|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
52:6-9 Those wretchedly deceive themselves, who think to support themselves in power and wealth without God. The wicked man trusted in the abundance of his riches; he thought his wickedness would help him to keep his wealth. Right or wrong, he would get what he could, and keep what he had, and ruin any one that stood in his way; this he thought would strengthen him; but see what it comes to! Those who by faith and love dwell in the house of God, shall be like green olive-trees there. And that we may be as green olive-trees, we must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace. It adds much to the beauty of our profession, and to fruitfulness in every grace, to be much in praising God; and we never can want matter for praise. His name alone can be our refuge and strong tower. It is very good for us to wait on that saving name; there is nothing better to calm and quiet our spirits, when disturbed, and to keep us in the way of duty, when tempted to use any crooked courses for our relief, than to hope, and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord. None ever followed his guidance but it ended well.
Verse 6. - The righteous also shall see, and fear. Every manifestation of the Divine power and justice produces in the righteous man a feeling of awe. And shall laugh at him; literally, over him. This awe does not, however, prevent him from indulging in something like derision of his fallen enemy - or, at least, it did not under the old covenant, when men had not yet been taught that they ought to "love" their enemies.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The righteous also shall see,.... The Targum adds, "the punishment of the wicked"; particularly what is before predicted of Doeg. The judgments of God upon the ungodly, as they are certain, so they will be visible, either in this world, or in that to come, Revelation 15:4;
and fear; the Targum adds, "from before the Lord"; not with a slavish fear, with a dread of the same punishment, from which they are free, through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, by which they are denominated righteous ones; though the judgments of God on others strike them with solemn awe and reverence, Psalm 119:120, but with a filial godly fear; with a fear of God for his goodness to them, in delivering them out of the hands of wicked men, which engages them more and more to fear the Lord, and to serve and worship him; see Revelation 15:4;
and shall laugh at him; at Doeg; and so at any other wicked man, when they see the vengeance of God upon him, Psalm 58:10; not that they rejoice at that, barely considered in itself, or as it is an evil and mischief to wicked men; for that does not become them, Proverbs 24:17; but as it is expressive of the care of God over them, and love to them, in avenging their enemies; and more especially as the glory of divine justice is displayed therein; see Revelation 18:20; for all this will be eminently fulfilled in the destruction of antichrist.
The Treasury of David
6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:
7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.
8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
9 I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it: and I will wait on thy name; for it is good before thy saints.
"The righteous" - the object of the tyrant's hatred - shall outlive his enmity, and "also shall see," before his own face, the end of the ungodly oppressor. God permits Mordecai to see Haman hanging on the gallows. David had brought to him the tokens of Saul's death on Gilboa. "And fear." Holy awe shall sober the mind of the good man; he shall reverently adore the God of providence. "And shall laugh at him." If not with righteous joy, yet with solemn contempt. Schemes so far-reaching all baffled, plans so deep, so politic, all thwarted. Mephistopheles outwitted, the old serpent taken in his own subtlety. This is a goodly theme for that deep-seated laughter which is more akin to solemnity than merriment.
"Lo." Look ye here, and read the epitaph of a mighty man, who lorded it proudly during his little hour, and set his heel upon the necks of the Lord's chosen. "This is the man that made not God his strength." Behold the man! The great vainglorious man. He found a fortress, but not in God; he gloried in his might, but not in the Almighty. Where is he now? How has it fared with him in the hour of his need? Behold his ruin, and be instructed. "But trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness." The substance he had gathered, and the mischiefs he had wrought, were his boast and glory. Wealth and wickedness are dreadful companions; when combined they make a monster. When the devil is master of money bags, he is a devil indeed. Beelzebub and Mammon together heat the furnace seven times hotter got the child of God, but in the end they shall work out their own destruction. Wherever we see today a man great in sin and substance, we shall do well to anticipate his end and view this verse as the divine in memoriam.
"But I," hunted and persecuted though I am, "am like a green olive tree." I am not plucked up or destroyed, but am like a flourishing olive, which out of the rock draws oil, and amid the drought still lives and grows. "In the house of God." He was one of the divine family, and could not be expelled from it; his place was near his God, and there was he safe and happy, despite all the machinations of his foes. He was bearing fruit, and would continue to do so when all his proud enemies were withered like branches lopped from the tree. "I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever." Eternal mercy is my present confidence. David knew God's mercy to be eternal and perpetual, and in that he trusted. What a rock to build on! What a fortress to fly to!
"1 will praise thee for ever." Like thy mercy shall my thankfulness be. While others boast in their riches I will boast in my God; and when their glorying is silenced for ever in the tomb, my song shall continue to proclaim the lovingkindness of Jehovah. "Because thou hast done it." Thou hast vindicated the righteous, and punished the wicked. God's memorable acts of providence, both to saints and sinners, deserve and must have our gratitude. David views his prayers as already answered, the promises of God as already fulfilled, and therefore at once lifts up the sacred Psalm. "And I will wait on thy name." God shall still be the Psalmist's hope; he will not in future look elsewhere. He whose name has been so gloriously made known in truth and righteousness, is justly chosen as our expectation for years to come. "For it is good before thy saints." Before or among the saints David intended to wait, feeling it to be good both for him and them to look to the Lord alone, and wait for the manifestation of his character in due season. Men must not too much fluster us; our strength is to sit still. Let the mighty ones boast, we will wait on the Lord; and if their haste brings them present honour, our patience will have its turn by-and-by, and bring us the honour which excelleth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. shall … fear—regard with religious awe.
laugh at him—for his folly;
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