and asked them if they’re temporarily there?  I’ve done that 19 times [been to Israel].  They have nukes, if they go, the whole Middle East is going.  Right?  Nothing temporary going on there at all.  They’ve been reborn as a nation, it’s a miracle, they’re back in their own land, they speak their own language again. 2) The second thing that sets us aside from every generation that’s ever lived, is we have the means to destroy every human being on the planet.  Never before, nuclear proliferation, we live in interesting days, interesting days, days that are clearly described in Scripture, and here the Psalmist says, thinking of all the wicked, and all that’s done, and the fools that deny the existence of God.  “God bringeth back the captivity of his people,” we’ve seen the beginning of that in a physical sense.  [And we ain’t seen nothing yet in regards to that.  Israel was originally composed of 12 tribes, of which the Jews, Judah was only one tribe. The other ten tribes, even as the Jews know, became historically lost.  God will return all 12 tribes to the land of Israel just following the Tribulation.  But God will use the Tribulation, World War III, to repatriate all 12 tribes back into the Promised Land, not in a particularly pleasant way.  Look how the Lord repatriated the Jews into the Promised Land, it was out of German concentration camps that most of the Jews came into the Promised Land from, it drove them into the land of Israel.  And so it will be for the remaining missing tribes, all 10 of them, through a future coming captivity and out of future concentration camps.  This is a sobering lesson of history, recent history, and God wants us to take note of, and not be ignorant of the times we live in.  Old Testament history shows clearly there were 12 tribes.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html for a fascinating Bible-based study about the 12 tribes of Israel.  The Jews coming back to the land of Israel, the Promised Land, is only the beginning, like the Allied landings at Normandy, it is only the beginning of God’s restoration of Israel.]  “Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.”

 

Related links:

 

Is there a God?  You can prove there is a Creator God.  Your very life may depend on you knowing God exists.  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/Does/Does%20God%20Exist.html

 

Who were the 12 Tribes of Israel in history?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html

 

What is coming on the world, where is the world headed?  See,

http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/2ndcoming_4.htm

 

 

Psalm 54:1-7

 

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us

 

“Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.  Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.  For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul:  they have not set God before them.  Selah.  Behold, God is mine helper:  the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.  He shall reward evil unto mine enemies:  cut them off in thy truth.  I will freely sacrifice unto thee:  I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.  For he hath delivered me out of all trouble:  and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.”

 

Introduction:  David Is Betrayed By His Own Tribe, His Own People

 

Psalm 54, “to the chief Musician on Neginoth,” that’s “smiting,” it’s on the harp, so it was struck a certain way [musically].  It’s “Maschil,” again it’s a Psalm of instruction, so it’s as much a sermon as a song.  It is “a Psalm of David” and it tells that it went, the timing of it is when the “Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us.”  And we all have Ziphims in our lives.  You may have been Ziphed today.  when the Ziphims came and said to Saul, Doth not David hide himself with us.”  So, this is a very pronounced Psalm, smitings, it was to be sung publicly.  There’s a lesson to be learned, where back in 1st Samuel chapter 23, where David comes to the area of Ziph.  Now Ziph is from the word that means “smiting” or “refining.”  Ziphites are refiners.  And here’s the thing about the Ziphites, David came there, and they’re in Judah.  They’re part of David’s tribe, David was from Judah.  So this is his own tribe.  You know it’s one thing when the wicked, when the Doeg’s, when the Edomites, when those from far away are murderous, and they do wicked things.  Isn’t it way different when it’s somebody from your own tribe?  You kind of figure you can camp with your own tribe, take your armour off, and you’re not going to get shot in the back with you own tribe.  Listen, you come to the Church [Body of Christ as well as your own congregation, church], and many of us were never loved in the world, broken, we come and we accept Christ, ‘And wow, brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s love,’ and we become vulnerable.  But there are lessons to be learned in the Church.  And sometimes our mentor has to be bashed, sometimes our naiveté, you know, we realize the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace.  That ain’t all.  It’s longsuffering, temperance, enduring under pressure. So, we’re called inside, any of you who’ve grown up in a family, did you ever argue with your brothers or sisters while you were growing up?  I remember my kids, yelling at them not to fight, we’re driving, they’re fighting and carrying on.  And then they sit back there, and like grab each other’s arm, they’re pinching each other…Ziphites [laughter].  You know, this was hard for David, he’s a young man, he’s learning.  He was anointed to be king, and it took over 15 years to form him into the king he was anointed to be.  And that would be by betrayal, it would be by heartache, it would be by some incredibly difficult things.  And the Ziphites was one of those things that were very hard for David, because he was traveling in that area, he never injured them or harmed them in any way, he never lifted his sword against them.  And yet they betrayed him into the hand of Saul.  And they were from his own tribe. So the cry, verses 1 to 3 here, is the prayer, and then there’s a “Selah” there, at the end of verse 3 you’ll see it, and then verses 4 to 7 are the answer to that prayer.

