Love in the face of evil

Psalm 52 and 1 Samuel 22. 9-23

Corrie ten Boom was a young woman and member of a watch making family in Holland during the Second World War. The whole family hid Jews in their home and helped them escape the Nazis. Eventually they were discovered, arrested and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. Four of the family died, Corrie was released through a clerical error and two weeks later all the women in the camp in her age group were killed in gas chambers. Her sister, Betsie, died of ill health (16.12.1944), prior to her death she told Corrie, ‘There is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still.’ The ESV Global Study Bible’s sub title for Psalm 52 is the Steadfast Love of God Endures. A summary of Corrie’s and her family’s lives can be found on,

The opening stanza vv1-4 originally applied to Doeg, the Edomite, who betrayed David and killed a whole family of priests, in total 85, who provided sustenance to David as he was running for his life when threatened by Saul. It equally applies to anybody whether individual or organizational that plans and carries out evil. The psalm characterizes such behaviour as boasting of evil, v1 discussing plans for evil, v2 loving and enjoying evil vv 2,4 lying or being deceitful. v3
God did not prevent Doeg from carrying out his evil actions in conjunction with Saul. The psalm does however say that whatever their temporary prosperity God will judge them and bring about their destruction. v5 The psalm contains the inference that this is an eternal judgement as well as one applied to one’s mortal lifetime.  The psalm contrasts David, who made God his refuge, with Doeg who sided with and relied on the rich and powerful.
Verses 8 to 9 contrast the wicked who are ‘uprooted’ with the godly who become like a green olive tree. Olive trees are long lived, up to 500 years, and so the image is of endurance in God’s love. ‘I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.’ v 8 Because the psalmist has such confidence in God’s love he is able to wait in hope. ‘I will wait for your name, for it is good in the presence of the godly.’ v9 Corrie ten Boom was an example of a woman who waited upon the Lord, endured and overcame.
When we are feeling embattled and even find we have enemies, are we able to wait for the Lord?

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord – Chris Tomlin

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