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 24. They have seen thy goings, O God. In the song the marchings of the Lord had been described; friends and foes had seen his goings forth with the ark and his people. We suppose that the procession was now climbing the hill, and entering the enclosure where the tabernacle of the ark was pitched; it was suitable at this moment to declare with a song that the tribes had seen the glorious progress of the Lord as he led forth his people. Even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The splendid procession of the ark, which symbolized the throne of the great King, was before the eyes of men and angels as it ascended to the holy place; the psalmist points to it with exultation before he proceeds to describe it. As it were, all nature and providence are a procession attending the great Lord, in his visitations of this lower globe. Winter and summer, sun and moon, storm and calm, and all the varied glories of nature swell the pomp of the King of kings, of whose dominion there is no end.

Singing Psalms 68

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