Mr. Big Shot

Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man?
The loving-kindness of God endures all day long.

Your tongue devises destruction,
Like a sharp razor, O worker of deceit.

You love evil more than good, Falsehood more than speaking what is right.
You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

But God will break you down forever;
He will snatch you up and tear you away from your tent, and uproot you from the land of the living. 

The righteous will see and fear, and will laugh at him, saying,
“Behold, the man who would not make God his refuge, But trusted in the abundance of his riches and was strong in his evil desire.”

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the loving kindness of God forever and ever.
I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.

New English Bible

1-2 Why make your wickedness your boast, you man of might, forging wild lies all day against God’s loyal servant? Your slanderous tongue is sharp as a razor.
3-4 You love evil and not good, falsehood, not speaking the truth; cruel gossip you love and slanderous talk.
5 So may God [Or So God will] pull you down to the ground, sweep you away, leave you ruined and homeless, uprooted from the land of the living.
6 The righteous will look on, awestruck, and laugh at his plight:
7 ‘This is the man’, they say, ‘who does not make God his refuge, but trusts in his great wealth
and takes refuge in wild lies.’

8 But I am like a spreading olive-tree in God’s house; for I trust in God’s’ true love for ever and ever.
9 I will praise thee for ever for what thou hast done, and glorify thy name among thy loyal servants; for that is good.


Why do you boast about your crimes, great warrior? Don’t you realize God’s justice continues forever?
All day long you plot destruction. Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor; you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good and lies more than truth. Interlude

You love to destroy others with your words,
    you liar!
But God will strike you down once and for all. He will pull you from your home and uproot you from the land of the living. Interlude

The righteous will see it and be amazed.
    They will laugh and say,

“Look what happens to mighty warriors who do not trust in God. They trust their wealth instead and grow more and more bold in their wickedness.”

But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love.
I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.


David wrote this Psalm and he has a particular person in mind, Doeg the Edomite. The back ground is found in 1 Samuel 22. David had fled Saul with Jonathan’s help but David left so quickly that he had no weapon or food. He stopped at the Tabernacle at Nob where there was a village of priest. He asked for help and Ahimelech gave David bread and Goliath’s sword. Then David disappeared. He had told Ahimelech that he was on a secret mission for Saul: he did not tell him the truth, probably out of fear that the priest would not help him. Doeg, the Edomite, Saul’s chief shepherd was standing there and saw David and overheard the conversation between he and the priest. Saul became increasing paranoid and believed that David was leading a conspiracy against him. He was scolding his men for not telling him about Jonathan helping David when Doeg stepped up and offered information. He lead Saul to believe that Ahimelech was conspiring with David. Saul summons the priest who denied the charge and pleaded his innocence. Saul would not listen and had the entire village murdered, the priest [85], their wives, children, babies and live stock. Pure insanity. One priest escapes, Ahitub and he fleas to David.

David was dishonest and he realizes that this massacre is his fault. But Doeg the Edomite was an opportunist and he saw a way to advance himself in Saul’s eyes. What Doeg said was not a lie: Ahimelech did give David bread, bless him and give him a weapon but he never conspired with David against Saul. So Doeg told enough truth to get Saul stirred up but he did not tell him all the truth. Doeg was a cunning man who turned the truth into a lie, one that would advance him up the ladder of success. In other words, he was not a man of principle. He is one of the most reprehensible men in all the bible.


Most translations agree with the NASB and translate the Hebrew word gibbôr as MIGHTY MAN but the word can be translated powerful, warrior, tyrant, champion, chief, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man. When a man who is actually not mighty, not powerful but thinks in his own mind that he is mighty, powerful and strong–we call these people “Big Shots.” They are not big in character but they have big mouth, they are blow hards and they usually try to intimidate people with their wealth or position.

Doeg was not a man of faith, he was an opportunist. His chief concern was to advance himself and he did it at the expense of others. It amazes me what some are willing to do to climb the corporate ladder.

My mentor in the ministry was Calvin C. Inman. One of the things he drilled in my head and heart was to be very cautious about any move or advancement. He did not believe in promoting one’s self. He said, “Jack, you let God move you and then when things get rough, you know you are where He put you.” I have never had a resume. I have never dropped my name to anyone. I have never made the slightest effort to climb the ecclesiastical ladder. I’ve never even served as a moderator in an association. I have never served on any board or agency. In that regard, I have no regrets. I am not a big shot: heck, I may not even be a buck shot but I am having the time of my life.

Doeg wanted to be a big shot and he was more than willing to embrace evil to accomplish his goal. His treachery caused and entire village to die; all for the sake of getting brownie points from an insane tyrant.


David knows that what Doeg did was reprehensible and vain. David said, “God will snatch you right out of your tent and take you out of the land of the living.” In other words, David is saying, “Your days are numbered. You better enjoy what time you have because when God gets a hold of you, you will be a laughing stock.” People will watch you suffer. They will watch and worship–stand in awe of what God is going to do to you. {God had not done it yet–this is future}.

