Psalm 53: ‘The Song of Man’s Disease’ 1. A Divine Repetition Psalm 53:1

Text: “For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not.  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed.” 

Job 33:14-15. 

Good morning, ever-listening Christian!  Like the author, you try to be consistently listening to hear the instructions of the Lord God Who has saved us, and now speaks to us through His inspired Word in order to direct our paths in the way in which He has predetermined we should go in Christ’s service daily.  We do well when we succeed in listening for the ‘...still small voice...’ of God the Spirit’s guidance. (1 Kings 19:12)

“But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried (tested) me, I shall come forth as gold.  My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have gone back from the Commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”  (Job 23:10-12)

Psalm 53 seems to be, at first view, a repetition of Psalm 14, yet when we take to mind what I and many others before me have called ‘The law of the double-mention’, we see that the Lord in His wisdom sees a great need to repeat the words of this Psalm, at two stages of time and history, and therefore it behoves you and I to take double-notice of what the Spirit of God is teaching us today reference this Psalm’s content.

“Title: ‘To the Chief Musician’. If the leader of the choir is privileged to sing the jubilates of Divine grace, he must not disdain to chant the miseries of human depravity.  This is the second time he has had the same Psalm entrusted to him (see Psalm 14), and he must, therefore, be the more careful in singing it.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 245)

When once we water down the doctrine of mankind’s fallen nature, and call it anything less than Total Depravity, we make a grievous error in our belief system, and elevate the fallen nature of mankind to a level unsustainable by him.  The Fall of our progenitors -Adam and Eve - was a total fall from God’s grace, and you and I inherit that full level of Total Depravity from him/her.  The apostle Paul was well aware of this fact of our fallen nature.

“For I know that in me (that is in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will (the will to do good) is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”   (Romans 7:18)

Brother Job put it a little more down to earth when he said: “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?  Not one.”  (Job 14:4)

And again, the Holy Spirit inspired words of Paul: “...There is none righteous, no, not one.”  (Romans 3:10)

The seeming repetition of Psalm 14 as Psalm 53 can, therefore, be seen by us as God the Holy Spirit, emphasising the state of ‘man’s disease’, that is sin within our fallen nature.

“’Upon Mahalath.’  The word ‘Mahalath’ appears to signify, in some forms of it, ‘disease,’ and truly this Psalm is ‘The Song of Man’s Disease’, - the mortal, hereditary taint of sin.  It is not a copy of the Fourteenth Psalm emended and revised by a foreign hand; it is another edition by the same author emphasized in certain parts and rewritten for another purpose.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 245)

“Subject: The evil nature of man is here brought before our view a second time in almost the same inspired words.  All repetitions are not vain repetitions.  We are slow to learn and need line upon line.  David, after a long life, found men no better than they were in his youth.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 245)

R.H. Ryland (1853) wrote: “Probably the two Psalms (14 & 53) refer to different periods: the Fourteenth to the earlier portion of the world, or of Jewish history; the Fifty-third, to a later, perhaps a still future time.  Jehovah, through Christ, is frequently said to turn to the world to see what its condition is and always with the same result.  ‘All flesh had corrupted its way’ in the days of Noah, and ‘when the Son of Man cometh’ again, it is intimated that He will scarcely ‘find faith on the earth.’  The two Psalms also apply to different persons.”

“The Lord looked down from Heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand and seek God.  They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  (Psalm 14:2)

Perhaps we, in the 21st Century church internationally, can more fully comprehend the serious concept of ‘Man’s Disease’, that is sin.  Today we see gross sin masquerading as ‘politically correct’ human rights; and permitted to flaunt its disobedient rebellion against our Holy Lord God in public parades throughout capital cities that have become modern day Sodoms.  Apparently, it is not enough to be merely permitted such vile effrontery, but that it must be legislated into our legal systems by those obviously suffering from the said Fallen ‘disease’!

“But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare My statutes, or that thou shouldest take My Covenant in thy mouth?”  (Psalm 50:16)

Such ungodly legislators think that they can redefine the vileness of human sin by making social laws that call sin ‘normal behaviour’ and seek to compel nations to psychologically deny what their eyes and minds are informing us is true reality!  We see a male, for example, dressed in female attire, wearing female face make-up, which doesn’t match the face hair it is caked to – and are being forced to address such individuals as ‘Miss’, or ‘Mam’, etc!  Many sincere Christian employees are actually losing their jobs today, for refusing to bend their realities concerning the gender-bending antics of depraved fools!

