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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Psalms 52

Verses 1-9

Psalms 52

Destruction of the Wicked

This psalm concerns the time Doeg the Edomite reported to Saul that David had come to the house of Ahimelech, 1 Samuel 22:9. David had just learned that Saul, on Doeg’s! information, had slain 85 of the priests of Israel, who were friends to David.

Scripture v. 1-9:

Verse 1 challenges Saul "why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O might man? The goodness of God goes on continually," or never ceases. David cynically addressed Saul as "O mighty man," or hero, in your own mind, 1 Samuel 21:7; 2 Samuel 1:19. He had trusted in his riches against David, 1 Samuel 22:7-9.

Verse 2 adds "thy tongue deviseth mischief," or devious, crooked things," like a sharp razor, working deceitfully, slitting throats, entrapping, and assassinating with treachery Psalms 50:19; Psalms 59:7; Psalms 64:2. Saul had charged David with high treason, a false charge the basis on which he had slain the priests; It was much as our Lord was so charged, Luke 23:2; John 19:12.

Verse 3 charges "thou (Saul) lovest evil more than good, and lying rather than to speak righteousness," in direct defiance of the law of the Lord, Deuteronomy 16:20; Jeremiah 9:4-5.

Verse 4 adds "thou lovest all-devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue," continuing the charge v. 2, 3 and a breach of bearing false witness, lying, forbidden, Exodus 20:16. True people of God are to "put away" lying, speak everyone the truth, Ephesians 4:25; Zechariah 8:16. "Selah," pause, digest it.

Verse 5 prophesies "God shall likewise destroy thee (Saul) for ever. He shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place and root thee out of the land of the living (Proverbs 2:22) Selah." David asserted that the Lord would beat Saul down, to the ground, as a penalty for his guilt, Ezekiel 16:43. He was to be destroyed (Hebnathatz) as a building is destroyed; taken away as (Hebchathah) burning coals plucked out, (Hebnasach) dispossessed, and rooted out, as trees are uprooted, out of his tabernacle of dwelling; His doom is related 1 Samuel 31, as the anti-christ shall be, Daniel 11:44-45; 2 Thessalonians 2:4.

Verse 6 asserts that when Saul’s fall comes, "the righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him," recognizing that his fall is just punishment for his wickedness, as described above; Their fear is reverential, like that of a child. They shall laugh, not in derision, but with joy over the fall of God’s enemies, as Moses and Israel rejoiced when Pharaoh and his armies were destroyed in the Red Sea, Exodus ch. 15; See also Job 22:19; Psalms 37:34; Malachi 1:5; Psalms 58:10.

Verse 7 laments that Saul was a man who: 1) made not God his strength; 2) but trusted in his increased wickedness, and abundance of riches, that failed him; and 3) strengthened himself in his increased wickedness, and substance, did it more and more. See Luke 12:21; Psalms 62:10; Psalms 49:6. The proud sinner is destroyed by the same goodness of God’s righteous judgment that saves the oppressed who is righteous, Romans 2:4-10.

Verse 8 rejoices "but I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever," a well placed trust, Psalms 92:13; Jeremiah 11:16; In the house of God there is continual communion with Him, Psalms 15:1; Psalms 23:6; Psalms 27:4-5; Psalms 36:8. The olive tree typifies the unction of the Holy Sprit, Zechariah 4:11-12; Exodus 30:23-33; Job 13:15; Proverbs 3:3-5.

Verses 9 pledges David’s praise to the Lord for ever, because of his salvation, what the Lord has done, is doing, and will do for him hereafter. Faith anticipates the future life, and praises God for it now, 2 Chronicles 20:19-22. He added that he would wait on the Lord for future needs and recognize that it is good (ideal) before the saints to honor the name of the Lord always, Psalms 54:6; Psalms 73:28. For such edifies, builds up one another, Psalms 20:1; Psalms 54:6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 52". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.