Praising God in Tragedy


Psalm 52:9 
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.
Praising God in Tragedy
Observations: It is not unusual for the Psalmist to sing praises to God, but what’s unusual about this instance is the context. In Psalm 52 the Psalmist confronts someone who ‘boasts of evil, (v1)’ who ‘plots destruction and practices deceit, (v2)’ and who ‘loves evil and falsehood. (v3)’ He says ‘surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin. (v5)’ According to the introduction David is writing these words in response to his betrayal by Doeg the Edmoite, who killed Ahimelech the priest, 85 of his fellow priests and the whole town of Nob, including women and children (1 Sam 21-22). David trusts in the fact that God will bring justice on Doeg, and in fact he praises God, even though he has yet to see God’s justice. Even in the midst of such tragic circumstances, the Psalmist can praise God for the things he has done in the past, and for the fact that his name is good. And he will proclaim these things in public, in the presence of the saints.

Application: Can you still praise God in the midst of tragedy? Even though you have yet to see an answer to your prayers, can you still say that God is good? How much do you put your faith in the fact that just as God has acted in the past so he will act in the future? That’s why it is so important to know God, to know his character and his faithfulness, because it is that knowledge that helps us through the times when he seems distant, or when evil things happen.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly God, I know that You are always good and that You hate evil. I know that You will vindicate those who love You and seek to honour You, and that You will judge those who reject You and do evil. Lord, in times when I experience injustice, may I not lose my trust in Your goodness. Lord, help me to remember that You are the Sovereign God, and may I praise You in every circumstance. Help me to trust in your unfailing love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen. 

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