The enemies of the truth and the church described, Their destruction. (1-5) The righteous rejoice. (6-9)
Verses 1-5 Those that glory in sin, glory in their shame. The patience and forbearance of God are abused by sinners, to the hardening of their hearts in their wicked ways. But the enemies in vain boast in their mischief, while we have God's mercy to trust in. It will not save us from the guilt of lying, to be able to say, there was some truth in what we said, if we make it appear otherwise than it was. The more there is of craft and contrivance in any wickedness, the more there is of Satan in it. When good men die, they are transplanted from the land of the living on earth, to heaven, the garden of the Lord, where they shall take root for ever; but when wicked men die, they are rooted out, to perish for ever. The believer sees that God will destroy those who make not him their strength.
Verses 6-9 Those wretchedly deceive themselves, who think to support themselves in power and wealth without God. The wicked man trusted in the abundance of his riches; he thought his wickedness would help him to keep his wealth. Right or wrong, he would get what he could, and keep what he had, and ruin any one that stood in his way; this he thought would strengthen him; but see what it comes to! Those who by faith and love dwell in the house of God, shall be like green olive-trees there. And that we may be as green olive-trees, we must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace. It adds much to the beauty of our profession, and to fruitfulness in every grace, to be much in praising God; and we never can want matter for praise. His name alone can be our refuge and strong tower. It is very good for us to wait on that saving name; there is nothing better to calm and quiet our spirits, when disturbed, and to keep us in the way of duty, when tempted to use any crooked courses for our relief, than to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. None ever followed his guidance but it ended well.
Psalms 52:1-9 . Compare 1 Samuel 21:1-10 , 22:1-10 , for the history of the title. Psalms 52:1 gives the theme; the boast of the wicked over the righteous is vain, for God constantly cares for His people. This is expanded by describing the malice and deceit, and then the ruin, of the wicked, and the happy state of the pious.
1. mighty man--literally, "hero." Doeg may be thus addressed, ironically, in respect of his might in slander.
2. tongue--for self.
mischiefs--evil to others ( Psalms 5:9 , 38:12 ).
working deceitfully--( Psalms 10:7 ), as a keen, smoothly moving razor, cutting quietly, but deeply.
4. all-devouring--literally, "swallowing," which utterly destroy (compare Psalms 21:9 , 35:25 ).
5. likewise--or, "so," "also," as you have done to others God will do to you ( Psalms 18:27 ). The following terms describe the most entire ruin.
6. shall . . . fear--regard with religious awe.
laugh at him--for his folly;
7. for trusting in riches and being strong in "wickedness."
wickedness--literally, "mischief" ( Psalms 52:2 ), instead of trusting in God.
the man--literally, "the mighty man," or "hero" ( Psalms 52:1 ).
8. The figure used is common ( Psalms 1:3 , Jeremiah 11:16 ).
house, &c.--in communion with God (compare Psalms 27:4 Psalms 27:5 ).
for ever and ever--qualifies "mercy."
9. hast done--that is, what the context supplies, "preserved me" (compare Psalms 22:31 ).
wait . . . name--hope in Thy perfections, manifested for my good ( Psalms 5:11 , 20:1 ).
for it is good--that is, Thy name, and the whole method or result of its manifestation ( Psalms 54:6 , 69:16 ).