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 10. In God will I praise his word. Now comes thanksgiving. He is a wretch who, having obtained help, forgets to return a grateful acknowledgment. The least we can do is to praise him from whom we receive such distinguished favors. Does David here mean “by God’s grace I will praise him”? If so, he shows us that all our emotions towards God must be in God, produced by him and presented as such. Or does he mean, “that which in God is most the object of my praise is his word and the faithfulness with which he keeps it”? If so, we see how attached our hearts should be to the sure word of promise, and especially to him who is the WORD incarnate. The Lord is to be praised under every aspect, and in all his attributes and acts, but certain mercies peculiarly draw out our admiration towards special portions of the great whole. That praise which is never special in its direction cannot be very thoughtful, and it is to be feared cannot be very acceptable. In the Lord will I praise his word. He delights to dwell on his praise, he, therefore, repeats his song. The change by which he brings in the glorious name of Jehovah is doubtless meant to indicate that under every aspect he delights in his God and in his word.

Singing psalms 56

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