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. Who he was matters not, and who we may be is also of small consequence, so long as the Lord is glorified. On Neginoth, or upon stringed instruments. This is the fifth Psalm so entitled, and no doubt like the others was meant to be sung with the accompaniment of “harpers harping with their harps.” No author’s name is given, but he would be a bold man who should attempt to prove that David did not write it. We will be hard pushed before we will look for any other author upon whom to father these anonymous odes which lie side by side with those ascribed to David, and wear a family likeness to them. A Psalm or Song. Solemnity and vivacity are here united. A Psalm is a song, but all songs are not Psalms: this is both one and the other.
Verse 4. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, or, they shall joy and triumph. When men know God’s way and see his salvation, it brings to their hearts much happiness. Nothing creates gladness so speedily, surely, and abidingly as the salvation of God. Nations never will be glad till they follow the leadership of the great Shepherd; they may shift their modes of government from monarchies to republics, and from republics to communes, but they will retain their wretchedness till they bow before the Lord of all. What a sweet word is that to sing for joy! Some sing for form, others for show, some as a duty, others as an amusement, but to sing from the heart, because overflowing joy must find a vent, this is to sing indeed. Whole nations will do this when Jesus reigns over them in the power of his grace. We have heard hundreds and even thousands sing in chorus, but what will it be to hear whole nations lifting up their voices, as the noise of many waters and like great thunders. When shall the age of song begin? When shall groans and murmurs be exchanged for holy hymns and joyful melodies?
For thou shalt judge the people righteously. Wrong on the part of governors is a fruitful source of national woe, but where the Lord rules, rectitude is supreme. He doeth ill to none. His laws are righteousness itself. He rights all wrongs and releases all who are oppressed. Justice on the throne is a fit cause for national exultation. And govern the nations upon earth. He will lead them as a shepherd his flock, and through his grace they shall willingly follow, then will there be peace, plenty, and prosperity. It is a great condescension on God’s part to become the Shepherd of nations, and to govern them for their good: it is a fearful crime when a people, who know the salvation of God, apostatize and say to the Lord, “Depart from us.” There is some cause for trembling lest our nation should fall into this condemnation; may God forbid. Selah. Before repeating the chorus, the note is again elevated, that full force may be given to the burst of song and the accompaniment of harps.
“Strings and voices, hands and hearts,
In the concert bear your parts;
All that breathe, your Lord adore,
Praise him, Praise him, evermore!”
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