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 61

Exposition
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher


TITLE.To the Chief Musician upon Neginah, a Psalm of David. The original indicates that both the hymn and the musical instrument were David’s. He wrote the verses and himself sang them to the stringed instrument whose sound he loved so well. We have left the Psalms entitled Michtam, but we shall still find much precious meaning though the golden name is wanting. We have met with the title of this Psalm before, in Psalms 4, 6, 54, and 55, but with this difference, that in the present case the word is in the singular number: the Psalm itself is very personal, and well adapted for the private devotion of a single individual.

SUBJECT AND DIVISION. This Psalm is a pearl. It is little but precious. To many a mourner it has furnished utterance when the mind could not have devised a speech for itself. It was evidently composed by David after he had come to the throne,—see Ps 61:6. The second verse leads us to believe that it was written during the psalmist’s enforced exile from the tabernacle, which was the visible abode of God: if so, the period of Absalom’s rebellion has been most suitably suggested as the date of its authorship, and Delitzsch is correct in entitling it, “Prayer and thanksgiving of an expelled King on his way back to his throne.” We might divide the verses according to the sense, but it is preferable to follow the author’s own arrangement and make a break at each SELAH.

Verse 1. Hear my cry, O God. He was in terrible earnest; he shouted, he lifted up his voice on high. He is not however content with the expression of his need: to give his sorrows vent is not enough for him, he wants an actual audience of heaven, and manifold succor as the result. Pharisees may rest in their prayers; true believers are eager for an answer to them: ritualists may be satisfied when they have, “said or sung” their litanies and collects, but living children of God will never rest till their supplications have entered the ears of the Lord God of Sabaoth. Attend unto my prayer. Give it thy consideration, and such an answer as thy wisdom sees fit. When it comes to crying with us, we need not doubt that it will come to attending with God. Our heavenly Father is not hardened against the cries of his own children. What a consoling thought it is that the Lord at all times hears his people’s cries, and is never forgetful of their prayers; whatever else fails to move him, praying breath is never spent in vain!

Singing Psalms 61

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