Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meditation on Psalm 52:1

Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
The steadfast love of God endures all the day. (Psalm 52:1)

I was thinking about this verse today. At first glance it appears as though the second line has nothing to do with the first. But what we have is antithetical parallelism, with the righteous man implied in the second line.

Those who boast in evil, make a foolish choice when they could be boasting in the steadfast love of God. This steadfast love will last forever, in contrast to evil, which will come to an end, either at the end of man's life or in the eschaton. In this sense, it seems that the verse pokes fun at the "mighty man," who is really not so mighty if he or she is mortal! How foolish of man, whose breath is in his nostrils (dependent on God for each breath), to consider himself mighty.

But what exactly is the "evil" in view in this verse? Based on the context of the rest of the psalm, at least two of the threefold lust of 1 John 2:15-17 are in view, namely, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.

Lust, of course, excludes us from the love of God, for which we were made. It is something we need to put to death through Jesus' death and resurrection, for if we indulge our lusts, we cannot abide in our heavenly Father's love. May the Spirit teach us how to boast and abide in the love of the triune love, which Jesus has revealed to us and enables us to participate in.

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