1. Should a mischievous “mighty man” think he could cease the goodness of God?
No: “Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually” (Psalms 52:1).
2. Was the individual addressed at the beginning of the fifty-second Psalm honest?
No, not at all: “(2) Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. (3) Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. (4) Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue” (Psalms 52:2-4).
Such characteristics were common of the wicked (Psalms 64:2-6, Proverbs 30:14, Jeremiah 9:3-4, and Jeremiah 18:18).
The tongue is a scary thing (Proverbs 18:21).
Some get so bad they only know to do evil (Jeremiah 4:22).
3. How did the future of this wicked, mighty man look?
Not so good: “(5) God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah. (6) The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him” (Psalms 52:5-6).
4. What is the difference between the mighty man of this chapter and the one who penned this Psalm?
The Psalmist trusted God while this man felt he was mighty of his own wealth and wickedness: “(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” (Psalms 52:7-9).
5. What does the fool say in his heart?
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good” (Psalms 53:1; cf. Psalms 14:1).
Consider also: “The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall… A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness” (Proverbs 10:8; 12:23).
***Psalms 53 is the same, for the most part, as Psalms 14.***
6. As God searched upon the earth, in the time this Psalm was written, how many were standing aright?
“(2) God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. (3) Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalms 53:2-3).
7. Is there a question that is asked of those who eat up God’s people?
Yes: “(4) Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God” (Psalms 53:4).
8. Why were those who encamped against the Psalmist put to shame?
“(5) There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them” (Psalms 53:5).
9. Where would the people of Israel have looked for salvation to come out of?
Zion: “(6) Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad” (Psalms 53:6).
See: Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:1-2, and Acts 2. Zion is in Jerusalem (Psalms 135:21).
10. Why did the Psalmist ask God to save him and hear his prayers?
He asked for God to save him and hear his prayers (Psalms 54:1-2): “(3) For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah” (Psalms 54:3).
11. Since the Lord is the helper of the Psalmist, who is the Lord with and who is the Lord against?
“(4) Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul. (5) He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth” (Psalms 54:4-5).
12. Why did the Psalmist freely sacrifice unto God and praise His name?
“(6) I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good. (7) For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies” (Psalms 54:6-7).
13. Did the fear the Psalmist had because of his enemies cause him to pray diligently?
Yes: “(1) Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. (2) Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; (3) Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked: for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me. (4) My heart is sore pained within me: and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. (5) Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me” (Psalms 55:1-5). The Psalmist remembered this: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1). Soon after this, we shall see the opposite attitude (Psalms 56:11). He would have done better in not fearing his enemies here (Psalms 118:6, Proverbs 29:25, Matthew 10:28, and Hebrews 13:5-6).
-This is not to say that the Psalmist did not pray in times of peace, but for us to consider, we should pray at all times not just when we are in dire situations (I Thessalonians 5:17-18).
-It is good to lay our problems out before our Father (Philippians 4:6), so long as we do not expect Him to act in a way that would result in a miracle, the denial of free will, respect of persons, or would have God obeying His law for us.
14. In the fifty-fifth Psalm, did this Psalmist want to stand up and fight his enemies?
No: “(6) And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. (7) Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah. (8) I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest” (Psalms 55:6-8).
15. What reasons did the Psalmist set forth when he asked God to destroy his enemies?
“(9) Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues: for I have seen violence and strife in the city. (10) Day and night they go about it upon the walls thereof: mischief also and sorrow are in the midst of it. (11) Wickedness is in the midst thereof: deceit and guile depart not from her streets. (12) For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: (13) But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. (14) We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. (15) Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them” (Psalms 55:9-15).
16. How often was the Psalmist going to God in prayer?
“(16) As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. (17) Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Psalms 55:16-17).
17. Does the Psalmist conclude that God will save the righteous?
Yes: “(18) He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me. (19) God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God… (22) Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (23) But thou, O God, shalt bring them down into the pit of destruction: bloody and deceitful men shall not live out half their days; but I will trust in thee” (Psalms 55:18-19; 22-23).
18. Were those enemies of the Psalmist honest keepers of God’s covenant?
No, they were convent breakers who said one thing but had another in their hearts: “(20) He hath put forth his hands against such as be at peace with him: he hath broken his covenant. (21) The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords” (Psalms 55:20-21).
19. How often did the Psalmist have to worry about his enemies?
Daily: “(1) Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. (2) Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High” (Psalms 56:1-2).
20. What did the Psalmist conclude he should do in times of fear?
“(3) What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. (4) In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me” (Psalms 56:3-4).
21. What were the enemies of the Psalmist doing with his words?
“(5) Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil” (Psalms 56:5; cf. Proverbs 10:18; 14:5 and Romans 3:8).
22. Did the enemies of the Psalmist act in the open?
No, secretly: “(6) They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul” (Psalms 56:6; cf. Psalms 10:8-10, 64:2-6, Proverbs 1:10-19, and Jeremiah 5:26).
23. Did the Psalmist want God to be angry with his enemies?
Yes: “(7) Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God” (Psalms 56:7).
Similar requests have been made by others (Jeremiah 10:25).
24. Do you find anything interesting about Psalms 56:8?
“(8) Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book” (Psalms 56:8)?
- Everything about the verse is interesting. The request for God to put the tears of the Psalmist in a bottle is interesting (II Kings 20:5 and Revelation 7:17).
- His tears in the book (Psalms 139:16, Malachi 3:16, and Revelation 20:12).
25. What will cause the enemies of the Psalmist to turn back?
“(9) When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me” (Psalms 56:9).
26. Unlike Psalms 55:1-5, does the Psalmist now trust God enough not to fear man?
Yes: “(10) In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. (11) In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me” (Psalms 56:10-11).
27. What allowed the Psalmist to walk before God in the light of the living?
“(12) Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. (13) For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living” (Psalms 56:12-13)?