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, a Psalm or Song of David. We have already said enough about this title when dealing with Psalms 65 and 66. The present is obviously a song to be sung at the removal of the ark, and in all probability was rehearsed when David conducted it with holy joy from the house of Obededom to the prepared place on Mount Zion. It is the most soul-stirring hymn. The first verses were often the battle song of the Covenanters and Ironsides, and the whole Psalm fitly pictures the way of the Lord Jesus among his saints and his ascent to glory. The Psalm is at once surpassingly excellent and difficult. Its darkness in some stanzas is utterly impenetrable. Well does a German critic speak of it as a Titan very hard to master? Our slender scholarship has utterly failed us and we have had to follow a surer Guide. We trust our thoughts may not however prove unprofitable.
DIVISION. With the words of the first two verses, the ark is uplifted, and the procession begins to move. In Ps 68:3-6, the godly in the assembly are exhorted to commence their joyous songs, and arguments are adduced to help their joy. Then the glorious march of Jehovah in the wilderness is sung: Ps 68:7-10, and his victories in war are celebrated in verses Ps 68:11-14. The joyous shouts are louder as Zion comes in sight, and the ark is borne up the hill: Ps 68:15-19. On the summit of the mount, the priests sing a hymn concerning the Lord’s goodness and justice; the safety of his friends, and the ruin of his foes: Ps 68:20-23. Meanwhile, the procession is described as it winds up the hill: Ps 68:24-27. The poet anticipates a time of wider conquest, Ps 68:28-31: and concludes with a noble burst of song unto Jehovah.
Verse 4. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name. To time and tune, with order and care, celebrate the character and deeds of God, the God of his people. Do it again and again; and let the praise, with a resolution of heart, be all directed to him. Sing not for ostentation, but devotion; not to be heard of men, but of the Lord himself. Sing not to the congregation, but “unto God,” Extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH. Remember his most great, incomprehensible, and awful name; reflect upon his self-existence and absolute dominion, and rise to the highest pitch of joyful reverence in adoring him. Heaven beholds him riding on the clouds in the storm, and earth has seen him marching over its plains with majesty. The Hebrew seems to be: “Cast up a highway for him who marches through the wilderness, “in allusion to the wanderings of the tribes in the desert. The marches of God were in the waste howling wilderness. His eternal power and Godhead were there displayed in his feeding, ruling, and protecting the vast hosts that he had brought out of Egypt. The ark brought all this to remembrance and suggested it as a theme for a song. The name JAH is an abbreviation of the name Jehovah; it is not a diminution of that name, but an intensified word, containing in it the essence of the longer, august title. It only occurs here in our version of Scripture, except in connection with other words such as Hallelujah. And rejoice before him. In the presence of him who marched so gloriously at the head of the elect nation, it is most fitting that all his people should display a holy delight. We ought to avoid dullness in our worship. Our songs should be weighty with solemnity, but not heavy with sadness. Angels are nearer the throne than we, but their deepest awe is consonant with the purest bliss; our sense of divine greatness must not minister terror but gladness to our souls; we should rejoice before him. It should be our wish and prayer, that in this wilderness world, a highway may be prepared for the God of grace. “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God, “is the cry of gospel heralds, and we must all zealously aim at obedience thereto; for where the God of the mercy seat comes, blessings innumerable are given to the sons of men.
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