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It is never over for a visionary
How do you react in the midst of tragedy and opposition? It is tempting to panic, withdraw, lose hope or even give up.
David was a visionary. Vision has been defined as a combination of ‘a deep dissatisfaction with what is and a clear grasp of what could be’. If you have vision, you will always be able to say, ‘It’s not over.’
David achieved so much in his lifetime. Yet, he had to deal with the reality of opposition. This psalm was written after a devastating setback. David had been on the run from Saul, but his location had been betrayed to Saul by ‘Doeg the Edomite’. Although David had moved on by the time Saul’s men arrived, his friend Ahimelek, and almost all of Ahimelek’s family, had been killed (see 1 Samuel 21–22).
In this psalm we see how he had to deal with those who were trying to destroy him by ‘deceit’ (Psalm 52:2c), ‘falsehood’ (v.3b) and ‘harmful word[s]’ (v.4a). We may wonder whether David was thinking of Doeg in particular when he wrote that description. He was like the man described in verse 7 ‘who did not make God their stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!’ This has a very contemporary ring to it.
Yet, even in the midst of such tragedy and opposition, David did not despair or give up. He sees that, with God, it is not over. It is not over for Doeg: ‘God will bring you down to everlasting ruin’ (v.5a). And it is not over for David: ‘I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God’ (v.8a). David turns to God. What can we learn from his response?
- Trust in God’s love
‘I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever’ (v.8b). God’s love will never fail.
- Praise God’s deeds
‘I will praise you forever for what you have done… I will praise you in the presence of your saints’ (v.9a). Until God opens the door, praise him in the hallway.
- Hope in God’s name
‘In your name I will hope, for your name is good (v.9b). With God, however bad your circumstances look, it is not over. Put your hope in God’s name.