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 68

Exposition
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher


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 19. Blessed be the Lord. At the mention of the presence of God among men, the singers utter an earnest acclamation suggested by reverential love and return blessings to him who so plentifully blesses his people. Who daily loadeth us with benefits. Our version contains a great and precious truth, though probably not the doctrine intended here. God’s benefits are not few nor light, they are loads; neither are they intermittent, but they come “daily; “nor are they confined to one or two favorites, for all Israel can say, he loadeth us with benefits. Delitzsch reads it, “He daily bears our burden; “and Alexander, “Whoever lays a load upon us, the Mighty God is our salvation.” If he himself burdens us with sorrow, he gives strength sufficient to sustain it; and if others endeavor to oppress us, there is no cause for fear, for the Lord will come to the rescue of his people. Happy nation, to be subdued by a King whose yoke is easy, and who secures his people from all fear of foreign burdens which their foes might try to force upon them.

Even the God of our salvation. A name most full of glory to him, and consolation to us. No matter how strong the enemy, we shall be delivered out of his hands; for God himself, as King, undertakes to save his people from all harm. What a glorious stanza this is! It is dark only because of its excessive light. A world of meaning is condensed into a few words. His yoke is easy, and his burden is light, therefore blessed be the Saviour’s name for evermore. All hail! thou thrice blessed Prince of Peace! All thy saved ones adore thee and call thee blessed. Selah. Well may the strings need tuning, they have borne an unparalleled strain in this mighty song. Higher and yet higher, ye men of music, lift up the strain. Dance before the ark, ye maidens of Israel; bring forth the timbrel, and sing unto the Lord who hath triumphed gloriously.

Singing Psalms 68

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