“Shall the throne of iniquity have fellowship with thee, which frameth mischief by a law?  They gather themselves against the soul of the righteous, and condemn the innocent blood.”  (Psalm 94:20-21)

Thought:  Psalm 53, once more sings ‘The Song of Man’s Disease’ – in the hope that all who hear it might turn away from their sin in repentance, before that great Day of the Lord!  Jesus comes SOON, and His rod is in His righteous hand.  Turn or Burn?

3. The Rewards of the Persecuted Psalm 52:8-9

Text:  “Blessed (blessed with perpetual blessings) are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:10-12.

          “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be manifest in our body.  For we which live (Spiritually live!) are always delivered unto death for Jesus’s sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  So then death worketh in us, but life in you.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-12.

Good morning 21 Century evangelical Christian!  This morning I have quoted quite a long double-text to complete this three-part Bible Lesson on the subject of Doeg, and the harm he did to God’s people in his day.  I have done so, because I see a great increase and upsurge in Doeg-like antichristian persecutions and hindrances taking place right now, in the year 2022, and throughout societies internationally – heralding in the end of the times of the Gentiles, and ushering in the Second Advent of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.

If YOU or anyone reading this Bible exposition has NOT noticed this increasing trend of antichristian, ‘politically-correct’ spirit abounding throughout our so-called Christian nations – then perhaps it is time for you to wake up, and smell the stink of apostasy and corruption taking place all around us.  Harsh words?  Perhaps, but I believe, very and urgently necessary at this time.  An old Irish politician once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (Edmund Burke 1729-1797) 

Let us ask ourselves, brethren, ‘What NOTHING are you and I doing today for Christ Jesus?”

The story of what Doeg did to God’s people, found in the book of 1 Samuel, chapter 22, reveals the nature of such anti-Christian people, and the fact that they can often be found in places of high political, legal, or ecclesiastical power – most dangerous places for God’s people to find them.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Ephesians 6:11-12)

Satan stands behind every Doeg, every hinderer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; every persecutor of Christian people, nationally, and internationally today.  Make no mistake, dear Reader, it matters not whether it is happening in China, North Korea; India; Nigeria; or here in Great Britain – behind every regime, every State, every religious institution or Court of Law which frames laws and exercises powers against God’s Laws and Christian values, Satan stands over the scene and enables his servants to persecute Christ’s Redeemed.

Yet, the Lord has never, nor will ever leave ‘His people’ without the help of His Holy Presence; we have the ultimate Victory – in Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  Jesus reigns Supreme!

“These things have I (Jesus Christ) spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) 

This is how the Spirit of God directed the Psalmist in reference to the doom of Doeg, and all such would-be Doegs throughout history and even the Doegs of today:

Verse 7.  “This is the man that made not God his strength... Behold the man, the great, vainglorious man!  He found a fortress, but not in God; he gloried in his might, but not in the Almighty.  Where is he now?  How has it fared with him in the hour of his need?  Behold his ruin and be instructed.

“...But trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness. The substance he had gathered and the mischiefs he had wrought were his boast and glory.  Wealth and wickedness are dreadful companions; when combined they make a monster.  When the Devil is master of money-bags, he is a Devil indeed.  Beelzebub and Mammon together heat the furnace seven times hotter for the child of God, but in the end they shall work out their own destruction.  Wherever we see today a man great in sin and substance, we shall do well to anticipate his end and view this verse as the Divine in memoriam.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, pages 243-244)

Meanwhile, those saints persecuted by a Doeg, or his like today in places of high power over others, have their end well prepared for them, by the hand of a truly gracious and loving Father.

Verse 8.  “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  For any plant to be ‘green’, it must first be alive; and the born again child of God is made Eternally alive by God the Spirit, through the grace of God the Father; and according to the full Atonement of Christ Jesus made for us, ‘His people’ on Calvary’s cruel Cross. 

“And you hath He quickened (made Spiritually alive), who were dead in trespasses and sins...even when we were dead in sins, hath He quickened us together with Christ, (by grace are ye saved).”  (Ephesians 2:1;5-6)

Verse 9.  “I will praise Thee forever, because Thou has done it. It is the Sovereign Lord God Jehovah Who has saved us, His elect people, not we ourselves.  Therefore we shall indeed praise the Lord forever, and all the Doegs, hinderers, and persecutors of this old world, cannot pluck us from the hand of the Almighty Lord of Heaven and earth.  Hallelujah!

Thought:  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”  Rejoice, Blood-bought Christian!  Satan trembles at the sound of our praises.  Glory to the Lamb Who comes soon to end all wickedness!  (Psalm 30:5b)  Hallelujah!  Come, Lord Jesus!

2. The Inevitable Doom of a Doeg! Psalm 52:5-7

Text: “God shall likewise destroy thee forever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.”

Psalm 52:5.

