“For behold your enemies, Yahweh!
For behold your enemies shall perish!
All those who do iniquity shall be scattered!
(Psalm 92:10 [verse 9 in English])
Indeed, in the end, all of God’s enemies will be tossed into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever…bringing an end to their torment of God’s own, their mocking of God’s name, and their flagrant sin and wickedness. In that end, all the enemies of God will know and intimately understand the finality of God’s wrath. And in that time, we will not weep. We will not mourn. We will not grieve. We will celebrate the victory of our Lord and the destruction of his enemies.
Yet, these words are not purely words that speak of the end times. Even in this life, God brings his hand of judgment upon the wicked and scatters them just as he scattered the wicked people who built the tower of Babel. For a season, from our perspective, they seem to prosper, but they are bereft of life and truth. They suffer their own sorrow and loneliness as they seek to find satisfaction in anything but the one who can bring satisfaction to their life. God even gives them over to their wickedness and allows them to become so mired in their wretchedness that they cannot see anything but their sin before their eyes. He robs them of satisfaction and he robs them of rest.
Beloved, we are all so often tempted to envy the wicked and their abundance. Do not be tricked into doing so. Their pleasure is fleeting and their satisfaction is empty. But in Christ, satisfaction is full and pleasure is eternal. Though we may suffer for a season, there is an eternal weight of glory before us that is beyond compare.
“The righteous shall see and fear, and they will mock. ‘Look at the mighty one who would not have God as his refuge and trusted in his abundance and riches! He found strength in his own destruction!”
(Psalm 52:8-9 [verses 6-7 in English translations])
It seems kind of odd to picture believers mocking the downfall of anyone. We are so used to the language of loving and forgiving our enemies, it seems that we have trouble reconciling the two. Of course, scripture doesn’t seem to see any disharmony in this. Yes, the psalmist is mocking those who have chosen to flee from God’s rule and into the means of their own destruction, but at the same time, repeatedly God’s word has called those outside of the faith to repent of their wicked ways and come to God for forgiveness. When one refuses the counsel of wisdom being offered is rejected and the person continues to choose folly, there is a sense that they are getting what they deserve.
The language of the “mighty one” ought to be seen as sarcastic. Usually the term refers to a heroic warrior on the battlefield, but remember the one being spoken of in the immediate context is Doeg the Edomite, servant of Saul, who slew a family of priests…hardly something that would be marked as a glorious battle or achievement. Doeg trusted in his own status and the wealth of Saul, not taking counsel even from Saul’s other soldiers that attacking priests was just not to be done. How drastically sin and greed blind.
The final statement is the most significant of these two verses: “he found strength in his destruction.” In other words, the things that would destroy him are the things that he sought to magnify and revel in. Such is the pathway of sin. Paul writes in Romans 1 that part of God’s judgment is to withdraw his hand of restraint and allow you to pursue sin and wickedness to your own end. We bury ourselves in our sin, reveling in those things that undo us. How good the grace of God is that delivers us from this end, but how wicked we are in pursuing that end. Beloved, do not find strength in the things that will destroy you; find strength in God alone and you will live.