Ps. 52:8-9, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever…I will wait for your name, for it is good…”
David as a tree in God’s house is an image for his trusting in the Lord. As in Ps. 1:3—and even more clearly in Jer.17:8—intimate, pervasive, soul-dependence on YHWH is presented as a tree drawing up its life from nutrient-rich soil. The imagery here is interesting though because, rather than present the life-giving nature of YHWH or His words as a stream from which the tree draws its life, David says that He is a tree planted in the house of God. “In the house of God” replaces “by streams of water” (Ps.1:3; Jer.17:8), making the meaning of the metaphor even more explicit: The nutrient-rich soil upon which the tree of David’s life is sustained is the soil within the house of God, i.e., within the Name/Character/Identity of YHWH, whose Name dwells in a unique way in the temple. The tree that grows in the house of God is an image of the one whose life-roots are sunk deeply into the Name, Character, Identity of God, such that He Himself is his hope.
Ultimately, the Name for which God’s people wait (v.9), the steadfast love in which they trust (v.8b), and the House of God in whom they are planted (v.8a) is Jesus Christ. He Himself is the House of God, the Beth-el, the Temple in whom the fullness of God dwells bodily (Jn 2:21; Col.1:19,2:9), the locus of God’s Name/Character/Identity/Glory/Beauty within time and space (Jn 1:14,18, 8:28, 14:9; 2 Cor.4:4,6; Heb.1:3), the meeting place of Heaven and Earth, of God and Man (Jn 1:51, 14:6), the one in whom His people are planted such that they might be ever green and fruitful (Jn 15:5). He Himself is the steadfast love of God made flesh (1 Jn 4:10), the Covenant Character of God manifest in the body and poured out on any and all who would receive Him. And He Himself is the Name of God immaculately articulated without remainder into the sphere of creation, such that to trust in, or depend on, or wait for the Name of God is to trust in, depend on, and wait for this one…the Crucified Jesus who is Raised Up Again.