Good morning, righteous Christian!  ‘All those that are ‘ Christ Jesus..’, and seeking to fervently, and actively serve the Lord, ‘...shall suffer persecution...’.  It is a direct promise from God, and has been evidenced to be continually at work down throughout the history of Christ’s Church.  If YOU have not suffered such attendant ‘persecution’, hindrance, oppositions; and betrayals – perhaps you should examine yourself and prove to yourself, whether ye be in the true Christian faith at all!  Sobering thought on this Lord’s Day.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”   (2 Timothy 3:12)

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove (test) your own selves.  Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates (rejected of God)?  But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates.”  (2 Corinthians 13:5-6)

Doeg was such a reprobate, passed over by God in election for Salvation; rejected of God according to His own Sovereign will and Eternal purpose.  He proved himself to be so when he, not only sought to inform Saul on the whereabouts of God’s anointed king, David; but then took the sword to the God-fearing priests of Nob, and put 85 servants of the Living Lord God to death! 

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.”  (Matthew 6:18-20)

Psalm 52, verses 5 to 7 – in the inspiration of God the Spirit – clearly portrays the absolute doom of such persons as the sycophantic flatterer and cruel persecutor, Doeg.  It is a doom that will be shared by all who, not only despise the Word of God, but who dare to cause hurt and hindrance to Christ’s active servants.  All potential Doegs, beware!

“God shall likewise destroy thee forever, He shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living.” (Psalm 52:5)

“Selah (now think on this).  Let us pause and look at the proud, blustering liar.  Doeg is gone, but other dogs bark at the Lord’s people.  Saul’s cattle-master is buried, but the Devil still has his drovers who fain would hurry the saints like sheep to the slaughter.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 243)

Matthew Henry expounds this Scripture in this manner:

Verse 5: "Thou hast destroyed the priests of the Lord and cut them off, and therefore God shall likewise destroy thee forever.’’  Sons of perdition actively shall be sons of perdition passively, as Judas and the man of sin.  Destroyers shall be destroyed; those especially that hate, and persecute, and destroy the priests of the Lord, his ministers and people, who are made to our God priests, a royal priesthood. They shall be taken away with a swift and everlasting destruction.  

“Doeg is here condemned: To be driven out of the church: He shall pluck thee out of the tabernacle, not thy dwelling-place, but God’s (so it is most probably understood); "thou shalt be cut off from the favour of God, and his presence, and all communion with him, and shalt have no benefit either by oracle or offering.’’  Justly was he deprived of all the privileges of God’s house who had been so mischievous to his servants; he had come sometimes to God’s tabernacle, and attended in his courts, but he was detained there; he was weary of his service, and sought an opportunity to defame his family; it was very fit therefore that he should be taken away, and plucked out thence; we should forbid anyone our house that should serve us so.  

“Note: We forfeit the benefit of ordinances if we make an ill use of them. To be driven out of the world; "He shall root thee out of the land of the living, in which thou thoughtest thyself so deeply rooted.’’ When good men die they are transplanted from the land of the living on earth, the nursery of the plants of righteousness, to that in heaven, the garden of the Lord, where they shall take root for ever.  But, when wicked men die, they are rooted out of the land of the living, to perish forever, as fuel to the fire of divine wrath. This will be the portion of those that contend with God.”  (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, by Matthew Henry, 1662-1714)

What a doom awaits those that act like a Doeg!  What Eternal horror awaits those that dare to harm God’s anointed and Eternally chosen servants!  God’s dire warning is made very clear: “He (God) suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not Mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”     (1 Chronicles 16:21-22)

Every true Spiritually regenerated soul is anointed by God to be so in Eternity, and given to Christ then as the Father’s gift to His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus.

“All that the Father giveth Me, shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.”  (John 6:37)

“Now He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest (guarantee) of the Spirit in our hearts (inner being).” (1 Corinthians 1:21-22)

The Doegs of this world do not seem to realise for a moment what infinite cost it took to redeem us, God’s people, from our sins, and to grant us Eternal life in Christ Jesus.  God the Father had to cruelly sacrifice His only begotten lamb; His Eternal Son; upon that ruthless Roman gibbet Cross, to purchase us back from our vile sins, by Christ’s sinless and Holy Blood.  What an infinite Sacrifice to make, that we might become God’s anointed people!

Having paid such a Divine and infinite price for ‘His people’ – woe betide any would-be a Doeg to do harm to God’s anointed Christian people.  An Eternal Hell of horrors awaits such would-be tyrants and persecutors of those whom God dearly loves.  Anti-Christians beware!

Thought: He/she who strikes/hurts the Christian – seeks to strike/hurt the Christ!