Psalm 52: The Treachery of Doeg! 1. The Nature of a Doeg Psalm 52:1-7

Text:  “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (professing to be Christians), but inwardly are ravening wolves.  Ye shall know them by their fruits...”

Matthew 7:15-16.

Good morning, active Christian!  When your eyes open each morning, you pray and thank the Lord God for another day.  When your feet hit the ground, you seek to worship the Lord God and listen to His Voice in the pages of His Holy Word.  When you leave your home, you are constantly seeking ways to please the Lord Jesus, and reveal Him living within you unto others.  You are in fact, an ‘active Christian’ servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praise God if this describes you and me.   All redeemed souls should be ‘active Christians’!

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.”  (Matthew 5:16)

However, all such active Christians need to be aware that the Devil and his servants are never far from us, when we seek to actively serve the risen Lord Jesus.  Sometimes those whom we think are our friends in Christ, can be the very people who, perhaps because of personal envy or ambition, can hurt and hinder us and our work for Christ the most.  Such was "Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul..." (1 Samuel 22:9)

“Even the malice of a Doeg may furnish instruction to a David. ‘A Psalm of David’.  He was the prime object of Doeg’s doggish hatred, and therefore the most fitting person to draw from the incident the lesson concealed within it.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 243)

The nature of Doeg was to lurk in close association with king Saul and to seek to curry favour with the King and his immediate courtiers – to play the sycophant – and to flatter and insinuate his way up the ladder of political influence in king Saul’s powerful kingdom.

Dictionary Definition: Sycophant – (Noun) a servile flatterer; a common informer; obsequious flattery; servility; mean tale-bearer, etc...  (The Chambers Dictionary, page 1674)

A Doeg will therefore do the lowest deeds that other men will not deem to do, and all for self-gain and personal power.  When king Saul made the monstrous decision to kill Ahimelech and all the priests of the Lord who resided at Nob, ‘...the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the Lord’       (1 Samuel 22:17)

Doeg’s Dirty Deeds:  “And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests.  And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons (85 people) that did wear a linen ephod.”  (1 Samuel 22:18)

Evil Begets Evil:  One sin leads to two sins, leads to multiple sins in the eyes of the Living Lord God.  Doeg then went on to the city of the priests at Nob.  “And Nob, the city of the priests, smote he with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and sucklings, and oxen, and asses, and sheep, with the edge of the sword.”            (1 Samuel 22:19)

Doeg’s infamy resounds within the pages of Scripture, and down through the ages of history.  All active Christians must beware, and watch out that we never endure the presence of a Doeg in our close company or fellowships.

Verse 1. “Why boasteth thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man?  Doeg had small matter of boasting in having procured the slaughter of a band of defenceless priests.  A mighty man indeed to kill men who never touched a sword!  He ought to have been ashamed of his cowardice.  He had no room for exultation!  Honourable titles are but irony where the wearer is mean and cruel.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 243)

“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”   (James 3:8)

The Doeg’s of this world today are characteristically flattering tale-bearers, they have much to say about the active Christian’s faults, failings, and weaknesses – but very little to say about our talents, faithfulness, and Christian love.

“A tale-bearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.”  (Proverbs 11:13)

Verse 2. “Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs.  Sycophantic flatterers are basically ‘Yes men’, who agree with everything that is suggested by the church-group leader, or leadership.  In his/her eyes ANYTHING GOES, as long as the ‘anything’ promotes Doeg personally.  They can, therefore, be in the inner circle of influence, and slip a poisoning word into the ear of those with power and church authority.  They think they can push themselves up, by putting another brother/sister down with their jaundiced lies.  Active Christian – BEWARE!

Verse 2.  “Like a sharp razor. The smooth, adroit manner of executing a wicked device neither hides nor abates its wickedness.  Murder with a sharp razor is as wicked as murder with a meat-axe or bludgeon.  A lie very ingeniously framed and rehearsed in an oily manner is as great a sin and in the end will be seen to be as great a folly as the most bungling attempt at deception.”  (William S. Plumer 1802-1880)

Verse 3. “Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness.  This principle underpins every fibre of a Doeg’s nature, and reveals the indisputable fact, that the Doegs of this world are as reprobate (rejected by God) as can be, and have never been elect of God.

“For unto us (the elect) was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them (the reprobate, rejected by God, passed over by God for Salvation): but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed by faith in them that heard it.”  (Hebrews 4:2)

Verse 4. “Thou lovest all devouring words.  There are words that, like boa-constrictors, swallow men whole, or like lions, rend men to pieces; these words evil minds are fond of.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 243)

Thought:  Barking Doegs are far more dangerous than barking dogs!  Take care, active Christian!  The Lord knows your earnestness and your faithful zeal is from Him.

