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 37

Title. Of David. There is but this word to denote the authorship; whether it was a song or a meditation we are not told. It was written by David in his old age Psalms 37:25, and is the more valuable as the record of so varied an experience.

Subject. The great riddle of the prosperity of the wicked and the affliction of the righteous, which has perplexed so many, is here dealt with in the light of the future; and fretfulness and repining are most impressively forbidden. It is a Psalm in which the Lord hushes most sweetly the too common repinings of his people, and calms their minds as to his present dealings with his own chosen flock, and the wolves by whom they are surrounded. It contains eight great precepts, is twice illustrated by autobiographical statements, and abounds in remarkable contrasts.

Division. The Psalm can scarcely be divided into considerable sections. It resembles a chapter of the book of Proverbs, most of the verses being complete in themselves. It is an alphabetical Psalm: in somewhat broken order, the first letters of the verses follow the Hebrew alphabet. This may have been not only a poetical invention, but a help to memory. The reader is requested to read the Psalm through without comment before he turns to our exposition.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 37:3

Exposition

Trust in the Lord. Here is the second precept, and one appropriate to the occasion. Faith cures fretting. Sight is cross-eyed, and views things only as they seem, hence her envy: faith has clearer optics to behold things as they really are, hence her peace. And do good. True faith is actively obedient. Doing good is a fine remedy for fretting. There is a joy in holy activity which drives away the rust of discontent. So shalt thou dwell in the land. In “the land” which floweth with milk and honey; the Canaan of the covenant. Thou shalt not wander in the wilderness of murmuring, but abide in the promised land of content and rest. “We which have believed do enter into rest.” Very much of our outward depends upon the inward: where there is heaven in the heart there will be heaven in the house. And verily thou shalt be fed, or shepherded. To integrity and faith necessaries are guaranteed. The good shepherd will exercise his pastoral care over all believers. In truth they shall be fed, and fed on truth. The promise of God shall be their perpetual banquet; they shall neither lack in spirituals nor in temporals. Some read this as an exhortation, “Feed on truth;” certainly this is good cheer, and banishes for ever the hungry heart burnings of envy.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

Note well the double precept trust and do. This is the true order, the two must go together, the one produces, the other proves; the promise is to both. C.H.S.

So shall thou dwell in the land, etc. Thou shalt have a settlement, a quiet settlement, and a maintenance, a comfortable maintenance: Verily thou shalt be fed; some read it, Thou shalt be fed by faith, as the just are said to live by faith, and it is good living, good feeding upon the promises. Verily thou shalt be fed, as Elijah in the famine, with what is needful for thee. God himself is a shepherd, a feeder to all those that trust in him, Psalms 23:1. Matthew Henry.

So shalt thou dwell in the land, etc. The land of Canaan was considered as the sum of earthly, and the type of heavenly felicity: to be provided for in the Lord’s land, and there to dwell under his protection, near his ordinances, and among his people, was all that the genuine Israelite could desire. Thomas Scott (1744-1821) in loc.

Thou shalt be fed. A manner of speech taken from cattle feeding securely, under the conduct and keeping of a good shepherd. Henry Ainsworth.

Thou shalt be fed. Fed in plenty. Thomas Secker (Archbishop), 1768.

Fed in security. John Parkhurst.

Hints to the Village Preacher

  1. A combination descriptive of holy living.
  2. A combination descriptive of happy living.

The believer portrayed.

  1. His object of trust.
  2. His mode of life.
  3. His place of abode.
  4. His certainty of provision.

(last clause). Read it in four ways.

  1. “Certainly fed, “or the certainty of supply.
  2. “Fed in verity, “or the sufficiency of the provision for soul and body.
  3. “Fed on truth, “or the spirituality of the provision.
  4. “Feed on truth, “or the duty of choosing such provision.

The Treasury of David.

Singing Psalms 37

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