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.
TITLE.To the Chief Musician. He had need be a man of great skill, worthily to sing such a Psalm as this: the best music in the world would be honored by marriage with such expressions. A Song or Psalm, or a Song and Psalm. It may be either said or sung; it is a marvelous poem if it be but read; but set to suitable music, it must have been one of the noblest strains ever heard by the Jewish people. We do not know who is its author, but we see no reason to doubt that David wrote it. It is in the Davidic style and has nothing in it unsuited to his times. It is true the “house” of God is mentioned, but the tabernacle was entitled to that designation as well as the temple.
SUBJECT AND DIVISION. Praise is the topic, and the subjects for the song are the Lord’s great works, his gracious benefits, his faithful deliverances, and all his dealings with his people, brought to a close by a personal testimony to special kindness received by the prophet bard himself. Ps 66:1-4 are a kind of introductory hymn, calling upon all nations to praise God, and dictating to them the words of a suitable song. Ps 66:5-7 invite the beholder to “Come and see” the works of the Lord, pointing attention to the Red Sea, and perhaps the passage of Jordan. This suggests the similar position of the afflicted people which is described, and its joyful issue predicted Ps 66:8-12. The singer then becomes personal, and confesses his own obligations to the Lord (Ps 66:13-15); and, bursting forth with a vehement “Come and hear, “declares with thanksgiving the special favor of the Lord to himself, Ps 66:16-20.
Verse 3. Say unto God. Turn all your praises to him. Devotion, unless it is resolutely directed to the Lord, is no better than whistling to the wind. How terrible art thou in thy works. The mind is usually first arrested by those attributes which cause fear and trembling; and, even when the heart has come to love God, and rest in him, there is an increase of worship when the soul is awed by an extraordinary display of the more dreadful of the divine characteristics. Looking upon the convulsions which have shaken continents, the hurricanes which have devastated nations, the plagues which have desolated cities, and other great and amazing displays of divine working, men may well say: How terrible art thou in thy works. Till we see God in Christ, the terrible predominates in all our apprehensions of him. Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee; but, as the Hebrew clearly intimates, it will be a forced and false submission. Power brings a man to his knee, but love alone wins his heart. Pharaoh said he would let Israel go, but he lied unto God; he submitted in word but not in deed. Tens of thousands, both in earth and hell, are rendering this constrained homage to the Almighty; they only submit because they cannot do otherwise; it is not their loyalty, but his power, which keeps them subjects of his boundless dominion.
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