 

David’s Prayer For Deliverance

 

David says this, “Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.  Hear my prayer, O God, give ear to the words of my mouth.  For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul:  they have not set God before them.  Selah.” (verses 1-3)  And the name of the LORD is everything that he is.  This is his description of what’s going on, of the Ziphites, of this circumstance.  Again, David, this tender young man at this point in time.  When someone in your family, someone close to you, someone in the body of Christ that you trusted, a member of your own tribe you feel has betrayed you, or said something hurtful, just look at his prayer.  “Save me, O God,” look where he turns, “by thy name,” ‘you judge me, I don’t care what people say, I don’t know who they are anymore.’  “For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul:  they have not set God before them.  Selah.” ‘What do you think about that?’ the question goes. 

 

Sanctioned Loneliness: There Is A Loneliness In Our Calling, We All Stand Alone In Our Walk With God

 

Then he says this, after the pause, after Selah.  Now he talks about the prayer he offered, and the answers to that prayer.  He says this, “Behold, God is mine helper, the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.” (verse 4)  ‘Behold, God is my helper, not the Ziphites, not people from my own tribe, God is my helper.’  Look, every one of us, you know, are called to a certain place that no one else can step into.  Each one of us here this evening go through certain things that no other human, no matter how close, can be with us.  In some ways, this is the loneliest thing I’ve ever done, pastoring this church.  I’m around thousands of people, but I also stand in a place that my wife can’t step in with me, and really understand what goes on between me and the Lord.  My kids, can’t really, people that are close, there’s part of this that’s sanctified loneliness, and God loves that place because it’s a place where he draws us close to himself.  There are those places, look, intimacy, there are things with my wife, not just physical, the intimacy things that I share only with her.  And in our relationship with Jesus, in our intimacy, there’s certain things we share only with him.  And we find out sometimes, even when the closest people from our own tribe kind of hurt us and let us down, when we have to turn to him, and we say “Behold,”, you know what, consider this, the whole thing about this? “God is mine helper”  Not even sometimes, not even people from my own tribe.  “the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.” (verse 4b)  God is my helper, and you know what?  The people that come close to me and try to help me, I know the Lord leads them, that’s a good thing.  In fact, it tells us here in this situation, with the Ziphites, when they are being traitorous to David, and they go to Saul and say ‘David’s in our territory.’  It says, “And Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the wood, in the wilderness, and strengthened his hand in God.  And he said unto him,”  Jonathan said unto David, “Fear not, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee, and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee, and that also Saul, my father, knoweth.  And they two made a covenant before the LORD, and David abode in the wood and Jonathan went to his house.”  David says here, ‘Look, God is my helper, and the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.’  David did appreciate, Jonathan came to him from his own father’s camp and said, ‘David, I know, you’re the one whose anointed to be king over Israel, and I’ll be right there, I’m going to be your support.’  And they made a covenant together.  Thank goodness for those who come alongside and encourage us, and I have a lot of them in my life, what a blessing it is to have encouragers in your life.  You need to have some of those.  And they’re there.  If you seek the Lord you’ll find them, in fellowship.  And notice in both places here, it says “Behold, God is mine helper:” “is” not will be, ‘is mine helper:  the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.” this is a present God for a present trial.  He’s a very present help in time of trouble, the Bible tells us.  He doesn’t say “God will be,” he says “God is mine helper:  the LORD is with them that uphold my soul.” (verse 4)  “He shall reward evil unto mine enemies:  cut them off in thy truth.  I will freely sacrifice unto thee:  I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.” (verses 5-6)  Now he says, “O Jehovah”, ‘you’re a covenant God’ “for it is good.”  ‘I’m gonna worship God, I’m gonna sacrifice, those of my own tribe are trying to betray me, hand me over, but LORD, you’re going to destroy my enemies, I’m not going to lift my sword, LORD, I’m going to worship you, I’m going to sacrifice, this is a good thing,’

