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.
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 13. Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain. Poor Asaph! he questions the value of holiness when its wages are paid in the coin of affliction. With no effect has he been sincere; no advantage has come to him through his purity, for the filthy-hearted are exalted and fed on the fat of the land. Thus foolishly will the wisest of men argue, when faith is napping. Asaph was a seer, but he could not see when reason left him in the dark; even seers must have the sunlight of revealed truth to see by, or they grope like the blind. In the presence of temporal circumstances, the pure in heart may seem to have cleansed themselves altogether in vain, but we must not judge after the sight of the eyes. And washed my hands in innocency. Asaph had been as careful of his hands as of his heart; he had guarded his outer as well as his inner life, and it was a bitter thought that all of this was useless, and left him in even a worse condition than foul-handed, black-hearted worldlings. Surely the horrible character of the conclusion must have helped to render it untenable; it could not be so while God was God. It smelt too strong of a lie to be tolerated long in the good man’s soul; hence, in a verse or two, we see his mind turning in another direction.
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