Vs. 1-5 describe a truly evil man;
Vs. 6-9 contrast the righteous man.
The occasion for this Psalm seems to be Doeg’s betrayal and murder of God’s priests who had helped David and his men in their dire need (1 Samuel 21:1-9), while they were escaping the pursuit of King Saul (1 Samuel 21:10-22:23).
Verses 1-5: No evil person should “boast” because “the goodness of God endures continually,” i.e. God’s goodness will triumph always! A person’s evil nature is revealed by the tongue which: “devises destruction,” is like “a sharp razor,” “working deceitfully,” “love lying,” “love all devouring words,” and is a “deceitful tongue.” Truly, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit” (Proverbs 18:21). The destruction of righteous people by tongue is because their good is hated. Solomon’s wisdom said: “Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool” (Proverbs 10:18). Doeg stated his information in such a way that King Saul drew a wrong conclusion, but Doeg did not correct it. That led to the deaths of God’s appointed priests! It’s not enough “to love,” for a wicked person may “love evil more than good.” Given the choice today, Christians are told, “Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God” (3 John 11). Verse 5 says, essentially, the same as Proverbs 2:22, that God will punish the wicked!
Verse 6-9: The “righteous” shall “hear and fear,” that is, pay attention and respect God’s condemnation of the wicked, and “laugh at him” (the wicked) because he trusted his riches instead of God. Jesus warned of “the deceitfulness of riches” as one of three things that choke out the Word of God in a person’s heart (Mark 4:19-20). Verse 8 says: “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” “A green olive tree” will grow and ripen by trusting “in the mercy of God forever and ever,” and illustrates the development of faith (“trust”) in God over a lifespan. “The house of God” was a tabernacle (tent) at the time (Levites served in “the tabernacle of the house of God” (1 Chronicles 6:48), for Solomon had not yet built the temple in Jerusalem. Verse 9 states the persistence of a saint’s praise for the name of God.
All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.