John T. Willis

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Boastful versus The Humble--Psalm 52 [53]

Psalm 52 is very brief. The superscription alludes to the occasion on which Doeg the Edomite came to Saul and told Saul that David came to the house of Ahimelech (1 Samuel 22:9-10). But this is a later addition, and has no foundation for connecting Psalm 52 with 1 Samuel 22. The author of Psalm 52 is unknown. Psalm 52 falls into two parts.

1. The Psalmist sharply denounces his Boastful Mighty Enemy. Psalm 52:1-7.
     a. The psalmist strongly condemns the "mighty one" whom he addresses. This mighty one has done mischief against the godly. He has plotted destruction against the godly all day long. His tongue is like a sharp razor, a worker of treachery. He loves evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. He loves all words that devour helpless people. He is very deceitful. The hearer or reader would like to know specifically who this person is and the situations which are involved. But in this psalm, all this is very general and vague. 52:1-4.
      b. The psalmist then declares confidently that God will break down this mighty one. God will snatch and tear him down from his tent. He will uproot him from the land of the living. God has ways of overthrowing boastful people. 52:5.
      c. While this is happening, the righteous will see and fear [respect, honor], and laugh at the evildoer, saying: "Look at the person who would not take refuge in God,
                              but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!"
This same approach to life re-enacts in every generation. Many people trust in wealth rather than trusting in God. 52:6-7.

2. In bold contrast to the Mighty One who Boasts and Trusts in Wealth, the Psalmist trusts in God's Steadfast Love. Psalm 52:8-9.
    a. In contrast to his boastful enemy, the psalmist states that he is like a green olive in the house of God. He trusts in God's steadfast love forever and ever. God empowers a small plant to grow and bear good fruit. Godly people are like a green olive. 52:8.
    b. The psalmist will thank God forever for what God has done. He will proclaim God's name in the presence of the faithful, because it is good. 52:9.

[Note: Psalm 53 is a dittograph of Psalm 14. These two psalms are almost identical, with very few differences. Thus, it is not necessary to deal with Psalm 53, since we have already dealt with Psalm 14].

Share YOUR concerns and feelings and experiences and oppositions and fears with others. Let me hear from YOU.

John Willis


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