The Treasury of David

Psalm 19

Subject. It would be idle to enquire into the particular period when this delightful poem was composed, for their is nothing in its title or subject to assist us in the enquiry. The heading, “To the Chief Musician, a Psalm of David, “informs us that David wrote it, and that it was committed to the Master of the service of song in the sanctuary for the use of the assembled worshippers. In his earliest days the psalmist, while keeping his father’s flock, had devoted himself to the study of God’s two great books—nature and Scripture; and he had so thoroughly entered into the spirit of these two only volumes in his library that he was able with a devout criticism to compare and contrast them, magnifying the excellency of the Author as seen in both. How foolish and wicked are those who instead of accepting the two sacred tomes, and delighting to behold the same divine hand in each, spend all their wits in endeavouring to find discrepancies and contradictions. We may rest assured that the true “Vestiges of Creation” will never contradict Genesis, nor will a correct “Cosmos” be found at variance with the narrative of Moses. He is wisest who reads both the world book, and the Word book as two volumes of the same work, and feels concerning them, “My Father wrote them both.”

Division. This song very distinctly divides itself into three parts, very well described by the translators in the ordinary heading of our version. The creatures show God’s glory, Psalms 19:1-6. The word showeth his grace, Psalms 19:7-11. David prayeth for grace, Psalms 19:12-14. Thus praise and prayer are mingled, and he who here sings the work of God in the world without, pleads for a work of grace in himself within.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 19:10

Exposition

More to be desired are they than fine gold, yea, than much fine gold. Bible truth is enriching to the soul in the highest degree; the metaphor is one which gathers force as it is brought out;—gold—fine gold—much fine gold; it is good, better, best, and therefore it is not only to be desired with a miser’s avidity, but with more than that. As spiritual treasure is more noble than mere material wealth, so should it be desired and sought after with greater eagerness. Men speak of solid gold, but what is so solid as solid truth? For love of gold pleasure is forsworn, ease renounced, and life endangered; shall we not be ready to do as much for love of truth?

Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Trapp says, “Old people are all for profit, the young for pleasure; here’s gold for the one, yea, the finest gold in great quantity; here’s honey for the other, yea, live honey dropping from the comb.” The pleasures arising from a right understanding of the divine testimonies are of the most delightful order; earthly enjoyments are utterly contemptible, if compared with them. The sweetest joys, yea, the sweetest of the sweetest falls to his portion who has God’s truth to be his heritage.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

Ver. 7-11. See Psalms on “Psalms 19:7 for further information.

Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. Love the word written. Psalms 119:97. “Oh, how love I thy law!” “Lord, “said Augustine, “let the holy Scriptures be my chaste delight.” Chrysostom compares the Scripture to a garden, every truth is a fragrant flower, which we should wear, not on our bosom, but in our heart. David counted the word “sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.” There is that in Scripture which may breed delight. It shows us the way to riches: Deuteronomy 28:5 Proverbs 3:10; to long life: Psalms 34:12; to a kingdom: Hebrews 12:28. Well, then, may we count those the sweetest hours which are spent in reading the holy Scriptures; well may we say with the prophet (Jeremiah 15:16), “Thy words were found and I did eat them; and they were the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Thomas Watson.

Sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. There is no difference made amongst us between the delicacy of honey in the comb and that which is separated from it. From the information of Dr. Halle, concerning the diet of the Moors of Barbary, we learn that they esteem honey a very wholesome breakfast, “and the most delicious that which is in the comb with the young bees in it, before they come out of their cases, whilst they still look milk white.” (Miscellanea Curiosa vol. 3. pg 382.) The distinction made by the psalmist is then perfectly just and conformable to custom and practice, at least of more modern, and probably, equally so of ancient times. Samuel Burder, A.M., in “Oriental Customs, “1812.

Hints to the Village Preacher

Two arguments for loving God’s statutes—Profit and Pleasure.

The inexpressible delights of meditation on Scripture.
The Treasury of David.

Singing Psalms

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