 

Faith Is Able To Reach Into A Bright Future And Pull It Into A Dark Present

 

“For he hath delivered me out of all trouble:  and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.” (verse 7)  Wait a minute, for fourteen more years he’s going to be chased like a partridge in the mountains.  And David, these are perfect tenses in the Hebrew, the idea is, “For he hath delivered me” faith sees it as done, “out of all trouble:  and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.”  Listen, “hath seen”, that’s a perfect tense, his desire upon mine enemies.”  David said, ‘I’ve already seen it, this has already happened, as far as I’m concerned, God,’ he says, ‘you have already delivered me, and you have already dealt with my enemies.’  You know, faith is able to reach into a bright future and pull it into a dark present.  That’s the hope that we have.  Sometime when everything’s falling apart here, we go ‘Duh, this is earth, I forgot, I got way too wrapped up in the present for awhile.’  This is earth, this ain’t heaven [or the Kingdom of heaven, which will come to earth at Jesus 2nd coming].  ‘But LORD, you have already settled some things.  You have already delivered me, I’m washed in the blood of your Son, I’m already delivered, I’m signed, sealed and delivered, I’m a package that’s already stamped, I’m getting there, you’ve sealed me with your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of promise.  And the bad guys are already done, it’s already written out, the last chapter is in print.’  And when we can take ahold of that on difficult days, and realize ‘Lord, I can pull the brightness of the future, the hope of eternity that sits in front of me there, and I can bring it into the present darkness that I struggle with,’ if that’s not real, then we get to him on our knees and say ‘Lord, you need to make these things real to me.’  There should be a witness in my heart and spirit of the things that he Word gives to me about the future.  Great Psalm. 

 

 

Psalm 55:1-23

 

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, A Psalm of David

 

“Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.  Attend unto me, and hear me:  I mourn in my complaint and make a noise; because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked:  for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.  My heart is sore pained within me:  and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.  And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!  for then would I fly away, and be at rest.  Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness, Selah.  I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.  Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues:  for I have seen violence and strife in the city.  Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof:  mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.  Wickedness is in the midst thereof:  deceit and guile depart not from her streets.  For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it:  neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:  but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.  [cf. 2nd Samuel 15:12]  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.  Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell:  for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.  As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud:  and he shall hear my voice.  He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me:  for there were many with me.  God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old.  Selah.  Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.  He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him:  he hath broken his covenant.  The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart:  his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.  Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:  he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction:  bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.”

 

Introduction

 