In other words, David said “I am not worrying with you. I have turned you over to God and He will take care of you.” Unfortunately, we don’t have the record of Doeg’s demise but I promise you it happened.


The righteous are like an olive tree planted near the sanctuary. Dr. Wiersbe believes that the Tabernacle of Nob was right beside an Olive orchard. It makes perfect sense. The tabernacle need the oil from the olives to trim their lamps, baking the bread and anointing oil. The OLIVE branch has been a symbol of peace since the flood but the oil from the olives as been a symbol of the SPIRIT. According to the Apocalpyse of Moses, an apocryphal Hebrew book, when Adam fell ill Seth went to request the “oil of mercy” to anoint Adam and restore his health. His entreaty was refused, as it was destined for Adam to die, but the angel Michael told Seth that the oil would be granted to the righteous at the end of days. So the Hebrews believed that the TREE OF LIFE was an olive tree.

There are things we definitely know: [1] The Olive Tree was productive and vital to the economy of Israel. [2] The Olive Tree was useful [3] It was also enduring. An olive tree can live for a 1,000 years.

Those who make CHRIST THEIR REFUGE are like Olive Trees: [1] Planted {deeply rooted} [2] Faithful {enduring} [3] Productive and [4] Useful.

In Contrast, those like Doeg, who put their confidence in wealth, riches, etc. will enjoy temporary success. They will be uprooted and cast out. They will suffer God’s judgment and become a laughing stock for their folly.

O the folly of trusting in riches. The worldly man knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. If you can put a price tag on it, it has no true value.

I was in a revival in Lawrence County and running late. June had a ford explorer that would fly, I drove an old GMC pickup so I swapped so I could drive faster. I made it in time to preach and on the way home, June called. She said, “I have some bad news, I had a little fender bender and now your truck has a dent.” I said, “Don’t worry about it honey, it is a piece of metal sitting on four rubber tires. It can be replaced. As long as you weren’t hurt that is all that matters.” I was so proud of myself for responding so nobly, then when I got home and seen the dent, I got sick at my stomach. It was not a little dent.

It is souls {people] that are valuable and we can take them to heaven with us. It is folly to trust in riches because you can’t take them. When you come to your final breath and departure, your money is worthless. Value people, not money. Love people and use money. Don’t get it backwards like the world: they love money and use people.


Two Kingdoms

Adam and Christ Contrasted

12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moseseven those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. 20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


I have a lot to share with you this morning and I don’t know where to start: let us pray that I know where to stop.

Let just plunge into verse 12….and I want you to picture in your mind a little parade…first comes Adam, the man of clay, the progenitor of the human race, then following Adam is SIN {also known as transgression and disobedience}.Then right behind SIN is DEATH and he quickly seizes the throne and become a ruthless tyrant who’s reigns in sheer terror.


Every human being is encapsulated in Adam. As much as you want to see yourself as an individual and independent of your father Adam, it is not happening. As John Donne said,

No man is an island…

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Like it or not, you are in the family of Adam and unless you are perfect {without sin} and immortal {not subject to death}, you cannot deny your ancestral roots.


What did you do to get in Adam’s family? You did absolutely nothing. You were born into this family and you inherited his likeness. Your first sin did not make you a sinner. You sinned because you are by nature a sinner. Adam disobeyed God and in so doing, HE BECAME A SINNER and he became the progenitor of the SINNER FAMILY. In Adam all sin. Only one exception and He was born not of Adam but of the Holy Spirit.

To sum this up and put it in a capsule: We are in Adam and we inherited from him a nature to sin and the consequences of it which are death.

{Capsule of Adam}


[second capsule] If you don’t get this you will not understand anything in Romans 6

Before we get to chapter 6, you need to listen to the words of the song we sang this morning…

Free at last, He has ransomed me, His grace runs deep. While I was a slave to sin, Jesus died for me–Yes He died for me

Who the Son sets free, Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God, Yes I am.
In my Father’s house there’s a place for me
I’m a child of God, Yes I am

I am chosen, not forsaken…I am who You say I am. You are for me, Not against me, I am who You say I am.

It doesn’t take any faith for us to see ourselves in Adam but a part from faith, you will never see yourself in Christ.

But other than the fact that both are heads of a created order or family and both share human bodies, they have nothing in common.

In ADAM– all sin and all die.

In CHRIST– all are made righteous and live.

What did you do to become a sinner? Nothing. Adam made you a sinner by virtue of his sin.

What did you do to become righteous? Nothing. You are made righteous by the obedience of One man, Jesus Christ. IN CHRIST you are righteous, justified and you have life. Whereas in Adam, you are a sinner, condemnation and death.

I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene and wonder how He could love me a sinner condemned and unclean.

The human family is one in Adam

The Church is ONE in Christ…If you view yourself as being independent of the body of Christ, you have it all wrong. If you are in Christ, you are in the body: they are encapsulated. This means that all Christians are brothers/sisters–we are in the same family…the NEW CREATION FAMILY.

