A Matter of Trust

The nature and object of your trust determines the direction of your life. This simple principle seems obvious on its face and yet in application often surprises. Perhaps this exposes the difference between the trust we claim and the trust we show. Regardless, our behavior places our priorities on display, and thus the true object of our trust. When Saul pursued David, in the midst of his paranoia, he accused his servants of conspiring against him, assuming that they knew of Jonathan’s actions in support of David. Therefore, sensing an opportunity, Doeg the Edomite spoke up and told Saul that he saw David receive aid from Ahimelech (1 Sam. 22:9-10). Saul then called for Ahimelech, his family, and the rest of the priests of Nob, so that he could question them and punish them. When Saul called for his men to execute them all, they rightfully refused to kill the priests; however, once again, Doeg accepted the charge without a thought, killing eighty-five priests before then turning his sword against their families (1 Sam. 22:18-19). When Abiathar escaped to David and related the news, David was grieved, feeling responsible for their deaths (1 Sam. 22:20-23). Surely he was angry! He most certainly desired justice. David saw Doeg as the opportunistic mercenary that he was. But David also kept his perspective—not seeing Doeg through his own eyes, but more importantly, through the eyes of God, as his reflection recorded in Psalm 52 attests.

David describes Doeg as a man of big words with little faith (Psa. 52:1). Doeg’s words led to the death of many people because he cared little for their actual guilt in a conspiracy but only for advancing his own career, whatever it took (Psa. 52:2-3). For this, David had no doubt, God would judge him, so that no matter what reward he received for his deceit and violence in the short term, he would lose it all in the end (Psa. 52:4-5). Thus, David, speaking while a fugitive from the king about a man who seemingly had risen quickly through the ranks, did not fear Doeg, but God (Psa. 52:6). Despite the events that had led to the death of the priests of Nob and despite being on the run, David’s perspective depended on trust. Thus, as he began to close the psalm, he presented a contrast—a contrast between himself and Doeg, a contrast of trust. “‘Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, And strengthened himself in his wickedness.’ But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever” (Psa. 52:7-8).

From a worldly perspective, Doeg’s trust in wealth had paid off, but David’s trust in God had left him a refugee. However, that perspective depended on the moment instead of looking to eternity. Everyone must choose where to place trust. As Jesus taught, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). We must choose. We must decide whether we will trust the world and its ways or trust God Almighty and His. And in this, David’s trust—and future—should provide all the direction we need. We do not have to know the immediate outcome of every challenge we face; we just need to trust that God does, and that He will do what we need. “I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good” (Psa. 52:9).

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