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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 52

Verses 1-9

  1. Intro:
    1. Title/Outline: Doeg vs. David.
    2. David lived in exile for about 10 years, and we reap wisdom from Psalms 7,11,12,13, 16,17,22,25,31,34,35,52,53,54,56,57,58,59,63,64,142,143 from what he learned during 10yrs of exile.
      1. From these encouraging Psalms God’s people throughout the generations, & still today, can find strength & courage in our own times of testings.
      2. Even Jesus drew strength from them on the cross. Ps.22:1 My God, My God...; Ps.31:5 into Your hand I commit My spirit.
    3. Msg - Why do you brag of evil, “Big Man”? God’s mercy carries the day. You scheme catastrophe; your tongue cuts razor-sharp, artisan in lies. You love evil more than good, you call black white. You love malicious gossip, you foul-mouth. God will tear you limb from limb, sweep you up and throw you out, Pull you up by the roots from the land of life. Good people will watch and worship. They’ll laugh in relief: “Big Man bet on the wrong horse, trusted in big money, made his living from catastrophe.” And I’m an olive tree, growing green in God’s house. I trusted in the generous mercy of God then and now. I thank you always that you went into action. And I’ll stay right here, your good name my hope, in company with your faithful friends.
    4. Back Story: 1 Sam.21,22. One of David’s most bitter experiences.
      1. David’s on the run from Saul. Stops in to the Tabernacle to get something to eat.
        1. David asked for 5 Loaves - The shew-bread consisted of 12 loaves of unleavened bread prepared and presented hot on the golden table every Sabbath. They were square or oblong, and represented the 12 tribes of Israel. The old loaves were removed every Sabbath, and were to be eaten only by the priests in the court of the sanctuary.
          1. Mark2:25,26 disciples walking thru field on Sabbath, grabbed a handful of grain. And Jesus backs what David did when he was hungry because of the “higher law of Moses”, the principle of acting to sustain life.
          2. An illustration of compassionate flexibility in the application of the Torah’s rules.
      2. Off David goes with 5 loaves of God-bread, & a dead giants sword. Troublemaker - Doeg playing “I-Spy”. I spy David in Nob getting help from the priest.
        1. When Doeg said to Saul, “I saw the son of Jesse(David) going to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he inquired of the Lord for him(lie), gave him provisions, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine.” 1 Sam.22:9,10
      3. One of David’s bitterest experiences.
      4. I’m not sure how much bread you get when you divide up 5 loaves between 400 guys but...I don’t think that crouton of a morsel was worth what happened next!
        1. The death of the high priest (Ahimelech). Plus the death of 85 priests. And a city wide massacre at Nob (1Sam.22:19 men, women, children, nursing infants, oxen, donkeys, & sheep all by sword)
    5. How would you feel if you were David? How would you respond? How would you rise above that?
      1. And now God asks you to write a song about it. What would you communicate? What would the refrain be?
  2. DOEG (1-5,7)
    1. (1a) Mighty man - irony. (Doeg)
    2. (2-5,7) Doeg’s tongue was boastful, deceitful, & destructive...like a sharp razor.
      1. Matter of fact the picture of a sharp razor that works deceitfully...is one that instead of shaving the hair it nicks, cuts, lacerates & lances the neck.
        1. Eg. A razor I was traveling with. 1 of the blades got a lil bent. I drug it across my face. Ouch.
      2. He thus carved his career by slander & intrigue.
      3. Words - the sticks & stones adage is a lie.
        1. ​​​​​​​Words reveal the kind of person we are.
        2. We are judged by the words that come out of our mouths.
      4. Even when they speak truth their words can hurt.
        1. A ship captain one day recorded in the ship’s log, “First-mate drunk today.” It was a true statement, but was the first incident where the mate had been drunk while on duty. The mate pleaded with the captain to amend the statement, but the captain refused, saying it was a true statement. The next time the First-mate was in charge of the ship, he recorded in the log, “Captain sober today.”
  3. DAVID (6,8,9)
    1. ​​​​​​​(1b) Note, David’s focus is on the goodness of God, not the badness of man.
    2. (6) The change from the wicked to the righteous.
    3. (8) A green olive tree –
    4. Green - not the color of the tree but the flourishing, vigorous & thriving state of the plant. Fresh, young, bendable, pliable.
      1. ​​​​​​​Olive trees flourish best on limestone slopes, and coastal climate conditions. They grow in any light soil, even on clay if well drained, but in rich soils they are predisposed to disease and produce poorer oil than in poorer soil. Olives like hot weather. They tolerate drought well, thanks to their sturdy and extensive root system. Olive trees can live for several millennia, and can remain productive for as long if they are pruned correctly and regularly.
        1. The difficult life of an olive Tree was like the difficult life of David. (i.e.) Terrible soil, on a slope, hot weather, droughts, pruned...yet fruit bearing for years!
        2. Oh, and remember, the only way to get olive oil is to crush the seed.
    5. I am like a green olive tree in the house of God - in the area of the tabernacle.
      1. ​​​​​​​Rooted in the house of God.
        1. This one is planted in a sacred court yard (maybe like one that was in the sanctuary of Nob?) i.e. Where no one would uproot it.
          1. Others not rooted in the house of God are like tumbleweeds blowing from one place to another.
      2. Root facts:
        1. Roughly estimated, the root spread of a tree equals the spread of its branches.
        2. The combined length of the roots of a large oak would total several hundred miles.
        3. Hair-like as some tree roots are, an entire system of them exerts a tremendous pressure. For instance, a birch tree, though less sturdy than many others, can lift a boulder weighing 20 tons.
        4. A good root system serves 2 purposes in the tree’s development: it functions as an anchor and the roots collect moisture, without which the tree could not thrive.
          1. If your root system is deep into Jesus & His word: anchor & nourishment.
      3. Not a “wild olive tree” but one cared for i.e. in the house of God. They can produce for as long as they are pruned correctly & regularly.
    6. Being rooted in God you hold fast to…
      1. The goodness of God - a goodness that never stops.
      2. Trust in His mercy - or His loving kindness.
        1. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him. Ps.103:11
        2. There is an ocean of God’s love available there is plenty for everyone. Corrie Ten Boom
      3. Praise/thank God forever - I will is a choice.
      4. Who has done it? Who gets the credit? Because YOU have done it. (9a)
      5. In the presence of the saints - I’m not going to go hide. I’m going to live my faith out publicly, even after I’ve messed up.
      6. I will Wait on Your Name - Not always talking to Him or about Him, but waiting before Him…“till the stream runs clear.”
        1. One of the best definitions on waiting on God is by G. Campbell Morgan: Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.
    7. Your name is Good - Has a good reputation.
    8. (9) God will protect your name...when you trust God’s name.
      1. How many David’s do you know? - How many Doeg’s?
    9. What would you choose in nature to say “I am like…”?
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 52". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-52.html. 2017.