A Refuge from Terror, September 11, 2009

A Refuge from Terror, September 11, 2009

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? Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. Selah. You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue! Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah. The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!” But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.
King David, Psalm 52 NIV

My wife, Denise, and I read Psalm 52 on the morning of each anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks against the United States of America in 2001. We watched a good bit of television coverage that day, with all of its horror, and several times since then we’ve been reminded by the replaying of images from that day.

When I read this psalm, I think of terrorists, gangsters, drug lords, pornographers, and slanderers as the people who boast of evil, trust in great wealth, and are deluded into believing that they grow strong by destroying others. It is a great temptation to despise and hate these people, but God gives us firm reassurance that He will repay the evil they have sown. He will bring them down to “everlasting ruin” and “tear” them from their tent. He will uproot them from the land of the living.

It was interesting how King David described the major role the tongue played in these people’s lives:

• They boasted about evil.
• Their tongue plotted destruction and acted like a sharpened razor.
• They loved falsehood rather than speaking truth.
• Their tongue loved every harmful word.

Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34–35 NKJV). Simply by listening to a person’s words, we can tell a lot about what is in their heart!

The final section of this psalm is a helpful reminder to all of us. When we trust in God’s unfailing love, we will be blessed and we will flourish. We need not worry about what the evil people are doing, but simply keep trusting in the Lord. He will bring perfect justice to pass in His own perfect timing. While we are trusting God, we can praise Him for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do.

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