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 17. Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing? What transport is here! What a monopolizing of all his emotions for the one object of praising God! Strength has been overcome by strength; not by the hero’s own prowess, but by the might of God alone. See how the singer girds himself with the almightiness of God and calls it all his own by faith. Sweet is the music of experience, but it is all for God; there is not even a stray note for man, for self, or for human helpers. For God is my defense, and the God of my mercy. With full assurance, he claims possession of the Infinite as his protection and security. He sees God in all, and all his own. Mercy rises before him, undisturbed and manifold, for he feels he is undeserving, and security is with him, undisturbed and impregnable, for he knows that he is safe in divine keeping. Oh, choice song! My soul would sing it now in defiance of all the dogs of hell. Away, away, ye adversaries of my soul, the God of my mercy will keep ye all at bay—

“Nor shall the infernal lion rend
Whom he designs to keep.”

Singing psalms 59

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