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

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 6. They gather themselves together. Firebrands burn the fiercer for being pushed together. They are afraid to meet the good man till their numbers place terrible odds against him. Come out, ye cowards, man to man, and fight the old hero! No, ye wait till ye are assembled like thieves in bands, and even then ye waylay the man. There is nothing brave about you. They hide themselves. In ambuscade, they wait for their opportunity. Men of malice are men of cowardice. He who dares not meet his man on the king’s highway writes himself down as a villain. Constantly are the reputations of good men assailed with deep-laid schemes, and diabolical plots, in which the anonymous enemies stab in the dark. They mark my steps, as hunters mark the trail of their game, and so track them. Malicious men are frequently very sharp-sighted to detect the failings, or supposed failings, of the righteous. Spies and mouchards are not all in the pay of earthly governments, some of them will have wages to take in red hot coin from one who himself is more subtle than all the beasts of the field. When they wait for my soul. Nothing less than his life would content them, only his present and eternal ruin could altogether glut them. The good man is no fool, he sees that he has enemies and that they are many and crafty; he sees also his own danger, and then he shows his wisdom by spreading the whole case before the Lord and putting himself under divine protection.

Singing psalms 56


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