Why do you boast of evil, you mighty hero?
Why do you boast all day long,
you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God?
You who practice deceit,
your tongue plots destruction;
it is like a sharpened razor.
You love evil rather than good,
falsehood rather than speaking the truth.
You love every harmful word,
you deceitful tongue!
Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin:
He will snatch you up and pluck you from your tent;
he will uproot you from the land of the living.
The righteous will see and fear;
they will laugh at you, saying,
“Here now is the man
who did not make God his stronghold
but trusted in his great wealth
and grew strong by destroying others!”
But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love
for ever and ever.
For what you have done I will always praise you
in the presence of your faithful people.
And I will hope in your name,
for your name is good.
David laments the power of someone he calls an evil “mighty hero” in the first seven verses of this psalm. He lists traits of people like him who are “a disgrace in the eyes of God”: boastful, deceitful, destructive, and lying. These are people who trust in the wealth they make by destroying others.
In our world, we see wicked people like this flourish, and we wonder what will come of them. Why do the wicked seem to win? Why do they take advantage of so many? Why do they exploit people without any punishment?
David doesn’t necessarily answer that question; instead he shifts the focus back to himself.
He cannot change the evil person, but he can turn to the One who can change all hearts. He chooses the kind of flourishing that comes from worshiping and loving God and trusting him for outcomes. His hope is not in himself; it is in the name (the character) of God who rewards those who are faithful to him.
To hope in God’s name is to trust that he sees all the evil in the world and will do something fair about it. In the end, evil will not win. To exercise our hope is to worship God, seeking him with everything we have.
Reflect & Pray
Create a list of ways God has given you hope in the past year. Write a prayer of thanks for all he has done.
Lord, even when the world seems bent on evil, I choose to rejoice in who you are and to have hope in what you can do, rather than what others try to do. Restore my hope, I pray. Amen.
Devotionals drawn from the NIV Radiant Virtues Bible.