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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 52

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verse 1

David addressed the wicked man directly. He marveled that he would really boast about his evil since the Lord is so consistently loving. It is inconsistent to return evil to a God who loves loyally, and it is even worse to brag about one’s wickedness.

Verses 1-7

1. God’s destruction of the treacherous 52:1-7

Verses 1-9

Psalms 52

David contrasted his trust in the Lord with the treachery of those who have no regard for Him in this psalm of trust. The historical background appears in the title (1 Samuel 21-22). Undoubtedly Doeg the Edomite was in David’s mind as he described the wicked.

Verses 2-4

The wicked who oppose God’s faithful servants often use their words as weapons to cut them down (cf. James 3:6; James 3:8). Their words are deceitful when they misrepresent the truth. They are "artists of deceit." [Note: Dahood, 2:11.] David stressed the fact that the treacherous really love their destructive activity. To destroy is bad enough, but to love to do it is worse.

Verse 5

Since God had promised to bless the righteous with long life and to punish the wicked with death (Deuteronomy 28), David was confident He would slay the deceiver eventually.

Verses 6-7

The punishment of the wicked would delight the righteous, not because they had suffered, but because God would judge righteously. The person who does not trust in the Lord trusts in himself. He builds a refuge for himself often out of material things, but it always proves inferior to God Himself.

Verse 8

David repudiated the confidence of the wicked and reaffirmed his trust in the Lord. He pictured himself as a flourishing olive tree, in contrast to his uprooted enemy (Psalms 52:5; cf. Psalms 1:3; Hosea 14:6). Olive trees live unusually long, and they are productive and attractive. They were and are very numerous in Israel. The tree David saw was in the tabernacle courtyard, symbolic of his nearness to God.

Verses 8-9

2. God’s deliverance of the trusting 52:8-9

Verse 9

The psalmist thanked God for making him like an olive tree in the Lord’s house. He acknowledged that the reason he was the man he was, and not as Doeg, was due to God’s grace, not his own works. He purposed to continue to hope in the Lord, confident that he would praise Him in spite of the opposition of treacherous enemies. Those among whom David would wait were other believers.

We, the saints, need not despair when wicked people oppose us. God will deal with our enemies. In the meantime, we should continue to trust and praise God in the company of His people.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 52". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-52.html. 2012.
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