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. To the Chief Musician, He who had the leadership of the Temple service was charged with the use of this song in public worship. What is everybody’s business is never done. It was well to have one person specially to attend to the service of song in the house of the Lord. Of David the servant of the Lord. This would seem to indicate that the Psalm peculiarly befits one who esteems it an honour to be called Jehovah’s servant. It is The Song Of Happy Service; such a one as all may join in who bear the easy yoke of Jesus. The wicked are contrasted with the righteous, and the great Lord of devout men is heartily extolled; thus obedience to so good a Master is indirectly insisted on, and rebellion against him is plainly condemned.
Divisions. From Psalms 36:1-4 David describes the rebellious: in Psalms 36:5-9 he extols the various attributes of the Lord; in Psalms 36:10-11 he addresses the Lord in prayer, and in the last verse his faith sees in vision the overthrow of all the workers of iniquity.
The Treasury of David.
For. Here is the argument to prove the proposition laid down in the former verse. David here runs over the process of reasoning by which he had become convinced that wicked men have no proper idea of God or respect for him. God fearing men see their sins and bewail them, where the reverse is the case we may be sure there is no fear of God. He flattereth himself in his own eyes. He counts himself a fine fellow, worthy of great respect. He quiets his conscience, and so deceives his own judgment as to reckon himself a pattern of excellence; if not for morality, yet for having sense enough not to be enslaved by rules which are bonds to others. He is the free thinker, the man of strong mind, the hater of cant, the philosopher; and the servants of God are, in his esteem, mean spirited and narrow minded. Of all flatteries this is the most absurd and dangerous. Even the silliest bird will not set traps for itself; the most pettifogging attorney will not cheat himself. To smooth over one’s own conduct to one’s conscience (which is the meaning of the Hebrew) is to smooth one’s own path to hell. The descent to eternal ruin is easy enough, without making a glissade of it, as self flatters do. Until his iniquity be found to be hateful. At length he is found out and detested, despite his self conceit. Rottenness smells sooner or later too strong to be concealed. There is a time when the leprosy cannot be hidden. At last the old house can no longer be propped up, and falls about the tenant’s ears: so there is a limit to a man’s self gratulation; he is found out amid general scorn, and can no longer keep up the farce which he played so well. If this happens not in this life, the hand of death will let light in upon the coveted character, and expose the sinner to shame and contempt. The self flattering process plainly proves the atheism of sinners, since the bare reflection that God sees them would render such self flatteries extremely difficult, if not impossible. Belief in God, like light reveals, and then our sin and evil are perceived; but wicked men are in the dark, for they cannot see what is so clearly within them and around them that it stares them in the face.
For he flattereth himself in his own eyes. The matter which this self flattery especially concerns is sin, as appears from the following clause. He deceives himself as to its nature and consequences, its evil and aggravations, and he continues to do so until his iniquity be found to be hateful; till it be fully discovered, and appear in its magnitude and atrocious circumstances both to himself and others, by some awful divine judgment, such as that mentioned in the last verse of the Psalm: “There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise.” He adduces this self deceit and continuance in it, as illustrating the truth of that judgment he had formed of the state of such a person: There is no fear of God before his eyes: for he flattereth himself in his own eyes. And surely the proof is incontrovertible. For a man under the bondage of sin would never flatter himself in his own eyes, were it not that God is not before them. The reason why he thinks so well of himself is, that God is not in all his thoughts. He hath cast off all fear about himself because he hath no fear of God. John Jamieson.
He flattereth himself.
In his own eyes. He had not God before his eyes in holy awe, therefore he puts himself there in unholy admiration. He who makes little of God makes much of himself. They who forget adoration fall into adulation. The eyes must see something, and if they admire not God, they will flatter self. C.H.S.
Until his iniquity be found to be hateful; that is, until he finds by experience that it is a more dreadful thing to sin against God, and break his holy commands, than he imagined. Jonathan Edwards.
Hateful. Odious to himself, others, and to God. Gilbert Genebrard, 1537-1597.
The arts, motives, assistances, results, and punishments of self flattery, and the discovery which concludes it.
Self flatteries. Jonathan Edwards’ Sermon.
On the deceitfulness of the heart, with regard to the commission of sin. Two Sermons, in Jamieson’s “Sermons on the Heart.”
The Treasury of David.
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