The Treasury of David

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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.

Psalm 74

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings
Hints to the Village Preacher


TITLE. Maschil of Asaph. An instructive Psalm by Asaph. The history of the suffering church is always edifying; when we see how the faithful trusted and wrestled with their God in times of dire distress, we are thereby taught how to behave ourselves under similar circumstances; we learn moreover, that when fiery trial befalls us, no strange thing happened unto us, we are following the trail of the host of God.

DIVISION. From Ps 74:1-11 the poet pleads the sorrows of the nation, and the despite done to the assemblies of the Lord; then he urges former displays of divine power as a reason for present deliverance (Ps 74:12-23). Whether it is a prophetic Psalm, intended for use in troubles foreseen, or whether it was written by a later Asaph, after the invasion by Sennacherib or during the Maccabean wars, it would be very hard to determine, but we see no difficulty in the first supposition.


Verse 2. Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old. What a mighty plea is redemption. O God, canst thou see the blood mark on thine own sheep and yet allow grievous wolves to devour them? The church is no new purchase of the Lord; from before the world’s foundation the chosen were regarded as redeemed by the Lamb slain; shall ancient love die out, and the eternal purpose become frustrated? The Lord would have his people remember the paschal Lamb, the bloodstained lintel, and the overthrow of Egypt; and will he forget all this himself? Let us put him in remembrance, let us plead together. Can he desert his blood-bought and forsake his redeemed? Can election fail and eternal love cease to glow? Impossible. The woes of Calvary, and the covenant of which they are the seal, are the security of the saints.

The rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed. So sweet a plea deserved to be repeated and enlarged upon. The Lord’s portion is his people—will he lose his inheritance? His church is his kingdom, over which he stretches the rod of sovereignty; will he allow his possessions to be torn from him? God’s property in us is a fact full of comfort: his value of us, his dominion over us, and his connection with us are all so many lights to cheer our darkness. No man will willingly lose his inheritance, and no prince will relinquish his dominions; therefore we believe that the King of kings will hold his own, and maintain his rights against all comers.

This mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt. The Lord’s having made Zion the special center of his worship, and place of his manifestation is yet another plea for the preservation of Jerusalem. Shall the sacred temple of Jehovah be desecrated by heathen and the throne of the Great King be defiled by his enemies? Has the Spirit of God dwelt in our hearts, and will he leave them to become a haunt for the devil? Has he sanctified us by his indwelling, and will he, after all, vacate the throne? God forbid. It may be well to note that this Psalm was evidently written with a view to the temple upon Zion, and not to the Tabernacle which was there in David’s time and was a mere tent, but the destructions here bewailed were exercised upon the carved work of a substantial structure. Those who had seen the glory of God in Solomon’s peerless temple might well mourn in bitterness when the Lord allowed his enemies to make an utter ruin of that matchless edifice.

Singing Psalms 74

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