“Psalm 55, this is a remarkable Psalm, it says “to the chief Musician”, public worship.  “Neginoth” this is “smitings” again, so it had a certain temper to it.  It’s a “Maschil,” it’s another Psalm of instruction, so it’s as much a sermon as a song.  And this is one of those particular places, if you look down in verse 6, it says, “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!  for then would I fly away, and be at rest.  Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.  Selah.  I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (verses 6-8)  If you look in Psalm 56, see the introduction there?  And it says “To the chief Musician upon Jonath-elem-rechokim,” you see that?  Say that five times fast.  What that Hebrew phrase means is, “The silent dove of far off,” or “The dove of the distant teribinth.”  So most scholars feel that is a postscript to Psalm 55, because there’s nothing in Psalm 56 about doves.  So, it is the song of the silent dove far off, or is the song of the dove afar off in the teribinth, it’s a beautiful picture, as we get into it you’ll understand some of that.  First 8 verses, the Psalmist David speaks of his distress, then from verses 9 to 15 he gets angry.  Ever do that?  And then from 16 to the end he speaks of his confidence.  So, the first 8 verses, in his distress, it’s all about himself, verses 9 to 15, it’s about his enemies, his foes, and then in verses 16 to the end it’s about his confidence, so it’s about his God.  Here’s the backdrop.  We’re now in 2nd Samuel chapter 15, David is an old man.  He’s already committed adultery with Bathsheba, he’s murdered Uriah the Hittite, his family is disintegrating, his son Amnon has raped his half-sister Tamar, who was Absalom’s full sister, different moms, David was the father.  David is so weakened by his own sin that he can’t challenge Amnon about raping Tamar, because he had sex with Bathsheba.  And then Absalom’s going to kill Amnon, and David can’t really say anything to him because he murdered Uriah.  And his sins are forgiven, 2nd Samuel chapter 12, the prophet Nathan says ‘Your sins are forgiven, they’re done, they’re gone.’  But as quite often is, the repercussions, the consequences still roll out, though the sins are forgiven.  In this circumstance here, Absalom’s rebellion has begun.  And Absalom has driven David out of Jerusalem, wanting to kill his own father.  Ahithophel, who is the grandfather of Bathsheba, is bitter over David’s sin, and he was one of David’s best friends, he was David’s best counselor, and he has joined Absalom in rebellion against David, and these things are breaking David’s heart.  But imagine what’s going on, because he’s finding out that Absalom took all of his concubines and had sex with them on the roof, you know, because of Ahithophel’s counsel to mock David, to tear him down in everybody’s mind.  But Nathan the prophet told him, ‘This is going to happen, David, because the way you’ve sinned against me [i.e. God], all of the things I gave you, David, and you sinned anyway, this is going to happen in your house, the sword’s never going to depart, these are the difficulties you’re going to see, but I’ve forgiven you, David, your sins are forgiven.’  (God speaking through Nathan) ‘But you started a ball rolling here.’  Let me tell you something, sin makes a mess.  Nobody sins for the better, nobody sins and helps anybody around them, sin makes a mess.  So the heart of this Psalm, if you sit alone with this, it is hugely emotional.  Because David is saying ‘LORD, I’m the one who was anointed king over Israel, I can’t fight for it anymore, I’m done, I got nothing left, my tank is empty, and LORD, I come to you, I’m asking for your help, but I’m doing that with my own guilty conscience, LORD, I’m the one, I sinned, I started the ball rolling here, I did so many things wrong.  But this is adding insult to injury, this is all wrong, LORD, would you step in?  Would you be everything you said you are?’  How often do we find ourselves in a situation maybe where we did something stupid, now there’s a mess, we’ve gone to the Lord in repentance, we know from the New Testament that he forgives us, our doctrine is good, we believe in his grace, and yet so often we still struggle and say ‘Lord, I made this mess, Lord.  Lord, please I’m not coming in arrogance or pride, I don’t have any right, I’m approaching you in your grace, I’m asking you for your mercy.’  There is incredible emotion in this Psalm.  So, again, let’s look as we go in here.

 

David Speaks Of His Distress

 

