The Treasury of David is one of several C.H. Spurgeon books that are in the public domain. If you propose to study the Psalms, I suggest you download this as a companion for your other references.
Title. A Psalm of David. The sweet singer of Israel appears before us in this Psalm as one enduring reproach; in this he was the type of the great Son of David, and is an encouraging example to us to carry the burden of slander to the throne of grace. It is an ingenious surmise that this appeal to heaven was written by David at the time of the assassination of Ishbosheth, by Baanah and Rechab, to protest his innocence of all participation in that treacherous murder; the tenor of the Psalm certainly agrees with the supposed occasion, but it is not possible with such a slender clue to go beyond conjecture.
Division. Unity of subject is so distinctly maintained, that there are no sharp divisions. David Dickson has given an admirable summary in these words:—”He appeals to God”, the supreme Judge, in the testimony of a good conscience, bearing him witness; first, of his endeavour to walk uprightly as a believer, Psalms 26:1-3; secondly, of his keeping himself from the contagion of the evil counsel, sinful causes, and examples of the wicked, Psalms 26:4-5; thirdly, of his purpose still to behave himself holily and righteously, out of love to be partaker of the public privileges of the Lord’s people in the congregation, Psalms 26:6-8 Whereupon he prayeth to be free of the judgment coming upon the wicked, Psalms 26:9-10 according as he had purposed to eschew their sins, Psalms 26:11 and he closes the prayer with comfort and assurance of being heard, Psalms 26:12.
The Treasury of David.
Gather not my soul with sinners. Lord, when, like fruit, I must be gathered, put me not in the same basket with the best of sinners, much less with the worst of them. The company of sinners is so distasteful to us here, that we cannot endure the thought of being bound up in the same bundle with them to all eternity. Our comfort is, that the Great Husbandman discerns the tares from the wheat, and will find a separate place for distinct characters. In the former verses we see that the psalmist kept himself clear of profane persons, and this is to be understood as a reason why he should not be thrust into their company at the last. Let us think of the doom of the wicked, and the prayer of the text will forcibly rise to our lips; meanwhile, as we see the rule of judgment by which like is gathered to its like, we who have passed from death unto life have nothing to fear. Nor my life with bloody men. Our soul sickens to hear them speak; their cruel dispatches, in which they treat the shooting of their fellow men as rare sport, are horrifying to us; Lord, let us not be shut up in the same prison with them; nay, the same paradise with such men would be a hell, if they remained as they are now.
Gather not my soul with sinners. Now is the time that people should be in care and concern, that their souls be not gathered with sinners in the other world. In discoursing from this doctrine we shall—
Death is the gathering time, which the psalmist has in view in the text. Ye have a time here that ye call the gathering time, about the term when the servants are going away, wherein ye gather your strayed sheep, that every one may get their own again. Death is God’s gathering time wherein he gets the souls belonging to him, and the devil those belonging to him. They did go long together, but then they are parted, and the saints are taken home to the congregation of saints, and sinners to the congregation of sinners. And it concerns us to say, “Gather not my soul with sinners.” Whoever be our people here, God’s people or the devil’s, death will gather our souls to them. It is a horrible thing to be gathered with sinners in the other world. To think of our souls being gathered with them there, may make the hair of one’s head stand up. Many now like no gathering like the gathering with sinners; it is the very delight of their hearts, it makes a brave jovial life in their eyes. And it is a pain to them to be gathered with saints, to be detained before the Lord on a Sabbath day. But to be gathered with them in the other world, is a horror to all sorts.
Gather not my soul with sinners. Bind me not up in the same bundle with them, like the tares for the fire. Matthew 13:30. The contrast to this is seen in the following Psalms 27:10, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up;” literally, will gather me to his fold. Christopher Wordsworth.
Gather not my soul with sinners. The Lord hath a harvest and a gleaning time also, set for cutting down and binding together, in the fellowship of judgments, God’s enemies, who have followed the same course of sinning: for here we are given to understand that God will “gather their souls,” and so will let none escape. David Dickson.
Gather not my soul with sinners. After all, it may be objected that this concern seems to be common with saints and sinners. Even a wicked Balaam said, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Numbers 23:10. Take a few differences between them in this matter.
Ver. 9-12. David prays that God would not “gather his soul with sinners, whose right hand is full of bribes; “such as, for advantage, would be bribed to sin, to which wicked gang he opposeth himself, Psalms 26:11; “But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity;” where he tells us what kept him from being corrupted and enticed, as they were; from God—it was his integrity. A soul walking in its integrity will take bribes neither from men, nor sin itself: and therefore he saith Psalms 26:12, “His foot stood in an even place; “or, as some read it, “My foot standeth in righteousness.” William Gurnall.
See “Spurgeon’s Sermons, “No. 524. “The Saints’ Horror at the Sinners’ Hell.”
The Treasury of David.
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