I’ve never been more proud of a young man that I was Jonathan Issac, the young NBA player who had the courage to stand for the national anthem when the rest of the team was kneeling in protest. When they questioned him, he told them what they didn’t want to hear…BLM is not the answer, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer. Go bro! The young man is my brother. Unfortunately Jonathan Issac is in a minority.


Adam’s sin messed us upChrist righteousness heals us up. Just as we were cursed by Adam’s sin, we are blessed by the obedience of Christ. One man’s disobedience fowled us up and one man’s obedience fixed us up.

Let face the facts: we are no match for sin. Martin Luther had a friend named Philip who was heard to say many times, “Old Adam, you are too strong for Philip.” Old Adam {sin principle} is too strong for any of us. Sin is an enemy we can’t defeat. If we can’t defeat sin, what chance do we have with death? None! We have zero chance. The wealthiest most powerful person on this planet is a midget in the face of death. Death will roll over him/her like a wave.


Jesus is our champion: He came here and fought our battles for us because He knew we were helpless and hopeless. He lived a perfect life, fulfilling the law’s every demand. He defeated sin and He conquered death.

You didn’t do anything to get in Adam but you do have to do something to get in Christ…You have to repent and trust His righteousness to save you.

Psalm 51 Part II

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.


As I said last week, this Psalm is a theological masterpiece. When it comes to the deadly seriousness of sin; the pain and trauma of guilt; and the joy that comes with repentance–There is not another passage like it in all bible.

I am absolutely amazed that David could write this and I assure you, it is a tribute to God’s greatness, not David’s. I am impressed with David’s wisdom and understanding. This Psalm does accent the power of God’s grace, which is an encouragement to me.


[1] Note the fact that David takes ownership of his sin. Go back to verses 2-3…

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me.

David is aware of the fact that others have sinned but his first concern is with his sin. He does not mention Bathsheba or anyone else.

Like the old negro spiritual…“It’s not my mother or my brother but it is me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

G. K. Chesterton (29 May 1874 – 14 June 1936) was an English writer, philosopher, Christian apologist, theologian and art critic. He is often referred to as the “prince of paradox.” Time magazine observed of his writing style: “Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out.” Some years before Chesterton’s promotion, a London Times editorial asks the question: “What is wrong with our world?” Chesterton’s reply became the most famous of all answers. It went like this: “What is wrong with this world? I am.” If every man understood this, the world would be a much better place. We always begin with our sin. We cannot teach transgressors God ways unless we deal with our sin. Would n’t it be refreshing to see people gathered in the streets to confess their personal sin rather than finding fault with America and our founding fathers. This crowd is so intent on prosecuting our founding fathers for owning slaves that they are completely oblivious to their own sin.

[2] David also understood that sin is inherent. We sin because we are sinners by nature. We do not have to sin to become sinners, we are born sinners.

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.


Adam and Eve sinned; we all know about their sin. Like David’s sin, it is recorded for all mankind to see. They did not deal with their sins properly. They tried to [1] hide it , [2] cover it, [3] deny it by blaming others.

Sin is a problem, one that man cannot handle.

God intervened in Adam and Eve’s case and in our case as well. God can handle sin, we cannot.

Our first step in dealing with sin is to [1] Recognize it and call it by name…iniquity, transgression, etc. We will never get victory over sin in general. If it was a lie, we call it a lie. If it was stealing, we call it stealing. Then we [2] Confess it to Him. We agree with Him that we have sinned and that our sin is evil. It is against Him and society as a whole.

I heard a story of the college freshman who didn’t wash his clothes for the first month at college and then he bundled them up and washed the entire bundle because he was embarrassed for the folks in the Landry mat to see his filthy clothes. Then to make bad matters worse, he dried them in a bundle which took hours. Got to his dorm room, untied the bundle and the closes were still filthy.

The way to deal with sin is one at a time and you call them what they are; you don’t call adultery an affair and you don’t call drunkenness a disease. [3] After identifying the sin and calling it by name, you give it to Jesus. He can handle all our sin. He has already suffered for it: we are not putting more suffering on him when we give Him our sin. We are acknowledging the fact that sin is bigger than we are and we need a SAVIOR.


The happiest people in the world are sinners who have just been forgiven. The story of the Prodigal son is a perfect illustration. Note all the references to joy in Psalm 51…

[v.8] Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.

[v.12] Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.

[v.14] Forgive me for shedding blood, O God, the God of my salvation; Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
[v.15] O Lord, open my lips, that my mouth may declare Your praise. It is hard to praise God when you have no joy. I’m not sure it is even possible.

You know that if there is joy in heaven when a sinner repents, there is going to be joy here and joy in the heart.

Sin creates a heavy burden that saps the soul of joy. Repentance washes away the guilt and sorrow that sin produces. Just as soap removes dirt, repentance cleanses us. It unburdens us. {Pastor’s conference}


Sometimes, the only way to get to where God wants us to be is through the portal of a broken heart.


Where God loves, He afflicts in love and whom ever He afflicts in love learns a lesson that will last for all eternity.

~Thomas Brooks