David says, “Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.  Attend unto me, and hear me:” listen, “I mourn in my complaint and make a noise;” ‘I’m groaning, LORD, I’m coming to you, I’m in the middle of all this, my son is turning against me, he’s my own son, trying to kill me, my best friend, trying to take me down.  LORD, I messed up, LORD, I’m coming to you, I mourn in my complaint, make a noise,’  “because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked:  for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.  My heart is sore pained within me:  and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.” (verses 1-4)   How do you feel when your own son is trying to kill you?  And he loves Absalom.  When Absalom ends up dead, he’s crying ‘My son, Absalom!  My son Absalom!  O Absalom!  Absalom!’  Joab finally has to come and say ‘Knock it off, David!  He was wicked, he was the enemy of the LORD, he’s dead, you need to stop.’  He loved Absalom deeply.  He says here “My heart is sore pained within me” (verse 4a), imagine you’re running, you’re leaving your throne, you’re leaving the Ark of the Covenant, you’re leaving all of the gold that you stored up to build the Temple, the priests are trying to bring the Ark along, and David is saying ‘No, just leave it here, leave it here.  God knows, I’m not going to do that.’  And then Shimei as he’s leaving, is cursing him and throwing stones at him (cf. 2nd Samuel 17:13). Abishai says ‘Let me go kill that sucker.’  And David said, ‘No, I deserve it, he’s only telling the truth, I am no good, let him spit, let him throw rocks, just let him do it.’   David’s so broken as he’s leaving.  But he says “My heart is sore pained within me:”  I can’t imagine, if Mike or Josh were trying to kill me, my sons.  “My heart is sore pained within me:  and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.  Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.” (verses 4-5)  He’s leaving the kingdom, he’s leaving his wives, he’s leaving Abigail behind, he’s leaving Michal behind, he’s leaving Bathsheba behind, the remnant of his family is broken, those that he loved, he’s leaving all that behind, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tabernacle, the place of worship he’s leaving.  He says ‘I’m overwhelmed, I’m done, I got nothing left.’  And now, verse 6, just imagine, “And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!  for then would I fly away, and be at rest.  Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness.  Selah.” (verses 6-7)  ‘Nobody would find me, I would remain in the wilderness. What do you think about that?’  “I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.” (verse 8)  Let me tell you what he’s saying there, ‘If I could I would get in a car, I would fill up the tank, I would step on the gas, and I would be gone!  And I’d get somewhere in Montana in the wilderness, and I would just stay there.’  Ever have one of those days?  If you haven’t I want to know your secret.  Because, man oh man I have had those days.  You just think, ‘I got nothing left.  I don’t know if I want to do this 20 more years, it hurts too bad.  If I could just drive west, could fill it up, could just drive west, I know people with cabins out there in the middle of no-where where I could just disappear, leave my cell-phone, if anybody wants it, it’s a flip-phone, they could use it. [laughter]’  One time I was talking with Rob, and I said, ‘I just feel like filling up the tank, getting in the car, stepping on the gas, heading west,’  he said, ‘I’m coming, I’m coming with you.’  You know, we’re laughing, but that is the point of despair and brokenness that I think every human comes to, sometimes you just feel…he didn’t have a car, so he said ‘If I had the wings of a dove, just to fly away, I would fly away.’  And I’d be at rest somewhere.  I’d wander off, and get to the wilderness, and I would stay there.  That’s a good place for a Selah, ‘what do you think about that?’  He puts it in [Selah, that is].  These are real emotions, a real human being. 

 

David Expresses His Anger, Describes What’s Going On In Jerusalem

 

In verse 9, now his anger, his indignation comes in, he thinks of what’s wrong with everything.  And he uses seven words here, if you look in verses 9, 10 and 11, violence, strife, mischief, sorrow, wickedness, deceit and guile, he looks at the problem from all those angles.  He says, “Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues:  for I have seen violence and strife in the city.”  ‘Finally, I can’t fly away, I can’t even…LORD, just deal with this, LORD, destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues,’ because he knew, he left Hushei there to defeat the counsel of Ahithophel, he says “Destroy, O LORD, and divide their tongues:  for I have seen violence and strife in the city.” (verse 9)  This isn’t just, you know, ‘Their mad because I failed,’ there’s something bigger here, “I have seen violence and strife in the city.  Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof:  mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it.”  Sounds like the news a little bit, “Wickedness is in the midst thereof:  deceit and guile depart not from her streets.” (verses 9-11)  ‘It never ends in the streets of Jerusalem now, things have so crumbled, and so, the disintegration is just beyond what I can bear, LORD, you deal with it.’ 

