Sermon – June 24, 2018


Psalm 52 – The Prayer of Thanksgiving (mp3)

We are continually told in Scripture to give thanks to God for the good things that he gives us. Simply being created beings makes us accountable to be thankful to the one who has created us (Rom 1:18-21). But often, the nature of our sin, and the world around us, makes being thankful hard. Sometimes, we find it difficult because of prosperity, but more often because of difficulty. Today, we have the chance to look at a difficult time in David’s life, and see how he was thankful to God regardless.

1. The treachery of Doeg
Doeg’s treachery is detailed in 1 Samuel 21-22. He first rats out David to Saul, knowing that Saul’s bitterness and jealousy would consume him. When other servants of Saul were unwilling to kill the Priests at Nob, Doeg volunteers for the gruesome task. David, oddly, focuses on Doeg’s speech in the Psalm, however, because he knows that the opportunity to use the sword was only present because of Doeg’s use of his tongue. Doeg’s actions demonstrate a desire to gain what wasn’t his by unethical means. His speech is thankless in every way.

2. The thanks of David
David, on the other hand, only has one remark placed on his lips: thanks for God. Even in the midst of a terrible and appalling massacre, David knows that the Lord’s steadfast love has not left him. How important is this for our lives? We will face horrible things, too: failed relationships, failed health, failed careers. Your ability to be thankful before God must rest on something better than the worldly circumstances you find yourself in. It must rest on God’s good love.

3. The traits of God
But how do we get from Doeg to David? From people who are intent to gain what we want however we can, to being thankful even in the worst of situations? By simply knowing the nature of God. God’s attributes surround and permeate the Psalm. David might not know if Doeg ever met the fate his prophesied, and the Bible does not record another moment of Doeg’s life. David’s psalm is a statement of faith, not fact. But that faith is grounded in his knowledge of who God is, of what God is like. Unchangeable, faithful, just, all-powerful; God’s steadfast love will win the day.

Build your life on the stability of God’s love, finally and fully expressed in the cross of Christ. For storms will come, waves will crash, and floods will overwhelm. But those who build on the rock of Christ will never be shaken!