6. Teaching Transgressors God’s Way Psalm 51:13-19

Text: “Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”

Psalm 51:13.

          “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;).

2 Corinthians 10:3-4.

Good morning, active-service Christian warrior!   You have not been saved to sit at home while the Spiritual Battle is raging in merciless ferocity at the Front.  No!  You have been saved to serve at the very forefront of this great Spiritual Battle for the precious souls of fallen mankind.  Once redeemed by Christ’s sinless Blood, quickened by God the Spirit; and commissioned in the army of the risen Christ by the God the Father’s revealed election – you and I have sought to equip ourselves, Spiritually, that we might fully engage God’s vile arch-enemies – the world, the flesh, and the Devil.  Victory!  Victory, in Christ Jesus!

“Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man/woman that warreth (goes to war, and continually goes to war!) entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he/she may please Him Who hath chosen him/her to be a soldier.”                       (2 Timothy 2:3-4)

“This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: of whom is Hymenaeus, and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”  (1 Timothy 1:18-20)

If the concept of Christian active-service and warfare was good enough to be taught by the apostle Paul: then it is still good enough for me to teach to this increasingly apostate 21st Century ‘Christian church’ today. 

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...” (2 Timothy 3:16) (God-breathed!)

The Psalmist David, in what I have entitled ‘The Honest Sinner’s Psalm’, has thoroughly and openly bared his soul, as to the gravity of his sin.  He has cried out to the Lord God in repentance for His mercy; asked the Lord to ‘blot out’ his sins and ‘wash’ him thoroughly from all iniquity.  He has therefore, ‘acknowledged’ his transgressions and confessed his sins to the Lord God, and the Lord in His ever-given grace and mercy, has ‘purged’ him with the Blood of Christ the Lamb, and hidden His Holy face from all David’s sins.  David has been graciously restored to full fellowship with His Thrice Holy Lord God, and now he is ready, once more, to engage as an active-service warrior in the army of the Living Lord God.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9)

 “Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee.”  (Psalm 51:13)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;).    (2 Corinthians 10:3-4)

Spiritual Weapons for use in the army of Christ Jesus:

Bible-based Teaching:  There is no one who can better teach others God’s Way, in Christ Jesus, as one who has themselves been Spiritually convicted of personal sin; enlightened as to Christ’s pure Holiness; and taught by God’s Spirit the absolute certainty of the fearful Judgement of God that must come upon all who have sinned without repentance. (John 16:8)

“...One thing I KNOW, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.”  (John 9:27)

In order to use Bible Teaching as a Spiritual weapon of warfare, we must, of course, first be taught ourselves God’s way of Salvation; God’s way of Holiness; God’s way of learning how to equip ourselves, by God’s help and grace, to teach other sinners God’s Way, in Christ Jesus.  We find all that we need to equip us for Spiritual Battle, in the written Word of God.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of TRUTH.”  (2 Timothy 2:15)

“And the things that thou (Timothy) hast heard of me (Paul) among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”  (2 Timothy 2:2)

“Jesus loves me, this I know – for the Bible tells me so.”  Profound truth indeed!

Personal Testimony:  This is a very powerful Spiritual weapon in God’s armoury for our use as active-service warriors of Christ, in the great Battle for the precious souls of the elect.  Our personal, public, testimony - given in the power of God’s Spirit - has the strength to even overcome Satan himself!  If faith cometh by hearing...then other souls, trapped in Satan’s sin and chains, will hear, and if it be the will of our Sovereign Lord God to grant His gift of saving faith – Satan can be totally overcome in the hearts and minds of other guilty sinners.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in Heaven, Now is Salvation, and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of the brethren is cast down, which accused them day and night.  And they overcame him (Satan) by the Blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their TESTIMONY; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  (Revelation 12:10-11)

Repentance is the sinner’s passport to full fellowship with, and service to, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Psalm 51 is ‘The Honest Sinner’s Psalm’. Pray it, out loud, when sin hinders service.

Thought: Verse 17. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit.  When the heart mourns for sin, Thou (God) art better pleased than when the bullock bleeds before the axe.”   C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 242. 

5. The Grief When Christians Sin! Psalm 51:11-12

Text: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear.”

Isaiah 59:2.

          “Cast me not away from Thy (Holy) Presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”

Psalm 51:11.

Good morning, backsliding Christian!  It matters not that you have been soundly saved, and seeking to diligently serve the risen Lord Jesus for many years; nor that you are qualified as a Pastor, Bible Teacher, Missionary, or Sunday-School Teacher, etc.  You have wandered wilfully into sin; know the grief of Spiritual separation from your Holy Lord God; have grieved deeply God the Spirit Who has condescended to live within you and I; and you have not yet confessed and sought to forsake your sinfulness. 

