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 47

Exposition
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher
Other Works


TITLE. To the Chief Musician. Many songs were dedicated to this leader of the chorus, but he was not overloaded thereby. God’s service is such delight that it cannot weary us; and that choicest part of it, the singing of his praises, is so pleasurable that we cannot have too much of it. Doubtless, the chief musician, as he was commissioned with so many sacred songs, felt that the more the merrier. A Psalm for the Sons of Korah. We cannot agree with those who think that the sons of Korah were the authors of these Psalms; they have all the indications of David’s authorship that one could expect to see. Our ear has grown accustomed to the ring of David’s compositions, and we are morally certain that we hear it in this Psalm. Every expert would detect here the autography of the Son of Jesse, or we are greatly mistaken. The Sons of Korah sang these Psalms, but we believe they did not write them. Fit singers were they whose origin reminded them of sin, whose existence was a proof of sovereign grace, and whose name has a close connection with the name of Calvary.

SUBJECT. Whether the immediate subject of this Psalm is the carrying up of the ark from the house of Obededom to Mount Zion or the celebration of some memorable victory, it would be hard to decide. As even the doctors differ, who should dogmatize? But it is very clear that both the present sovereignty of Jehovah and the final victories of our Lord is here fitly hymned, while his ascension, as the prophecy of them, is sweetly gloried in.

DIVISION. In so short a Psalm, there is no need of any other division than that indicated by the musical pause at the end of Ps 47:4.

Verse 7. For God is the King of all the earth. The Jews of our Saviour’s time resented this truth, but had their hearts been right they would have rejoiced in it. They would have kept their God to themselves, and not even have allowed the Gentile dogs to eat the crumbs from under his table. Alas! how selfishness turns honey into wormwood. Jehovah is not the God of the Jews only, all the nations of the earth are, through the Messiah, yet to own him, Lord. Meanwhile, his providential throne governs all events beneath the sky. Sing praises with understanding. Sing a didactic Psalm. Sound doctrine praises God. Even under the economy of types and ceremonies, it is clear that the Lord had regard to the spirituality of worship, and would be praised thoughtfully, intelligently, and with a deep appreciation of the reason for the song. It is to be feared from the slovenly way in which some make noise in singing, that they fancy any sound will do. On the other hand, from the great attention paid by some to the mere music, we feel sadly sure that the sense has no effect upon them. Is it not a sin to be tickling men’s ears with sounds when we profess to be adoring the Lord? What has a sensuous delight in organs, anthems, etc., to do with devotion? Do not men mistake physical effects for spiritual impulses? Do they not often offer to God strains far more calculated for human amusement than for divine acceptance? An understanding enlightened of the Holy Spirit is then and then only fully capable of offering worthy praise.

Singing psalms 47

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