“But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.”
— Psalm 52:8 (NRSV)
We will all meet the same end, but then again Judgment—in this life and in the next—is meted out at accord with how we actually handle, and have handled, ourselves; faithfully or faithlessly. When all is said and done, as the song goes, we must ask, did we live for truth?
This psalm endorses the faithful, by way of their honest dealing with life, whilst it denounces the wicked that seem bent on trusting on their wealth alone without account to God. The latter will see their folly eventually.
The structure of the psalm is threefold. The first four verses highlight the actual situation that David finds himself in; he deplores the ‘mighty one’ that operates via devious means. The echo of Judgment peels like thunder from verse five. The final two verses enunciate the confidence of trust that exemplifies David’s faith.
No One Gets Away From God
Of course, the psalmist highlights a truth we all know. The issue is, however, in the normal run of life, we tend to forget such a truth when our eyes consider how much favour the wicked receive, and how much they seem to get away with.
We know the theory, yet by our acts we disbelieve the theory—we get upset at injustices and seek to contort, or even pervert, the course of justice: God’s justice. Sometimes we do need to intervene, especially where we have a prime accountability.
But much of life involves simply watching on as disconnected injustices play out, knowing that God will intervene at the right time and in the right way.
Truly, no one gets away from God; from the injustices of perversion, greed, and malevolence. Everyone pays, ultimately.
Down Goes the ‘Mighty One’ Trusting in Themselves
There are people in all our lives that enjoy the privilege of influence; some have so much power it’s hard to comprehend. The important question, so far as their lives are concerned, is where do they place their trust?
It is a very basic error that many so-called wise people make in life; to trust in riches, the positions they’ve attained, et cetera.
Let us not be like that. We should pray that God will always keep us grounded in a reality that trusts in the Power behind life itself, and not in the power that seems to be ours—like comparative wealth.
Most especially, in the context of this psalm, we can know that when we are reviled, doublecrossed, and cheated—if we’re faithful to God—we will be avenged.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.