The Treasury of David

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.

Psalm 34

Title. Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed. Of this transaction, which reflects no credit upon David’s memory, we have a brief account in 1 Samuel 21:1-15. Although the gratitude of the psalmist prompted him thankfully to record the goodness of the Lord in vouchsafing an undeserved deliverance, yet he weaves none of the incidents of the escape into the narrative, but dwells only on the grand fact of his being heard in the hour of peril. We may learn from his example not to parade our sins before others, as certain vainglorious professors are wont to do who seem as proud of their sins as old Greenwich pensioners of their battles and their wounds. David played the fool with singular dexterity, but he was not so real a fool as to sing of his own exploits of folly. In the original, the title does not teach us that the psalmist composed this poem at the time of his escape from Achish, the king or Abimelech of Gath, but that it is intended to commemorate that event, and was suggested by it. It is well to mark our mercies with well carved memorials. God deserves our best handiwork. David in view of the special peril from which he was rescued, was at great pains with this Psalm, and wrote it with considerable regularity, in almost exact accordance with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is the second alphabetical Psalm, the twenty-fifth being the first.

Division. The Psalm is split into two great divisions at the close of Psalms 34:10, when the Psalmist having expressed his praise to God turns in direct address to men. The first ten verses are A Hymn, and the last twelve A Sermon. For further assistance to the reader we may subdivide thus: In Psalms 34:1-3, David vows to bless the Lord, and invites the praise of others; from Psalms 34:4-7 he relates his experience, and in Psalms 34:8-10 exhorts the godly to constancy of faith. In Psalms 34:1-14, he gives direct exhortation, and follows it up by didactic teaching from Psalms 34:15-22 to the close.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 34:20

Exposition

He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. David had come off with kicks and cuffs, but no broken bones. No substantial injury occurs to the saints. Eternity will heal all their wounds. Their real self is safe; they may have flesh wounds, but no part of the essential fabric of their being shall be broken. This verse may refer to frequent providential protections vouchsafed to the saints; but as good men have had broken limbs as well as others, it cannot absolutely be applied to bodily preservations; but must, it seems to me, be spiritually applied to great injuries of soul, which are for ever prevented by divine love. Not a bone of the mystical body of Christ shall be broken, even as his corporeal frame was preserved intact. Divine love watches over every believer as it did over Jesus; no fatal injury shall happen to us, we shall neither be halt or maimed in the kingdom, but shall be presented after life’s trials are over without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, being preserved in Christ Jesus, and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

He keepeth all his bones, which were very many. Perhaps (saith Abenezra here), David had been scourged by the Philistines, but his bones were not broken, nor were our Saviour’s. John 19:36. John Trapp.

All his bones. Muis observes, “It says not his body, for this he permits to be afflicted; but it signifies that the evils of the godly are light, and scarcely penetrate to the bone; “but Geier observes, “This is too subtle, rather the bone reminds us of the essential parts of the body, by whose injury the whole frame is endangered. It is a proverbial form of speech like that in Matthew 10:30, ‘The very hairs of your head are all numbered,’ expressing the remarkable defence afforded to the righteous.” Genebrard says, “The bones are put by synecdoche for all the members.” From Poli Synopsis.

The passover lamb, of which not a bone was broken, prefigured Jesus as one, “not a bone of whose body should be broken;” and yet, at the same time, it prefigured the complete keeping and safety of Christ’s body, the church; as it is written, He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken. Andrew A. Bonar’s Commentary on Leviticus.

Christ’s bones were in themselves breakable, but could not actually be broken by all the violence in the world, because God had fore decreed, a bone of him shall not be broken. So we confess God’s children mortal; but all the power of devil or man may not, must not, cannot, kill them before their conversion, according to God’s election of them to life, which must be fully accomplished. Thomas Fuller.

Observe as a point of resemblance between this and the following Psalm, the mention of the bones here and in Psalms 35:10. C. Wordsworth.

Hints to the Village Preacher

The real safety of a believer when in great perils. His soul, his spiritual life, his faith, hope, love, etc.; his interest in Jesus, his adoption, justification, these all kept.
The Treasury of David.

Singing psalms

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