 

David Is Discovering The Fellowship Of His Suffering

 

And then he says this of Ahithophel, who had been one of his best friends, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it:  neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:  but it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.  We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” (verses 12-14)  Wow, those are the ones that really hurt, because those friends like that are few and far between.  How can you serve the Lord with somebody for, you know, two years, three years, five years, a decade, ten decades, and then they end up turning?  They go to the dark side.  They end up badmouthing you.  He said ‘It wouldn’t have mattered if it was an enemy that reproached me, I could bear that, if it was somebody who hated me, I understand, but it was this man, my equal, my guide, my acquaintance, we took sweet counsel together, and we walked into the house of God in company.’  You ever have one of those that close?  It hurts that bad.  Listen, the Son of God, who left his place in glory, the Almighty, Omnipotent, All-powerful, All-knowing, he came, gave his face to the smiters, those who plucked out the beard, and it was his Judas, who I think he loved.  He was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.  We don’t get a pass on this stuff, there is hurt in this life.  And yet we’re told in Philippians, Paul says ‘That I might know him, the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his suffering,’ David is discovering that, the fellowship of his suffering.  He had left on the same hill Jesus had been rejected on, went up the Mount of Olives, David went up the same path.  And now Judas would come and kiss Jesus in Gethsemane to identify him.  You know, there’s something here, even in this, there’s a lesson.  He says, “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell:  for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” (verse 15)  Now this is not a Christian prayer, verse 15, in case you’re not sure.  I’ll just clarify that.  You’re thinking ‘Yea, somebody has done that to me,’ well you can’t pray this prayer, ok?  We’ll read it.  “Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell:  for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.”  You might think it, you can’t pray it.  [You can if you believe the 2nd resurrection is a resurrection for all the “unsaved dead” where they receive their first opportunity for salvation, cf. Ezekiel 37:1-14 and Revelation 20:11-13, then you can pray it.]  It’s not a Christian prayer. 

 

David’s Confidence Reappears As He Sees God’s Coming Intervention

 

Here David’s confidence reappears, then he looks back to his God again, and it brings everything into perspective.  “As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD [Jehovah, the covenant God] shall save me.  Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud:  and he shall hear my voice.” (verses 16-17) interesting, when we’re in a really tough situation, we tend to pray, evening, morning, middle of the day, our prayer life increases.  Doesn’t it?  “He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me:  for there were many with me.” (verse 18) you know, as David was up there in Mahanaim, and he’s taken into hospitality and he finds rest (cf. 2nd Samuel 17:24, 27-29).  “God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old.  Selah.  Because they have no changes,” because nothing’s going wrong in their lives, “therefore they fear not God.  He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him:  he hath broken his covenant.” (verses 19-20) now this is talking about the wicked, Ahithophel, Absalom, “He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him:  he hath broken his covenant.  The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart:  his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” (verses 20-21)  No doubt he’s talking about Ahithophel again, the wisest counselor in the land.  They said his counsel was like the oracle of God, that’s how wise he was.  The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart:  his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.” (verse 21)  “His words were softer than oil,” hey, how soft is that?  “his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords.  Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee:  he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.  But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction:  bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee.” (verses 22-23)  ‘Cast thy burden upon the LORD. and he shall sustain thee’ now we got a great license plate or plaque or something right here, that would be a good one, bumper-sticker.  Listen to this last verse now, “But thou, O God, shall bring them down into the pit of destruction:” listen to what he says, bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days:  but I will trust in thee.”  Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days.  When Ahithophel realized that Absalom had listened to the counsel of Hushei instead of him, Ahithophel had said, advised Absalom, ‘Gather all the troops right now, today, right now, while you can be hot on David’s trail, go get him, you’ll slaughter him.’  That would have been true.  But Hushei said ‘No, no, Absalom, let’s not rush in.  Take your time, gather the troops, make sure everybody knows, do this wisely.’  And Absalom said, ‘You know what, I think the counsel of Hushei is wiser than the counsel of Ahithophel,’ and it said the LORD had made it happen that way, and Ahithophel when he saw that, it says he went out, he put his house in order, he wrote out everything, and he hung himself, he committed suicide, like Judas, he committed suicide.  Absalom then goes, by then others have joined themselves to David, David has a smaller army, but they are studs, Abishai, Joab, Benia, guys that can kill 200 people by themselves on a battlefield.  You know, they’ve gathered around David again, and of course they destroy the army that comes with Absalom, and Joab pursues him, and Absalom gets hung up in a tree by his hair, he was always proud of his hair, he got caught in a branch, he was dangling there, and Joab finished him off.  ‘Bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days,’ neither one of them did.  David probably wrote this before he heard about them.  Probably put his quill to the page as he was fleeing, he was up in the highlands, when he had some rest. 

