Intro: 4 week series looking at the 2 most transformative Words in Scripture: But God
Overview Where we are going
-Week 1: But God Judges (the Wicked)
-Week 2: But God Saves (Sinners)
-Week 3: But God Preserves (His Own)
-Week 4: But God Builds (His Church)
Now again the focus point of our series will be the reality of these two specific words in the scriptures and how they shape our understanding of the work of God in time and for a purpose.
They very nature of these two words reveals to us the truth that God is not a distant God unconnected to His creation. he is not the God of the Deists who set a clock and now watches it all play out, He is an attentive and active God, whom within creation continues to work His will and acts according to His God pleasure to bring forth Glory.
So today we will begin with bad news day a reflection on the reality of the wrath and justice of God against sin. Specifically against the evils of the world both that which is seen and unseen….
Now why here some may ask? Because sin is all around us and for money the question of evil remains ever present before them. We see evil and ask where is God? we see and do not comprehend the fullness of what God is doing… In our texts this evening we are to see and Know that God is not mocked the guilty will not go free and the for the righteous this serves both as an encouragement and warning… so Let us turn first to Psalm 52 as we begin to digest the fullness of the Work of God against the wicked….As we see that God will Judge Abhorrent Evil
I. God Will Judge Abhorrent Evil (Ps 52:1-5)
We will begin with the title of our Psalm to set the context for us…..
A. The Sins of Doeg & Saul
Psalm 52:title ESV
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”
Setting: Doeg chief Herdsman of Saul Killing the the priests of Ahimelech (1 Samuel 21:1-9 & 1 Samuel 22:6-23 Adam Preached Through theses Text back in July & August of 2016, For those who want to scroll through our sermon page and listen to them)
1 Samuel 21:1–9 ESV
Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away. Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the Lord. His name was Doeg the Edomite, the chief of Saul’s herdsmen. Then David said to Ahimelech, “Then have you not here a spear or a sword at hand? For I have brought neither my sword nor my weapons with me, because the king’s business required haste.” And the priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you struck down in the Valley of Elah, behold, it is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you will take that, take it, for there is none but that here.” And David said, “There is none like that; give it to me.”
1 Samuel 22:6–23 ESV
Now Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men who were with him. Saul was sitting at Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the height with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him. And Saul said to his servants who stood about him, “Hear now, people of Benjamin; will the son of Jesse give every one of you fields and vineyards, will he make you all commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, that all of you have conspired against me? No one discloses to me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is sorry for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day.” Then answered Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, and he inquired of the Lord for him and gave him provisions and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” Then the king sent to summon Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were at Nob, and all of them came to the king. And Saul said, “Hear now, son of Ahitub.” And he answered, “Here I am, my lord.” And Saul said to him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you have given him bread and a sword and have inquired of God for him, so that he has risen against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?” Then Ahimelech answered the king, “And who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and captain over your bodyguard, and honored in your house? Is today the first time that I have inquired of God for him? No! Let not the king impute anything to his servant or to all the house of my father, for your servant has known nothing of all this, much or little.” And the king said, “You shall surely die, Ahimelech, you and all your father’s house.” And the king said to the guard who stood about him, “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because their hand also is with David, and they knew that he fled and did not disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king would not put out their hand to strike the priests of the Lord. Then the king said to Doeg, “You turn and strike the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned and struck down the priests, and he killed on that day eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod. And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword. But one of the sons of Ahimelech the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled after David. And Abiathar told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. And David said to Abiathar, “I knew on that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I have occasioned the death of all the persons of your father’s house. Stay with me; do not be afraid, for he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you shall be in safekeeping.”
Overview: David is fleeing Saul, comes to Nob lies that eh is on a special mission, is given aid by the priests. Doeg is there as well
Doeg is later with Saul and seizes the opportunity to gain favor, but misrepresenting the events
Saul orders his men to kill the priests (they refuse)
Doeg murders them all with Saul’s blessing
Now we can all agree on the outset that this is a pretty heinous action, not only what Doeg does, but that Saul is equally as involved in the tragedy. Doeg’s sin begins with lies and deceit and turns into murder ordered and supported by the King himself.
