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 56

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


TITLE.To the Chief Musician. That mighty minstrel by degrees acquired a noble repertoire of hallowed songs and set them all to music. Upon Jonathelemrechokim—this was probably the title of the tune, as we should say Old Hundred or Sicilian Mariners. Perhaps the title may however belong to the Psalm, and if so it is instructive, for it has been translated as “the silent dove in distant places.” We have here the songs of God’s servant, who rejoices once more to return from banishment and to leave those dangerous places where he was compelled to hold his peace even from good. There is such deep spiritual knowledge in this Psalm that we might say of it, “Blessed art thou David Barjonas, for flesh and blood hath not revealed this unto thee.” When David plays Jonah he is not like the prophet of that name; in David, the love of the dove predominates, but in Jonah, its moaning and complaining are most notable. Michtam of David. This is the second golden Psalm, we had the first in Psalm 16, to which this Psalm has a great likeness, especially in its close, for it ends in the joyful presence. A golden mystery, the gracious secret of the life of faith is in both these Psalms most sweetly unveiled, and a pillar is set up because of God’s truth. When the Philistines took him to Gath. He was like a dove in strangers’ hands, and on his escape, he records his gratitude.

DIVISION. In Ps 56:1-2, he pours out his complaint; in Ps 56:3-4 he declares his confidence in God; in Ps 56:5-6 he returns to his complaining, but pleads in earnest hope in Ps 56:7-9, and sings a grateful song from Ps 56:10 to the close.

Verse 5. Every day they wrest my words. This is a common mode of warfare among the ungodly. They put our language on the rack, they extort meanings from it that it cannot be made fairly to contain. Thus our Saviour’s prophecy concerning the temple of his body, and countless accusations against his servants, were founded on wilful perversions. They who do this every day become great adepts in the art. A wolf can always find in a lamb’s discourse a reason for eating him. Prayers are blasphemies if you choose to read them the wrong way upwards. All their thoughts are against me for evil. No mixture of goodwill tones down their malice. Whether they viewed him as a king, a psalmist, a man, a father, a warrior, or a sufferer, it was all the same, they saw through colored glass, and could not think a generous thought towards him. Even those actions of his which were an undoubted blessing to the commonwealth, they endeavored to undervalue. Oh, foul spring, from which never a drop of pure water can come!

Singing psalms 56

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