Psalm 52:2
Your tongue devises destruction like a sharpened razor, O worker of deceit.
Sermons
A BetrayerW. Forsyth Psalm 52:1-9
A Challenge to the Mighty SinnerBritish WeeklyPsalm 52:1-9
A Social BetrayerHomilistPsalm 52:1-9
A Stern UpbraidingC. Short Psalm 52:1-9
On the Character of DoegG. Goldie.Psalm 52:1-9
The Goodness of God Infinite and EverlastingW. Culverwell.Psalm 52:1-9
Sins of SpeechA. Maclaren, D. D.Psalm 52:2-4
The "mighty man" might have been Doeg or some other who had gained notoriety as a betrayer.

I. THE ODIOUSNESS OF HIS CHARACTER. It is marked by deceitfulness. Craft and lying are the tools of the betrayer. He cannot get on without them, and he waxes expert in their use. He may pretend friendship, but malice is in his heart. Even if he speaks truth, it is not in love, but in hate. "Whispering tongues can poison truth," Beat on mischief, he does not think of consequences. If he can injure the man he hates, he cares not though the innocent also should suffer. When he comes by a secret, which may be turned to advantage, he is elated. His paltry soul swells within him, he grows big with the idea of his own importance. Life and death are in the power of his tongue. And when his miserable schemes succeed, he boasts as if he had done a brave thing; as if he were the hero of the hour.

II. THE TERRIBLENESS OF HIS DOOM. There was a time when Doeg seemed to succeed. Then he may have blessed his soul, and the men of Saul's court, no doubt, praised him, while he was doing good, as they thought, to himself, and was able to do good to them. But changes came. His real character was unmasked. The fearful results of his treachery were brought to light, and then he must have become the object of detestation to all right-thinking men. It is thus that reputations built on sand fall in the day of trial. The judgment of yesterday may be reversed to-day. The men who stand high to-day may be covered with scorn and infamy to-morrow. God is long-suffering. He even bears long, and strangely, with the wicked. But their day is coming. The judgment described in the psalm is terrible in its completeness. Image is added to image. The metaphors rise in intensity and force. There is not only defeat, as of a house beaten down, but there is expulsion, as from a home made desolate; and more, there is extinction, as of a family rooted out of the land (ver. 5). The overthrow is complete, and all this is by the hand of God, indicating that all deceit and malice and evil-doing are contrary to the Divine order, and doomed in the end to ruin. There is a conscience in society, and, as it is rightly quickened and enlightened, it says "Amen" to God's righteous judgments.

III. THE MORAL LESSONS OF HIS LIFE. There is much here deserving close study. Learn:

1. The justice of God. He is ever on the side of truth. His judgments are all righteous.

2. The folly of sin. (Ver. 7.)

3. The blessedness of the righteous. This lesson is heightened by contrast. How different the tree overthrown, and torn up by the roots, and the "olive tree" standing beautiful and secure in "the house of God" 1 How markedly and utterly separate, the evil-doer judged and put to shame, and the godly man trusting, praising, waiting, rejoicing in the sunshine of God's love, and the hope of his mercy for ever and ever! - W.F







Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
The prominence given to sins of speech is peculiar. We should have expected high-handed violence rather than these. But the psalmist is tracking the deeds to their source; and it is not so much the tyrant's words as his love of a certain kind of words which is adduced as proof of his wickedness. These words have two characteristics in addition to boastfulness. They are false and destructive. They are, according to the forcible literal meaning in verse 4, "words of swallowing." They are, according to the literal meaning of "destructions" in verse 2, "yawning gulfs." Such words lead to acts which make a tyrant. They flow from perverted preference of evil to good. Thus the deeds of oppression are followed up to their den and birthplace.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

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