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Matthew Henry's Commentary – Verses 6–9
Verses 6–9

David was at this time in great distress; the mischief Doeg had done him was but the beginning of his sorrows; and yet here we have him triumphing, and that is more than rejoicing, in tribulation. Blessed Paul, in the midst of his troubles, is in the midst of his triumphs, 2 Cor. 2:14. David here triumphs,

I. In the fall of Doeg. Yet, lest this should look like personal revenge, he does not speak of it as how own act, but the language of other righteous persons. They shall observe God’s judgments on Doeg, and speak of them, 1. To the glory of God: They shall see and fear (Ps. 52:6); that is, they shall reverence the justice of God, and stand in awe of him, as a God of almighty power, before whom the proudest sinner cannot stand and before whom therefore we ought every one of us to humble ourselves. Note, God’s judgments on the wicked should strike an awe upon the righteous and make them afraid of offending God and incurring his displeasure, Ps. 119:120; Rev. 15:3, 4. 2. To the shame of Doeg. They shall laugh at him, not with a ludicrous, but a rational serious laughter, as he that sits in heaven shall laugh at him, Ps. 2:4. He shall appear ridiculous, and worthy to be laughed at. We are told how they shall triumph in God’s just judgments on him (Ps. 52:7): Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength. The fall and ruin of a wealthy mighty man cannot but be generally taken notice of, and every one is apt to make his remarks upon it; now this is the remark which the righteous should make upon Doeg’s fall, that no better could come of it, since he took the wrong method of establishing himself in his wealth and power. If a newly-erected fabric tumbles down, every one immediately enquires where was the fault in the building of it. Now that which ruined Doeg’s prosperity was, (1.) That he did not build it upon a rock: He made not God his strength, that is, he did not think that the continuance of his prosperity depended upon the favour of God, and therefore took no care to make sure that favour nor to keep himself in God’s love, made no conscience of his duty to him nor sought him in the least. Those wretchedly deceive themselves that think to support themselves in their power and wealth without God and religion. (2.) That he did build it upon the sand. He thought his wealth would support itself: He trusted in the abundance of his riches, which, he imagined, were laid up for many years; nay, he thought his wickedness would help to support it. He was resolved to stick at nothing for the securing and advancing of his honour and power. Right or wrong, he would get what he could and keep what he had, and be the ruin of any one that stood in his way; and this, he thought, would strengthen him. Those may have any thing that will make conscience of nothing. But now see what it comes to; see what untempered mortar he built his house with, now that it has fallen and he is himself buried in the ruins of it.

II. In his own stability, Ps. 52:8, 9. “This mighty man is plucked up by the roots; but I am like a green olive-tree, planted and rooted, fixed and flourishing; he is turned out of God’s dwelling-place, but I am established in it, not detained, as Doeg, by any thing but the abundant satisfaction I meet with there.” Note, Those that by faith and love dwell in the house of God shall be like green olive-trees there; the wicked are said to flourish like a green bay-tree (Ps. 37:35), which bears no useful fruit, though it has abundance of large leaves; but the righteous flourish like a green olive-tree, which is fat as well as flourishing (Ps. 92:14) and with its fatness honours God and man (Jdg. 9:9), deriving its root and fatness from the good olive, Rom. 11:17. Now what must we do that we may be as green olive-trees? 1. We must live a life of faith and holy confidence in God and his grace? “I see what comes of men’s trusting in the abundance of their riches, and therefore I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever—not in the world, but in God, not in my own merit, but in God’s mercy, which dispenses its gifts freely, even to the unworthy, and has in it an all-sufficiency to be our portion and happiness.” This mercy is for ever; it is constant and unchangeable, and its gifts will continue to all eternity. We must therefore for ever trust in it, and never come off from that foundation. 2. We must live a life of thankfulness and holy joy in God (Ps. 52:9): “I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done it, has avenged the blood of thy priests upon their bloody enemy, and given him blood to drink, and hast performed thy promise to me,” which he was as sure would be done in due time as if it were done already. It contributes very much to the beauty of our profession, and to our fruitfulness in every grace, to be much in praising God; and it is certain that we never want matter for praise. 3. We must live a life of expectation and humble dependence upon God: “I will wait on thy name; I will attend upon thee in all those ways wherein thou hast made thyself known, hoping for the discoveries of thy favour to me and willing to tarry till the time appointed for them; for it is good before thy saints,” or in the opinion and judgment of thy saints, with whom David heartily concurs. Communis sensus fidelium—All the saints are of this mind, (1.) That God’s name is good in itself, that God’s manifestations of himself to his people are gracious and very kind; there is no other name given than his that can be our refuge and strong tower. (2.) That it is very good for us to wait on that name, that there is nothing better to calm and quiet our spirits when they are ruffled and disturbed, and to keep us in the way of duty when we are tempted to use any indirect courses for our own relief, than to hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord, Lam. 3:26. All the saints have experienced the benefit of it, who never attended him in vain, never followed his guidance but it ended well, nor were ever made ashamed of their believing expectations from him. What is good before all the saints let us therefore abide and abound in, and in this particularly: Turn thou to thy God; keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually, Hos. 12:6.