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 59

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


To the Chief Musician. Strange that the painful events in David’s life should end in enriching the repertoire of the national minstrelsy. Out of a sour, ungenerous soil spring up the honey-bearing flowers of psalmody. Had he never been cruelly hunted by Saul, Israel, and the church of God after ages would have missed this song? The music of the sanctuary is in no small degree indebted to the trials of the saints. Affliction is the tuner of the harps of sanctified songsters. Altaschith. Another “destroy not” Psalm. Whom God preserves Satan cannot destroy. The Lord can even preserve the lives of his prophets by the very ravens that would naturally pick out their eyes. David always found a friend to help him when his case was peculiarly dangerous, and that friend was in his enemy’s household; in this instance, it was Michal, Saul’s daughter, as on former occasions it had been Jonathan, Saul’s son. Michtam of David. This is the Fifth of the Golden Secrets of David: God’s chosen people have many such. When Saul sent, they watched the house to kill him. Great efforts were made to carry the Psalms away to other authors and seasons than those assigned in the headings, it being the fashion just now to prove one’s learning by disagreeing with all who have gone before. Perhaps in a few years, the old titles will be as much reverenced as they are now rejected. There are spasms in these matters, and in many other things among them would-be “intellectuals” of the schools. We are not anxious to show our readiness at conjecture, and therefore are content with reading this Psalm in the light of the circumstances here mentioned; it does not seem unsuitable to any verse, and in some, the words are very appropriate to the specified occasion.

DIVISION. In Ps 59:1-2 he prays, in Ps 59:3-4 he complains of his woes, and again in Ps 59:5, he prays. Here he inserts a Selah and ends one portion of his song. In Ps 59:6-7 he renews his complaint, in Ps 59:8-10 declares his confidence in God, and in Ps 59:11-13 lifts up his heart in prayer; closing another part of his Psalm with Selah. Then he prays again in Ps 59:14-15 and afterward betakes himself to singing.

Verse 13. Consume them in wrath. As if he had changed his mind and would have them brought to a speedy end, or if spared would have them exist as ruins, he cries, consume them, and he redoubles his cry, consume them; nay, he gives a triple note, that they may not be. Revilers of God whose mouths pour forth such filth as David was on this occasion obliged to hear, are not to be tolerated by a holy soul; indignation must flame forth, and cry to God against them. When men curse the age and the place in which they live, common humanity leads the righteous to desire that they may be removed. If they could be reformed it would be infinitely better; but if they cannot, if they must and will continue to be like mad dogs in a city, then let them cease to be. Who can desire to see such a generation perpetuated? And let them know; i.e., let all the nations know, that God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth. He whose government is universal fixes his headquarters among his chosen people, and there is special he punishes sin. So David would have all men see. Let even the most remote nations know that the great moral Governor has the power to destroy ungodliness, and does not wink at iniquity in any, at any time, or in any place. When sin is manifestly punished it is a valuable lesson to all mankind. The overthrow of a Napoleon is a homily for all monarchs, the death of a Tom Paine a warning to all infidels, the siege of Paris a sermon to all cities. Selah. Good cause there is for this rest, when a theme so wide and important is introduced. Solemn subjects ought not to be hurried over; nor should the condition of the heart while contemplating themes so high be a matter of indifference. Reader, bethink thee. Sit thou awhile and consider the ways of God with men.

Singing psalms 59

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