When I consider the backdrop of Psalm 52, the text means so much more.  This is a psalm of David after Doeg the Edomite has killed the “eighty-five persons who wore the linen ephod.  And Nob, the city of the priests, he put to the sword; both man and woman, child and infant, ox, donkey and sheep, he put to the sword ( I Samuel 22:18,19).” I don’t know the anguish David probably felt writing this; to know that all of those people were slaughtered because the priest of Nob had showed him kindness.  I don’t know how the memory of that event would allow you to even write.  How does a person see any good in the face of this event?
And yet David ends this Psalm by saying, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.”  What a declaration in the midst of tragedy and pain.  It would have been so much easier to be angry and blame God and get stuck asking “why”!  Instead, David declares…I am a green olive tree.  David says that he is anchored in God’s unmovable and unchanging love.  In essence he says he will flourish and produce even in the worst of times, because God is his refuge.  He will wait on the Lord, and praise Him as He works and because of what he has done. 
What a perspective to have in the midst of such a tragedy.  When we see David and the intimacy he had with the Father and the prophetic tone behind much of his writings, it came at a cost.  His perspective and praise and trust in God is one that we all should have.  May we, in the midst of Covid and race and elections, be able to say that we too will grow like an olive tree.  May we declare that we will flourish because we are anchored in the Lord!

by Marc Stern

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