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 65

Exposition
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher


TITLE. This title is very similar to many we have before studied. To the Chief Musician. It is consigned to the care of the usual overseer of the song. When a man does his work well, there is no use in calling in others for novelty’s sake. A Psalm and song of David. The Hebrew calls it a Shur and Mizmor, a combination of psalm and song, which may be best described by the term, “A Lyrical Poem.” In this case, the Psalm may be said or sung, and be equally suitable. We have had two such Psalms before, Psalms 30 and 48, and we have now the first of a little series of four following each other. It was meant that Psalms of pleading and longing should be followed by hymns of praise.

SUBJECT AND DIVISION. David sings of the glory of God in his church, and in the fields of nature: here is the song both of grace and providence. It may be that he intended hereby to commemorate a remarkably plentiful harvest or to compose a harvest hymn for all ages. It appears to have been written after a violent rebellion had been quelled, Ps 65:7, and foreign enemies had been subdued by signal victory, Ps 65:8. It is one of the most delightful hymns in any language. We shall view in Ps 65:1-4 the way of approach to God, then from Ps 65:5-8 we shall see the Lord in answer to prayer performing wonders for which he is praised, and then from Ps 65:9-13, we shall sing the special harvest song.

Verse 5. By terrible things, in righteousness wilt, thou answer us, O God of our salvation. God’s memorial is that he hears prayer, and his glory is that he answers it in a manner fitted to inspire awe in the hearts of his people. The saints, in the commencement of the Psalm, offered praise in reverential silence; and now, in the like awe-stricken spirit, they receive answers to their prayers. The direct allusion here is, no doubt, to the Lord’s overthrow of the enemies of his people in ways calculated to strike terror into all beholders; his judgments in their severe righteousness were calculated to excite fear both among friends and foes. Who would not fear a God whose blows are so crushing? We do not always know what we are asking for when we pray; when the answer comes, the veritable answer, it is possible that we may be terrified by it. We seek sanctification, and trial will be the reply: we ask for more faith, and more affliction is the result: we pray for the spread of the gospel, and persecution scatters us. Nevertheless, it is good to ask on, for nothing which the Lord grants in his love can do us any harm. Terrible things will turn out to be blessed things after all, where they come in answer to prayer. See in this verse how righteousness and salvation are united, the terrible things with the gracious answers. Where but in Jesus could they be blended? The God who saves may answer our prayers in a way that puts unbelief into a flutter; but when faith spies the Saviour, she remembers that “things are not what they seem, “and she is of good courage. He who is terrible is also our refuge from terror when we see him in the Well-beloved.

Singing Psalms 65

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