Psalm 52

The Psalms

Psalm 52
Who owns your lips?

Psalms index

Psalm 52

1 For the director of music. A maskil of David. When Doeg the Edomite had gone to Saul and told him: “David has gone to the house of Ahimelech.”

Why do you boast of evil, you mighty man? Why do you boast all day long, you who are a disgrace in the eyes of God? 2 Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practise deceit. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. Selah 4 You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue!

5 Surely God will bring you down to everlasting ruin: He will snatch you up and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

6 The righteous will see and fear; they will laugh at him, saying, 7 “Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!”

8 But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.

9 I will praise you for ever 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.


Psalm 52 – Who owns your lips?

(Verses 1-4) Psalm 52 deals with misusing the tongue. But it centres on Doeg the Edomite. He told King Saul, who chased David to kill him, that Ahimelech, the priest, helped David when David asked him for help. The outcome? Doeg killed Ahimelech and every priest of Nob, at Saul’s cruel and wicked command. (See 1 Samuel 21:1-9 and 22:6-23.) Doeg’s sin caused David to compose this Psalm. It applies generally to all who say, as Psalm 12:4 puts it, ‘We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips— who is our master?’ They need to repent of their sins—including wrong speaking—and trust in Jesus who died in their place on the cross to pay the penalty for their sins. They need to accept God’s invitation to forgive them, and to ask God also to control their words. Receiving Jesus brings you a new heart that brings changed language. Our language needs to be changed. Our evil tongues produce boasting, evil planning, deceit, falsehood, and harm for others.

(Verses 5-7) Eternal death and ruin for sin in Hell is the penalty for all sins, including all the offences of your tongue. Jesus paid that penalty for those who repent and trust Him. Those counted ‘righteous’, by trusting Jesus, fear for those who do not repent and so are condemned. They resist God, hurt others, and trust in their wealth, not God. They will regret that forever.

(Verses 8-9) Just contrast, their position—now and eternally—with those who ‘trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.’ Right now those who are forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus and who, at the same time, have the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ counted before God as their own, are ‘like an olive tree.’ (Revisit Psalm 1 for a reminder!) They are ‘evergreen’—always experiencing and showing the life of God in their souls through the indwelling Holy Spirit. They flourish spiritually, and love to meet for worship with others whose lives have been changed by faith in Christ. They praise God now and will do forever in Heaven. They value God’s name. (Did you know that ‘Jesus’ means ‘God saves’, and ‘Emmanuel’ means ‘God with us?’) They now look forward to using their tongues in eternal blessing. They will join in praising with angels and other saved sinners in Heaven, their wonderful Saviour they have come to love on earth!

So why not tell God you are sorry for all your sins; especially the lies, filth, cruel words, blasphemies, gossip, slander, boasting and hatred that your lips have uttered? Yield your heart and lips to Jesus.