The Steadfast Love of God Endures
To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”
1Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
2Your tongue plots destruction,
like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
3You love evil more than good,
and lying more than speaking what is right.
4You love all words that devour,
O deceitful tongue.
5But 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.
6The righteous shall see and fear,
and shall laugh at him, saying,
7″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!”
8But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9I 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.
David writes this Psalm when he has been betrayed into the hands of Saul by one of his enemies. (I Samuel 22) Doeg, the man who had betrayed him told Saul where he had seen David. This led to Saul gaining ground on David, but worse, it led to the execution of Ahimelech the priest and eighty-five other priests as well.
Reading the Psalm through that history helps us in understanding what David wrote. Doeg ratted David out with his tongue and the Psalm deals with that in verses 1-4. David prays down imprecations upon Doeg but does not take matters into his own hands to bring revenge himself.
David comforts himself with the knowledge that even though things are not going very well in his life, he can still look forward to a reward from God for his faithfulness in the midst of great turmoil. This Psalm is a marvelous combination of distress over hardship existing at the same time with confidence in the God who promises great reward to the faithful.
What a lesson for us! Do not be afraid to mourn your hardships. But do not allow them to eat away at your faith. Consider the end of those who work against the commandments of God and take great relief in the fact that God will make you to be steadfast forever. The hope of the saint is a great sustainer in the day of hardship.
Cultivate a faith that can stand the test of persecution and opposition and set back. Look up and look forward when the days are very dark. Do not doubt the faithfulness of God to keep His promises to you. Never take matters into your own hands to fix things in a way that God Himself would not do if He were here in the flesh.
Of course, the greatest example of this is the Lord Jesus Himself. Betrayed, persecuted, abused, disbelieved, murdered, He submitted Himself to the will of the Father. He set his eyes on the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorned its shame and triumphed over death for all His people. The greatest work ever accomplished on planet earth came when Jesus entrusted His life to the hands of His Father while enduring the horrors that He was called to endure in order to accomplish that victory.