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 69

Exposition
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher


TITLE.To the Chief Musician upon Shoshannim. Thus for the second time, we have a Psalm entitled “upon the lilies.” In the forty-first they were golden lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh, and blooming in the fair gardens which skirt the ivory palaces: in this, we have the lily among thorns, the lily of the valley, fair and beautiful, blooming in the garden of Gethsemane. A Psalm of David. If any enquire, “of whom speaketh the psalmist this? of himself, or of some other man?” we would reply, “of himself, and of some other man.” Who that other is, we need not be long in discovering; it is the Crucified alone who can say, “in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.” His footprints throughout this sorrowful song have been pointed out by the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, and therefore we believe and are sure, that the Son of Man is here. Yet it seems to be the intention of the Spirit, while he gives us unique types, and so shows the likeness to the firstborn which exists in the heirs of salvation, to set forth the disparities between the best of the sons of men, and the Son of God, for there are verses here which we dare not apply to our Lord; we almost shudder when we see our brethren attempting to do so, as for instance Ps 69:5. Especially do we note the difference between David and the Son of David in the imprecations of the one against his enemies, and the prayers of the other for them. We commence our exposition of this Psalm with much trembling, for we feel that we are entering with our Great High Priest into the holiest place.

DIVISION. This Psalm consists of two portions of 18 verses each. These again may each be subdivided into three parts. Under the first head, from Ps 69:1-4, the sufferer spreads his complaint before God; then he pleads that his zeal for God is the cause of his sufferings, in Ps 69:5-12: and this encourages him to plead for help and deliverance, from Ps 69:13-18. In the second half of the Psalm he details the injurious conduct of his adversaries, from Ps 69:19-21; calls for their punishment, Ps 69:22-28, and then returns to prayer, and to a joyful anticipation of divine interposition and its results, Ps 69:29-36.

Verse 31. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. No sacrifice is so acceptable to God, who is a Spirit, as that which is spiritual. He accepted bullocks under a dim and symbolical dispensation; but in such offerings, in themselves considered, he had no pleasure. “Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” Here he puts dishonor upon mere outward offerings by speaking of the horns and hoofs, the offal of the victim. The opus operatum, which our ritualists think so much of, the Lord puffs at. The horning and hoofing are nothing to him, though to Jewish ritualists these were great points and matters for critical examination; our modern rabbis are just as precise as to the mingling of water with their wine, the baking of their wafers, the cut of their vestments, and the performance of genuflections towards the right quarter of the compass. O fools, and slow of heart to perceive all that the Lord has declared. “Offer unto God thanksgiving” is the everlasting rubric of the true directory of worship. The depths of grief into which the suppliant had been plunged gave him all the richer an experience of divine power and grace in his salvation, and so qualified him to sing more sweetly “the song of loves.” Such music is ever most acceptable to the infinite Jehovah.

Singing Psalms 69

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