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 13. For thou hast delivered my soul from death. His enemies were defeated in their attempts upon his life, and therefore he vowed to devote his life to God. Wilt, not thou deliver my feet from falling? One mercy is a plea for another, for indeed it may happen that the second is the necessary complement of the first. It is little boots that we live if we are made to fall in character by the thrusts of our enemies. As lief not be, as live to be bereft of honor, and fall prostrate before my enemies. That I may walk before God in the light of the living, enjoying the favor and presence of God, and finding the joy and brightness of life therein. Walking at liberty, in holy service, in sacred communion, in constant progress in holiness, enjoying the smile of heaven—this I seek after. Here is the loftiest reach of a good man’s ambition, to dwell with God, to walk in righteousness before him, to rejoice in his presence, and in the light and glory which it yields. Thus in this short Psalm, we have climbed from the ravenous jaws of the enemy into the light of Jehovah’s presence, a path that only faith can tread.

Singing psalms 56

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