A Social Betrayer
Psalm 52:1-9
Why boast you yourself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endures continually.…

This psalm may be regarded as presenting to us a social betrayer in a variety of aspects. Doeg was an "informer," one whom Webster defines as "a man who informs against others from base or unworthy motives."

I. The social betrayer DEPICTED.

1. Pride (ver. 1). Proud of the secret he holds. He feels he has the reputation and destiny of some one entrusted to him.

2. Malice (ver. 2).

3. Craft (ver. 2). He is a moral assassin; moves in the dark, and carries his javelin under the costume of deception. Dishonesty (ver. 3). He runs more readily with the false than with the true; with the wrong than with the right; with the cruel than with the kind. The base man, what careth he whom he betrays, how he betrays, or what sufferings he entails upon the innocent and even the holy, in order to advance his own personal and selfish ends?

II. The social betrayer DOOMED (ver. 5). What is his punishment? Destruction. Not annihilation; but —

1. A removal: "He shall take thee away." Hengstenberg renders it, "take thee away as a coal." Fling thee away as an intolerable brand. He has been as fire in society, inflaming others with bad passions, devouring the true, the good, and the happy. God will fling him away as a hissing coal. "Pluck thee out of thy dwelling-place" (or tent). His present dwelling-place is a scene of discipline, grace, redemption: hope is taken from him, he is taken from it for ever.

2. An uprootal. "And root thee out of the land of the living." The roots of a wicked man's life are in this world, they don't strike into the spiritual and the eternal; the present and the palpable are everything to him: their roots shall be destroyed. All these are figures, but they mean something terrible; and reason, analogy, conscience, and the Bible tell us that something terrible is before such a man as this'.

III. The social betrayer DERIDED (vers. 6, 7). "There is a twofold laughter," says Arndt. "One, when a man out of an evil spirit of revenge laughs at his enemy. This no Christian, virtuous mind does, but exercises compassion towards an enemy. But the other sort of laughing arises from a consideration of the wonderful judgment and righteousness of God, as when a man says; like Pharaoh, "I ask nothing after the Lord, nor will I let Israel go," and soon thereafter is made to sink in the Red Sea. This is for just derision. Is it not a matter of ridicule for a man to fight against God?

IV. The social betrayer DEFEATED. Doeg, by his betrayal, considered perhaps that he had ruined David; but instead of this, whilst he himself got destroyed, uprooted from the land of the living, his victim was like "a green olive-tree." David here indicates that his own life was —

1. A growing life. "A green olive-tree." Well nourished and well protected.

2. A trusting life. "I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." God's goodness is a tide that must bear everything before it and will outlive the universe itself. Therefore it is wise to trust in it.

3. A thankful life: "I will praise Thee for ever." Divine praise is the heaven of the soul. It employs all its faculties harmoniously, and gratifies all its moral cravings fully and for ever.

4. An obedient life. "I will wait on Thy name." This is the highest attitude of an intelligent creature; it is the attitude of the greatest angel.


Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, Maschil, A Psalm of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and said unto him, David is come to the house of Ahimelech.} Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

WEB: Why do you boast of mischief, mighty man? God's loving kindness endures continually.

A Challenge to the Mighty Sinner
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