Psalm 52

Psalm 52  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
This Psalm presents something quite in contrast with the preceding. There the sinner, as we saw, was broken down and turned to God in repentance; here he goes on still in wickedness and in the stubbornness and pride of his heart refusing grace. The penitent was David or the Jewish remnant, as we also saw, and this mighty boaster is as Absalom or the willful king. This apostate is here still triumphant; but the remnant are trusting in grace, and anticipating their dominion over him.
The “taunting proverb,” as Habbakuk speaks, is very fine here (Psa. 52:77Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. (Psalm 52:7)). We have several of these in scripture, uttered over the fall of some proud infidel despisers of the Lord. His goodness has been scorned, His corrections unheeded, His entreaties mocked, His warnings slighted, and then, when there is no remedy, the Lord “laughs at the calamity, and mocks when the fear cometh.” (See Ex. 15, Judg. 5, Isa. 14, Ezek. 28, Rev. 18, for instances of these insultations or “taunting proverbs.”)
And this Psalm is interesting to us as giving us a divine interpretation of “the olive tree” and its “branches.” (See Rom. 11.) It is grace or the covenant of promise, and those who trust in it, as the penitent here says, “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.”
And such is the interpretation of the same symbol in Romans 11; for those branches there said to be cut off were such as did not believe, that is, trust in mercy; and those who are there promised an abiding place are so promised on their continuing in goodness, that is, continuing in the grace of God.
And so the olive trees and the candlesticks are connected. (Zech. 4; Rev. 11.) For to be a witness, we must first live by grace ourselves. We must draw forth the fatness of the olive ere we can shine on the candlestick.