Psalms 52

Psalm 52

The Steadfast Love of God Endures

To the choirmaster. A Maskil of David, when Doeg, the Edomite, came and told Saul, “David has come to the house of Ahimelech.”

52   Why do you boast of evil, O mighty man?
    The steadfast love of God endures all the day.
  Your tongue plots destruction,
    like a sharp razor, you worker of deceit.
  You love evil more than good,
    and lying more than speaking what is right. Selah
  You love all words that devour,
    O deceitful tongue.
  But God will break you down forever;
    he will snatch and tear you from your tent;
    he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah
  The righteous shall see and fear,
    and shall laugh at him, saying,
  “See the man who would not make
    God his refuge,
  but trusted in the abundance of his riches
    and sought refuge in his own destruction!”
  But I am like a green olive tree
    in the house of God.
  I trust in the steadfast love of God
    forever and ever.
  I will thank you forever,
    because you have done it.
  I will wait for your name, for it is good,
    in the presence of the godly.


Psalm 52 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Psalm 52 is a reminder that our words matter.

Like a sharpened razor, your tongue devises destruction, working treachery.  3  You love evil instead of good, lying instead of speaking truthfully. Selah.  4  You love any words that destroy, you treacherous tongue!

Psalms 52:2-4 HCSB

When others make decisions or voice opinions that frustrate us, it’s tempting to put them in their place. Sadly, some of our most vicious arguments occur with those we claim to love. In the heat of the moment, we use our tongue to point out their inconsistency, their flaws, and their failures. It’s so easy to slip into the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality and branch out from there. If we aren’t diligent, we become exactly what this Psalm describes.

“Murder with “a sharp razor” is as wicked as murder with a meat-axe or a bludgeon. A lie very ingeniously framed and rehearsed in an oily manner, is as great a sin, and in the end will be seen to be as great a folly as the most bungling attempt at deception.”

William S. Plumer

Maybe we don’t think of our deceptive words as being a wicked device used for murder? But this is absolutely true.

“The words of Psalm 52 can teach today in the same way they did in ancient Israel. We all know the damage of words. In a media-saturated world, lying words still cut like a razor. Indeed, we are surrounded by a culture that encourages us to be out only for ourselves and believes that our only protection is the wealth and possessions we amass behind gates that lock out the rest of the world.

Words of advertisers and terrorists reduce our lives and diminish our delight. Abusive words by one we love and trust can do as much damage as a fist or knife. We know just as these ancient ones do that this way leads only to alienation and death. Any sane person would not choose this way to live, but instead grow slowly and surely as a great tree that flourishes in the house of God.”

Beth Tanner

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