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. Even short Psalms, if they record but one instance of the goodness of the Lord, and rebuke but briefly the pride of man, are worthy of our best minstrelsy. When we see that each Psalm is dedicated to “the chief musician, “it should make us value our psalmody, and forbid us to praise the Lord carelessly. Maschil. An Instructive. Even the malice of a Doeg may furnish instruction to a David. A Psalm of David. He was the prime object of Doeg’s doggish hatred, and therefore the most fitting person to draw from the incident the lesson concealed within it. When Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul, and saith unto him, David has come to the house of Ahimelech. By this deceitful tale-bearing, he procured the death of all the priests at Nob: though it had been a crime to have succored David as a rebel, they were not in their intent and knowledge guilty of the fault. David felt much the villany of this arch-enemy, and here he denounces him in vigorous terms; it may be also that he has Saul in his eye.
DIVISION. We shall follow the sacred pauses marked by the Selahs of the poet.
Verse 1. Why boasteth thyself in mischief, O mighty man? Doeg had small matter for boasting in having procured the slaughter of a band of defenseless priests. A mighty man indeed to kill men who never touched a sword! He ought to have been ashamed of his cowardice. He had no room for exultation! Honorable titles are ironic where the wearer is mean and cruel. If David alluded to Saul, he meant by these words pityingly to say, “How can one by nature fitted for nobler deeds, descend to so low a level as to find a theme for boasting in a slaughter so heartless and mischievous?” The goodness of God endureth continually. A beautiful contrast. The tyrant’s fury cannot dry up the perennial stream of divine mercy. If priests are slain their Master lives. If Doeg for awhile triumphs the Lord will outlive him, and right the wrongs which he has done. This ought to modify the proud exultations of the wicked, for after all, while the Lord liveth, iniquity has little cause to exalt itself.
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