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 44

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher

TITLE. To the Chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil. The title is similar to the forty-second, and although this is no proof that it is by the same author it makes it highly probable. No other writer should be sought for to father any of the Psalms when David will suffice, and therefore we are loathe to ascribe this sacred song to any but the great psalmist, yet as we hardly know any period of his life which it would fairly describe, we feel compelled to look elsewhere. Some Israelitish patriot fallen on evil times sings in mingled faith and sorrow, his country’s ancient glory and her present griefs, her traditions of former favor and her experience of pressing ills. By Christians, it can best be understood if put into the mouth of the church when persecution is peculiarly severe. The last verses remind us of Milton’s famous lines on the massacre of the Protestants among the mountains of Piedmont. The song before us is fitted for the voices of the saved by grace, the sons of Korah, and is to them and to all others full of teaching, hence the title Maschil.

DIVISION. From Ps 44:1-3, the Lord’s mighty works for Israel are rehearsed, and in remembrance of their faith in the Lord is expressed Ps 44:4-8. Then the notes of a complaint are heard Ps 44:9-16, the fidelity of the people to their God is aroused, Ps 44:17-22, and the Lord is entreated to interpose, Ps 44:23-26.

Verse 12. Thou sellest thy people for naught. As men sell merchandise to anyone who cares to have it, so the Lord seemed to hand over his people to any nation who might choose to make war upon them. Meanwhile, no good result was perceptible from all the miseries of Israel; so far as the psalmist could discover, the Lord’s name received no honor from the sorrows of his people; they were given away to their foes as if they were so little valued as not to be worth the ordinary price of slaves, and the Lord did not care to gain by them so long as they did but suffer. The woe expressed in this line is as vinegar mingled with gall: the expression is worthy of the weeping prophet. And dost not increase thy wealth by their price. If Jehovah had been glorified by all this wretchedness it could have been borne patiently, but it was the reverse; the Lord’s name had, through the nation’s calamities, been despised by the insulting heathen, who counted the overthrow of Israel to be the defeat of Jehovah himself. It always lightens a believer’s trouble when he can see that God’s great name will be honored thereby, but it is a grievous aggravation of misery when we appear to be tortured in vain. For our comfort let us rest satisfied that in reality the Lord is glorified, and when no revenue of glory is manifestly rendered to him, he nonetheless accomplishes his own secret purposes, of which the grand result will be revealed in due time. We do not suffer for naught, nor are our griefs without result.

Singing psalms 44


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