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 58

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher

To the Chief Musician. Although David had his own case in his mind’s eye, he wrote not as a private person, but as an inspired prophet, and therefore his song is presented, for public and perpetual use, to the appointed guardian of the Temple psalmody. Altaschith. The wicked are here judged and condemned, but over the godly, the sacred “Destroy not” is solemnly pronounced. Michtam of David. This is the fourth of the Psalms of the Golden Secret, and the second of the “Destroy nots.” These names if they serve for nothing else may be useful to aid the memory. Men give names to their horses, jewels, and other valuables, and these names are meant not so much to describe as to distinguish them, and in some cases to set forth the owner’s high esteem of his treasure; after the same fashion, the Oriental poet gave a title to the song he loved, and so aided his memory, and expressed his estimation of the strain. We are not always to look for meaning in these superscriptions, but to treat them as we would the titles of poems or the names of tunes.

DIVISION. The ungodly enemy is accused, Ps 58:1-5; judgment is sought from the judge, Ps 58:6-8; and seen in a prophetic vision as already executed Ps 58:9-11.

Verse 8. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away. As the snail makes its own way by its slime, and so dissolves as it goes, or as its shell is often found empty, as though the inhabitant had melted away, so shall the malicious eat out their own strength while they proceed upon their malevolent designs, and shall themselves disappear. To destroy himself by envy and chagrin is the portion of the ill-disposed. Like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Solemn is this curse, but how surely does it fall on many graceless wretches! They are as if they had never been. Their character is shapeless, hideous, and revolting. They are fitter to be hidden away in an unknown grave than to be reckoned among men. Their life comes never to ripeness, their aims are abortive, and their only achievement is to have brought misery to others, and horror to themselves. Such men as Herod, Judas, Alva, Bonner, had it not been better for them if they had never been born? Better for the mothers who bore them? Better for the lands they cursed? Better for the earth in which their putrid carcasses are hidden from the sun? Every unregenerate man is an abortion. He misses the true form of God-made manhood; he corrupts in the darkness of sin; he never sees or shall see the light of God in purity, in heaven.

Singing psalms 58


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