If this describes YOU or ME, then we are BACKSLIDDEN – we are living a lie; our sins have separated us from a Lord God Whose Holiness will NOT permit even one unconfessed sin to go unpunished.  An absolute Holy Lord God MUST punish all sin!

There is no other honest way of perceiving this situation, beloved friend in Christ.  Both you and I, and all genuine, born again, Bible-believing Christians, must recognise SIN for what it is – disobedience to God, betrayal of His Holiness; treachery to Christ Jesus Who has suffered for us and died for us, went down into Hell for us, and arose on the third day to fully justify us as sinless in the sight of our Holy Father in Heaven. 

Our sin is therefore utter treason against the Holy Person of King Jesus Christ!  God Divinely detests all sin!  It has to be confessed and forsaken right NOW!

“If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth (Christ Jesus) is not in us...If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out a liar, and His Word (Christ Jesus) is not in us.”  (1 John 1:8; 10) (John 1:1;14)

“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.”  (John 14:6)

If you and I are backslidden into sin, the Lord will not even listen to our prayers, cannot have fellowship with us because of our sin, for our sin separates us from our thrice Holy Lord God!  Our sin (even as genuine Christians) and God’s absolute Holiness, are profoundly serious subjects that we must take into constant consideration – IF we desire to walk in the light with our Holy Lord God, or serve Christ Jesus in any given capacity.  FACT.

“If I regard iniquity (sin) in my heart (entire essence of being), the Lord will not hear me.”   (Psalm 66:18)

Seeking to pray to God and to worship Him – while harbouring unconfessed sin in our hearts – is merely talking to the ceiling of our houses.  God is not listening!  Confess, and forsake that sin now!

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 John 1:9)

Verse 11. “Cast me not away from Thy Presence. Throw me not away as worthless; banish me not, like Cain, from Thy face and favour.  Permit me to sit among those who share Thy love, though I only be suffered to keep the door.  I deserve to be forever denied admission to Thy courts; but O good Lord, permit me still the privilege which is dear as life itself to me.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 241)

Oh the deep and utter grief we cause both ourselves and God the Holy Spirit within us, when we yield to the temptation to sin.  There is no one as downcast as the backsliding Christian!  There is no one as disgustedly grieved as God the Holy Spirit living within such a true regenerate Christian believer.  No sin is worth such utter and Divine levels of abject grief.

Verse 12. “Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation. None but God can give back this joy; He can do it; we may ask it; He will do it for His own glory and our benefit.  This joy comes not first, but follows pardon and purity: in such order it is safe, in any other it is vain presumption or idiotic delirium.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 241)

Note also, that the Psalmist is not asking for his Salvation to be restored, because it is an Eternal Salvation that is given to the sinner who is given faith and repentance as God’s free gifts.  No, it is the ‘joy of Thy Salvation’ that the penitent Psalmist is seeking restored.  Sin steals the joy of Salvation, because Divine joy is found only in God’s Holy Presence.  Our sin banishes us from the Holy Presence of our righteous Lord God.

“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in Thy Presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

“How can God restore that which He took not away?  For can I charge God with the taking away the joy of His Salvation from me?  O gracious God, I charge not Thee with taking it, but myself for losing it (by sinning against God).”  (Sir Richard Baker 1568-1645)

When we Christians sin, we create our own deep grief, and immediately lose the Holy Spirit’s Divine joy.  No sin is worth such a profound loss!

Verse 12. “Uphold me with Thy free Spirit.  I am tempted to think that I am now an established Christian, that I have overcome this or that lust so long that I may venture very near the temptation, nearer than other men.

“This is the lie of Satan.  I might as well speak of gunpowder getting by habit a power of  resisting fire, so as not to catch the spark.  As long as powder is wet, it resists the spark, but when it becomes dry it is ready to explode at the first touch.  As long as the Spirit dwells in my heart, He deadens me to sin; so that if lawfully called through temptation, I may reckon upon God’s carrying me through.  But when the Spirit leaves me, I am like dry gunpowder.  Oh the sense of this!”  (Robert Murray M’Cheynne 1813-1843)

Thought: We Christians have a choice: we can have sin, or we can have Christ: we cannot have both at the same time.  No sin is ever equal in worth to our soul’s Salvation in Christ Jesus.  Let us keep short account of our exceptional sins.  Forgive us, dear, Lord?

4. Heart of Darkness – Lord of Light! Psalm 51:6-10

Text: “The heart is deceitful in all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?  I the Lord searcheth (searches and continuously searches) the heart, I try (test) the reins, even to give to every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.”

