Psalm 52:1 Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
The “Doeg the Edomite” about whom this was written was a genuinely nasty guy, as recorded in 1 Samuel 21 and 22. The thing is, there have been nasty people throughout history. Those who aren’t that way have great trouble understanding their motivation, but it’s all a focus and amplification of things that exist in all of us. It has become a cliché, but the saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” is very true indeed. Every human being is capable of great evil, whether we want to recognize it or not. Just recently someone who was thought to be “a nice guy” took a gun to the bank where he worked and killed several of his coworkers before police killed him. We will never know the exact mechanism involved in his case, but it was a matter of his swallowing the lies of the devil, who is always out to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) It is very interesting to me, and a bit of a shock when I discovered it, that in this Japanese translation the second half of the verse reads, “God’s grace is always there/available.” Once again I’m left wondering what on earth the Hebrew says, but actually there is a major connection, going back to the “cliché” I mentioned. God’s grace is available to every human being, but we have to choose to accept it. Choosing otherwise turns us to the devil, and it’s very obvious where that leads. When we encounter evil people we are not to be surprised, but neither are we to hate them. We are to hate their actions, certainly, but they themselves are to be pitied, because they will go to the destruction that was planned for the devil and his demons. When we open ourselves up to hate, we are opening ourselves up to the devil, and that is never a good idea.
This brings to mind a verse that was very liberating to me: “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” (2 Peter 1:8-9) The part of that passage that really set me free was, “he has been cleansed from his past sins.” I was dealing with a “besetting sin,” and the devil was hiding from me the reality that confessed sin is forgiven, period. If it’s forgiven, then I have a clean slate, and I can move forward to serve God. Even Doeg the Edomite, had he repented, could have been saved. I’m not to yield to evil people, but I am to pity them and pray for them, that somehow God’s truth may penetrate and set them free from all the lies of the devil that have made them what they are.
Father, thank You for this reminder. My friend being killed in a traffic accident this week was a sharp reminder that we don’t have an unlimited time to repent. He had heard the Gospel from me, but to my knowledge had not acknowledged Jesus as Lord, and a driver distracted by her phone took him out. I ask for anointing and boldness, that Your words through me may indeed penetrate the wall of lies that trap so many, and set them free to repent and believe for their salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!