It is upon hearing the news that David composes this Psalm, a Psalm given to us through the Holy Spirit as both a warning and an encouragement.
So as the Psalm opens the words don’t immediately move towards his evil actions but the man himself his evil intentions and words…
B. The Heart & Lips of Doeg & Saul
Psalm 52:1–4 ESV
Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man? The steadfast love of God endures all the day. Your tongue plots destruction, like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit. You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.
Now again it is important to remember the heinous actions that have taken place, but the Lord wants us to see that the actions of the man begin with the intentions of His heart and the nature of His character.
He Boasts in Evil…….
-David use the term here Mighty man or Noble man which could be taken as a sarcastic remark highlighting the very irony of what is taking place. Is it truly a mighty act to slaughter priests and Children
He has trusted in his hands to gain him favor not the Lord
The Psalm reminds us though that the circumstances don’t change the character and work of God. (He is unchanged and still God despite what Doeg may believe. Saul is not the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong.
His tongue plots destruction……In the actions Doeg begins with His tongue speaking truth falsely…..You see in the events he states truthful events in ways that make them appear anything but innocent. In so doing He is leading Saul to false conclusion to gain favor and influences.
Before a sword is Doeg has set their death sentence by His false descriptions of the truth.
Here is an important point in looking at sin (while we know the evil that has taken place, the first place the psalmist brings us to his heart. His heart is wicked and pursues his own evil ends. The actions are the overflow of His evil heart.
His heart seeks to gain prominence within the court of Saul, and in looking for an opportunity to grow his profile and here he has found one. It is a sad day when the prominence of power is filled with evil, However as we see legality and permission of the world does not Nullify the reality of God’s judgement.
While Saul approves and encourages this evil the Lord is not amused. As David continues in His Saul we see God Enter the Picture…..
C. The response of God
Psalm 52:5 ESV
But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
-Now we have knowledge in the text of I Samuel as to what happens to Doeg, but what we do Know is that Saul didn’t rule much longer, and anything that was gained by his evil actions would not have been granted during the reign of David, but that isn’t even the whole over arching point to be seen.
What is key in the text is that God is not silent, while in the moment there is weeping and sorrow, God has not lost control, nor has he turned a blind eye. He will exact judgment on the wicked in this life or the next judgment is paid. God is not to be mocked….
This action f God reminds us that outward circumstance do not dictate the working of God. A great evil befell the priests for their righteousness, but God will not be silent. The Man who seeks to gain leverage by destroying others will not go unpunished by the Lord.
Ecclesiastes 8:10–13 ESV
Then I saw the wicked buried. They used to go in and out of the holy place and were praised in the city where they had done such things. This also is vanity. Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I know that it will be well with those who fear God, because they fear before him. But it will not be well with the wicked, neither will he prolong his days like a shadow, because he does not fear before God.
TR: Now when we hear these Words of God we immediately Join in with words of Condemnation. The evil is so plain we cannot help but plead for God to act, but what when it is less obvious or when the sins are more internal then external…..
God Will Judge Passive Evil (Luke 12:13-20)
In the Gospel of Luke Jesus was sitting and teaching the people of the truth of what life looks like in the kingdom of God and the importance of being living examples of God, not living as hypocrites and Pharisees’ when out of the crowd a question is asked shifting the conversation….