Jeremiah 17:9.

          “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the Light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

John 8:12.

Good morning, totally depraved and fallen Christian!  Conceived in sin, and shapen in iniquity, you and I, since the Fall of Adam in Eden’s Garden, have been born of our Mothers in Adam’s fallen image – a body which relates to the dust from whence Adam was created; a soul, which relates and communicates with other fallen souls; and a totally DEAD spirit, the fruit of God’s Curse on mankind when Eve/Adam sinned the sin of disobedience as portrayed in Genesis Chapter 3:.

This state of Total Depravity is why God teaches us: ‘...the natural man receiveth not the things of God, for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned.”  (1 Corinthians 2:14)

We can prove this Scripturally sound fact ourselves, by the response we Christians too often get from other unsaved souls, whenever we seek to witness to them of the glorious Gospel of Salvation in Christ alone – and it is as if we are speaking to a chair, or an inanimate object, for the listener is dead to the things of God, and thinks the Gospel utter foolishness. 

It is not so much that they do not WANT to learn Eternal truths – it is the fact that they CANNOT grasp such Gospel truth due to having a totally dead spirit!  Unless God the Spirit ‘quickens’ (makes Spiritually alive) the spirit of unregenerate man/woman, they cannot understand with the heart and receive God’s gift of repentance and Salvation in Christ Jesus.

“And you (born again believers) hath He quickened (made alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins...Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”  (Ephesians 2:1-5)

Mankind, born of woman, since the beginning of time, are born in Adam’s fallen image, in his fallen, and totally depraved likeness, as the Scriptures teach.

“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years (after the Fall from grace), and begat a son in his own likeness (fallen), after his image (as opposed to being in God’s image); and called his name Seth.”  (Genesis 5:3)

As a result of Adam/Eve’s sin of disobedience; and God’s Holy Curse upon all His Creation as a consequence: all mankind have been born with a heart of darkness, our entire essence of being (heart) are born sin-prone, and Spiritually dead in sin.  We do not have to teach a baby to do what is wrong, it does so NATURALLY.  In fact, even in the process of socialisation of our children, we have to teach them, painstakingly, to do what is proper, honest, and socially correct!  Every parent that ever lived will immediately say ‘Amen’ to this fact.

In God’s Holy and Omniscient eyes, it is infinitely more clear when we commit sin!

Verse 6. “Thou desirest truth in the inward parts. Reality, sincerity, true holiness, heart-fidelity, these are the demands of God.  He cares not for the pretence of purity; He looks to the mind, heart, and soul.  Always has the Holy One of Israel estimated men by their inner nature and not by their outward professions; to Him the inward is as visible as the outward, and He rightly judges that the essential character of an action lies in the motive of him/her that works it.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 239)

It is to these hearts of darkness that the Lord of all light – Jesus the risen Christ – comes, bringing with Him Jehovah’s gift of saving faith; faith to be quickened from Spiritual death; to be enlightened in Gospel truth; and redeemed by the precious Blood of the Lamb.  Hallelujah!  To our hearts of sinful darkness and unbelief, Christ the Light of the world comes to save us by His grace.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

“For by grace are ye saved through FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them.”     (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Verse 7. “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean. The first Testament (Old Testament) was dedicated symbolically with the blood of slain calves and goats.  The second Testament (New Testament) was dedicated Eternally by the shedding of the precious and sinless Blood of Christ Jesus, the Light of the world.  God’s way of sacrifice was taught symbolically from Genesis to Malachi, the shedding of innocent animal’s blood.  Christ Jesus fulfilled all the types and symbolic illustrations of the Old Testament, when He shed His own sinless Blood on the Cross at Calvary, for Hell-deserving sinners such as we.  Praise His Holy Name! (Hebrews 9:12-28

“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own Blood He entered in once into the Holy Place, having obtained Eternal redemption for us.”  (Hebrews 9:12)

Verse 7. “...Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.  Scarcely does Holy Scripture contain a verse more full of faith than this.  Considering the nature of the sin and the deep sense the Psalmist had of it, it is a glorious faith to be able to see in the Blood sufficient, nay, all-sufficient merit entirely to purge it away.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 240)

Verse 10. “Create in me a clean heart, O God.  Sin destroyed in mankind the created ability to commune closely with our Holy Lord God; to fellowship with His Holiness, and to enjoy His Holy Presence.  That is why Christ, the Creator Lord, must create in us new, born again, hearts; and renewed, ‘quickened’ spirits – that we might come into His Holy Presence and enjoy His love forever.  “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature...all things are become NEW.”  (2 Corinthians 5:17)  Give God the praise, Christian believer!

Thought: Our hearts of darkness have been redeemed by Jesus the Light of the World!