Hello, my friend. As you have read through Psalm 52, you find again it is kind of dirge followed by a hymn of praise. I think the contrasts can be summarized in two words “uprooted from the land of the living”, vs. 5, and “rooted like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God”, vs. 8. And at the end of the journey, this makes all the difference.
In the first section, vss.1-5, David is referring especially to a man named Doeg the Edomite, who had revealed himself as a traitor. You can read the story in I Samuel 21 and 22. Doeg was not only a traitor but as a friend of King Saul killed 85 priests of the Lord, even as the King had accused David unfairly of betrayal. Here in vs.1, David describes disloyalty as characterizing a man who is boastful of his evil, deceitful, loving evil rather than good, falsehoods rather than speaking the truth. And the end of such a person is to have lived a fruitless life for self and sin.
But David shifts the whole focus in vs. 7, and says the righteous will see and fear that such a man as Doeg could have dared defy the living God. And then he says, so lovingly, “I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.” I love this picture of an olive tree, deeply rooted, flourishing with fruit for the nourishment of the needy. And what encouragement and blessing this last phrase of vs. 9 brings. “I will praise you in the presence of your saints.”
Oh, how we need each other. So often we are inclined to hide our loneliness, our needs, our bewilderment, feeling it would be a sign of weakness to share it with other saints. But isolation, alienation and aloneness result in further weakness. A single log burning in a fireplace will soon die out. But a log alongside several others will burn brightly, fulfilling its purpose there. And the believer living in close fellowship with other believers will be stronger and give others strength as well.
“Thank you, Lord, for the huge privilege of being counted among the saints, unworthy though we are. How I thank you for the each one who has joined along this way, in prayer and encouragement. What a privilege to be together in the Body, with you as our Head, our Shepherd, our Owner. Bless my friend who has linked in, and especially those in serious medical and surgical need. Thank you, Lord, that you can provide.”
And thank you, partner, for being along. Cheerio!
These meditations on the Psalms were written by Village Schools of the Bible Founder, Monty Sholund and first published in book form as Monty’s Musings on the Psalms in 2000.