Psalm 52

Talks for Growing Christians

The Character and Destiny of the Wicked Contrasted with the Righteous

Psalms 52

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Lesson Number 39

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The destiny of the wicked is final destruction.
  2. The destiny of the righteous is future delight.

Practical Application

  1. He who laughs last, laughs best.


  1. What was the occasion of Psalm 52?
  2. What terrible tragedy occurred at the hand of wicked Doeg the Edomite?
  3. Does this psalm have further application?
  4. List the four characteristics of the wicked from this psalm.
  5. What does it mean that the wicked are destroyed forever (verse 5)?
  6. What did David mean by referring to himself as “a green olive tree in the house of God”?


  1. “When Doeg the Edomite went and told Saul, and said to him, ‘David has gone to the house of Ahimelech’” (verse 1). We read of this account of David’s escape from Saul in 1 Samuel 21-22.
  2. He put to death 85 priests and their families for their role in hiding David from Saul.
  3. Doeg the Edomite is the wicked man specifically referred to in this psalm. But in application, the psalm describes the character and destiny of all the wicked, including “the man of sin” of the end times, who may be typified by wicked Doeg.
  4. 1) They boast in evil. 2) Their talk is filled with lies and deceit, and they use their tongue like a razor to cut people down. 3) They love evil more than good and falsehood more than truth. 4) They love to destroy
  5. This is not the idea of annihilation or ceasing to exist. It is the idea of eternal ruin and loss. Not loss of being, but loss of well-being. Revelation 20 calls this destiny the second death in the lake of fire.
  6. Olive trees are productive, attractive, and live long. What a contrast to the wicked who are uprooted and unfruitful.


  1. One characteristic of the wicked is that they boast in evil. They not only practice evil – they boast in their evil ways. Where have you see examples of this?
  2. Psalm 52:9 teaches that the righteous will enjoy fellowship with the Lord and His people both now and forever. Recall the sweetest time of fellowship you have ever experienced. Imagine how many times greater heaven will be.


  1. In the future, the righteous will laugh at the wicked, because God is vindicated. When it seems to you like someone is getting away with their wickedness, try to take a long-term perspective. The righteous have the last laugh.

Key Verses

  • “Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually.” Psalm 52:1
  • “I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” Psalm 52:9

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