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.
Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher
TITLE. There is no title to this Psalm, and hence some conjecture that Psalm 70 is intended to be a prelude to it, and has been broken off from it. Such imaginings have no value to us. We have already met with five Psalms without title, which is, nevertheless, as complete as those which bear them. We have here THE PRAYER OF THE AGED BELIEVER, who, in holy confidence of faith, strengthened by a long and remarkable experience, pleads against his enemies, and asks for further blessings for himself. Anticipating a gracious reply, he promises to magnify the Lord exceedingly.
DIVISION. The first four verses are faith’s cry for help; the next four are a testimony of experience. From Ps 71:9-13, the aged saint pleads against his foes and then rejoices in hope, Ps 71:14-16. He returns to prayer again in Ps 71:17-18, repeats the confident hopes which cheered his soul, Ps 71:19-21; and then he closes with the promise of abounding in thanksgiving. Throughout, this Psalm may be regarded as the utterance of struggling, but unstaggering, faith.
Verse 11. Saying, God hath forsaken him. O bitter taunt! There is no worse arrow in all the quivers of hell. Our Lord felt this barbed shaft, and it is no marvel if his disciples feel the same. Were this exclamation the truth, it was indeed an ill day for us; but, glory be to God, it is a barefaced lie. Persecute and take him. Let loose the dogs of persecution upon him, seize him, worry him, for there is none to deliver him. Down with him, for he has no friends. It is safe to insult him, for none will come to his rescue. O cowardly boasts of a braggart foe, how do ye wound the soul of the believer: and only when his faith cries to his Lord is he able to endure your cruelty.
Verse 10. For mine enemies speak against me. Dogs howl over a dying lion. When David’s arm was able to chastise his foes, they were yet impudent enough to slander him, and he fears that now they will take fresh license in the hour of his weakness. The text most properly means that his enemies had said that God would forsake him; and, therefore, he is the more earnest that the Lord’s faithful dealings may give them the lie. And they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together. The psalmist had enemies, and these were most malicious; seeking his utter destruction, they were very persevering, and stayed long upon the watch; to this, they added cunning, for they lay in ambush to surprise him, and take him at a disadvantage; and all this they did with the utmost unanimity and deliberation, neither spoiling their design by want of prudence nor marring its accomplishment by a lack of unity. The Lord our God is our only and all-sufficient resort from every form of persecution.
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