A. The Question Posed to Jesus
Luke 12:13–14 ESV
Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”
Jesus is posed a question about inheritances. According to the law the brother was due his share, but as to matter we see Jesus isn’t directly interested in the case before him but the heart behind the questions. Jesus is beginning by laying down the foundation as to why He should solve their grievances (In jewish tradition as a Rabbi he could solve the problem and his answer would be binding, but jesus is going to press harder here)
And So Jesus doesn’t even give time for the man to respond before he launches into a parable that gets behind the “legal” question to the heart behind the question. He jumps right into a series of warnings and a parable followed by the all import …But God Moment
B. The warning and parable of Jesus
Luke 12:15–19 ESV
And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” ’
1. Jesus Prefaces His parable with 2 quick warnings
a. One to be on guard against covetousness (The very thing Paul calls Idolatry in Colossians 3:5)
b. Two that our lives can not be found in our possessions
2. Jesus’s parable then explains the nature of a man who has worked hard, but rather than seeing the blessings of that work as being a gift from God celebrates His own accomplishments.
a. His wealth is not the problem
b. His work ethic is not the problem
c. His due diligence in make plans for the future is not the problem
d. His prideful and greedy heart is the problem. Things not easily seen on the outside but that which is his motivation
i. HE SEES THE BLESSINGS OF GOD AS ONLY FOR HIMSELF
ii. He quotes the back half of the Ecclesiastes passage we saw earlier but in doing so misses the point
Ecclesiastes 8:15 ESV
And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.
C. The response of God
Luke 12:20 ESV
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
But God enters into the mans affairs……. All that He believed to be his and his to enjoy were now the property of others…….His greed and selfishness in the end proved His undoing.
The man has no thought of God or a desire to think about the ways of God rather his concern is for His own future happiness and security. He belives there is much life left to be lived in Hi wealth and security and yet as we know that is not the truth. God injects himself back into the equation and what the man thought was certain was undone. His profit and security will not e enjoyed by himself, but rather by those whom he with held it from….
It is important for us to see God’s actions in Both the Psalm and the Parable as both point to God’s judgment against sin. One a sin that we all would want to be avenged the second, a sin we all may at times be much more culpable in., but both sins in the end show a lack of regard for God and pure joy and hope in the world.
Wickedness in both cases shows us a thought of men whose own goals are themselves and so to the Righteous these warnings should be seen as reminders as to what should be our character and heart…..
III. God’s Judgment reminds us of our need to trust in Him
A. The Character of the Righteous
Psalm 52:6–9 ESV
The righteous shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “See the man who would not make God his refuge, but trusted in the abundance of his riches and sought refuge in his own destruction!” But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.
1. A man of Righteous character finds their steadfast Hope not in the court of Kings, but in the court of God. He is our lasting refuge
2. Their hope is in the steadfast Love of God. not the fickle spirit of Man
3. They will gladly wait on the lord’s timing for He is the one who will accomplish it
B. The Heart of the Righteous
Luke 12:21 ESV
So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Is one whose treasure are being laid up in Heaven not upon the earth. The righteous know that only what is done for God will have a lasting impact and purpose.
CONCLUSION: So What Do we Do with all this……
There is a two fold application…..
1. One is the marvelous reality we will sink our teeth into next week and that is than there exists a grace so moving and miraculous that even the wicked can be made right through the gift of God’s grace in Chris Jesus.
That Life is short and their is no telling what tomorrow will bring, but as long as it is called today we have a hope. We have the reality of Christ’s gift…. David would commit similar sins to Doeg and yet find grace and forgiveness s he turned to God in repentance, not seeking to be justified by his status or rights, but my the mercy of God.
Also in the Book of Luke we have another parable.. the prodigal Son whose greed lead him to wish His fathers death, and yet in His repentance and humility His loving father welcomed Him home.
God Judges the wicked in their unrepentant self righteousness and greed, but Forgiveness and grace exist for those who repent and believe trusting in the Work of Christ who brings life out of Death.
2. Is that God does Judge the wicked. their is no heaven for those who are not in Christ. Judgment is real and our sin deserves to be judged. For those in Christ we receives the mercy of a sacrificial loving God whom has taken our place, for those who stand on their own accounts as Doeg or the Rich man their actions and hearts are their own undoing.