The Treasury of David is one of several C.H. Spurgeon books 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.A Psalm of Asaph. This is the second Psalm ascribed to Asaph, and the first of eleven consecutive Psalms bearing the name of this eminent singer. Some writers are not sure that Asaph wrote them but incline to the belief that David was the author, and Asaph the person to whom they were dedicated, that he might sing them when in his turn he became the chief musician. But though our own heart turns in the same direction, facts must be heard; and we find in 2Ch 29:30, that Hezekiah commanded the Levites to sing “the words of David and of Asaph the seer; “and, moreover, in Ne 12:46, David and Asaph are mentioned together, as distinct from “the chief of the singers, “and as it would seem, as joint authors of psalmody. We may, therefore, admit Asaph to be the author of some, if not all, of the twelve Psalms ascribed to him. Often a great star that seems to be but one to the eyes of ordinary observers turns out upon closer inspection to be of a binary character; so here the Psalms of David are those of Asaph too. The great sun of David has a satellite on the moon of Asaph. By reading our notes on Psalm Fifty, in Volume 2, the reader will glean a little more concerning this man of God.
SUBJECT. Curiously enough this Seventy-third Psalm corresponds in subject with the Thirty-seventh: it will help the memory of the young to notice the reversed figures. The theme is that ancient stumbling block of good men, which Job’s friends could not get over; viz.—the present prosperity of wicked men and the sorrows of the godly. Heathen philosophers have puzzled themselves about this, while to believers it has too often been a temptation.
DIVISION. In Ps 73:1 the psalmist declares his confidence in God, and, as it were, plants his foot on a rock while he recounts his inward conflict. From Ps 73:2-14 he states his temptation; then, from Ps 73:15-17 he is embarrassed as to how to act, but ultimately finds deliverance from his dilemma. He describes with awe the fate of the ungodly in Ps 73:18-20, condemns his own folly and adores the grace of God, Ps 73:21-24, and concludes by renewing his allegiance to his God, whom he takes afresh to be his portion and delight.
Verse 3. For I was envious of the foolish. “The foolish” is the generic title of all the wicked: they are beyond all other fools, and he must be a fool who envies fools. Some read it, “the proud:” and, indeed, these, by their ostentation, invite envy, and many a mind which is out of gear spiritually, becomes infected with that wasting disease. It is a pitiful thing that an heir of heaven should have to confess “I was envious, “but worse still that he should have to put it, “I was envious at the foolish.” Yet this acknowledgment is, we fear, due to most of us. When I saw the prosperity of the wicked. His eye was fixed too much on one thing; he saw their present and forgot their future, saw their outward display, and overlooked their soul’s discomfort. Who envies the bullock his fat when he recollects the shambles? Yet some poor afflicted saint has been sorely tempted to grudge the ungodly sinner his temporary plenty. All things considered, Dives had more cause to envy Lazarus than Lazarus to be envious of Dives.
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