 

In Closing

 

So, songs to sing.  Some of them have a meter, they’re short, they’re sweet.  Ah, don’t be shocked when the wicked, the Doeg’s then, the Dogs are around, that want to eat you up, and they think nothing of slaughtering God’s priests and God’s Levites and God’s people, they’re out there.  But David says ‘But you know what?  Me personally, I’m like a luxurious olive tree planted in the courts of God’s house.’  Just think, think how insane it is out there, and then you come here on a Wednesday night, and sing songs about Jesus, and read the Bible.  You ever think that was going to happen?  You know, when I was 16, 17 years old, I was taking drugs, I was lost.  I went to church on Christmas Eve to get in from the cold, and was half pickled when I got there, I just sat way in the back to get warm.  If anybody would have told me then, ‘You’re going to go to church three times a week, sing songs, study your Bible,’ I’d have thought ‘What are you takin’ man?  Because it’s better than what I’m taking.’  And if they’d have said to me ‘You’re going to be a pastor,’ I’d have punched them.  Think how crazy the world is.  Here we are, like luxurious olive trees, planted in the house of our God, here we are, planted.  Everything else is going to be plucked up and rooted out.  Isn’t it wonderful to be here, part of the family of God, to have hope, as you see this world?  [loud applause]  If it’s a Ziphite that’s giving you troubles, somebody from your own tribe, you know, think about the hope that we have, and pull it into the future where the pain is, you just bring it there.  You say, ‘God, I know you hear my prayer, I trust you, you are a present help,’ not ‘you will be’, God is, right now.  Because sometimes, you know, sometimes it’s done on purpose, sometimes it’s done because we did something stupid to invite that kind of a thing, sometimes it’s unintentional.  I hate having to referee emails.  I tell the people in staff, ‘Walk to the other end of the building, look into that human being’s face, and talk to them.’  [loud applause]  You know why?  Because we’re made to interact with other human beings.  You know, human being’s eyes, it isn’t just a receiver, it’s a transmitter.  My wife can tell me all kinds of things with her eyes, without opening her mouth.  She’s transmitting signals all the time [chuckles].  So, if you just get an email, then Satan is going to tell you the tone of it.  ‘I was hoping that I was going to see you yesterday,’ and Satan’s telling you ‘I was hoping I WAS GOING TO SEE YOU YESTERDAY, BUT YOU DIDN’T SHOW UP, YOU JERK!’  He’s going to tell you the tone of it.  You can’t tell it from reading it.  If you walk up and look in a human being’s face, and say ‘Man, I missed you yesterday, I was hoping I was going to see you.’  It’s so different, it’s so different.  So, sometimes it’s somebody from our own tribe, sometimes we misinterpret whatever, it’s still, we turn to the Lord, he’s our strength, he keeps us, he upholds us.  And when those days come, I don’t want the wings of a dove, because they’re too slow.  I want my tank filled, and I’m outa here.  When I get in the woods, you ain’t never going to see me again, when those days come, settle down, get with your God, he loves you.  He’ll embrace you, he’ll sustain you.  Pray for me,  [I’m a] high priority target…[transcript of a connective expository sermon on Psalms 52:1-9; 53:1-6; 54:1-7 and Psalm 55:1-23, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]            

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