“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulder in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs.
…” (Robert Frost, Mending Wall).

There is real and unadulterated evil in the world: the natural kind (“the frozen-ground-swell”) and the moral kind (“the work of hunters”). Nature’s stones, winds, fires, and floods violate our physical and emotional sanctums without due consideration. But there are people whose similar violations are fully intentional: most obviously, those who ignore the value of others’ lives to promote the standing of their own. Uncountable lives have been cut down by human-trafficking, terrorism, and warmongering—as examples.

Among many such figures in Israel’s history, Doeg is one of the worst—slaughtering an entire village of priests and Levites in order to gain favor, rank, and wealth from deranged Saul (1 Samuel 22:6-19). A song addressing the folly of moral evil uses him as its exemplar (Psalm 52). In the song’s imagery, the evil which begins in Doeg’s tongue (telling Saul about David at Nob) razes the righteous to the ground (Psalm 52:2). The cost, however, is that God does more, breaking him down forever, tearing him from his place of safety, and uprooting him entirely from the land of the living (Psalm 52:5).

Even more important than the uprooting of evil, though, is the assurance that below the surface of this vulnerable world, in Yahweh’s house, in God’s kingdom, in His steadfast love, the roots of those who trust in him are unassailable. “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever” (Psalm 52:8).

The uncountable afflicted: God counts them, and cares.

May our perspective be as settled as God’s steadfast love is toward us.