(The following texts highlighted in this color of blue is taken from

The Treasury of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)  "Excerpted text

Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.  Materials are

reproduced by permission."

 

 

                                                Psalm 58

           

 

 

To the Chief Musician. Although David had his own case in his mind's eye,

yet he wrote not as a private person, but as an inspired prophet, and

therefore his song is presented, for public and perpetual use, to the

appointed guardian of the Temple psalmody. Altaschith. The wicked are

here judged and condemned, but over the godly the sacred "Destroy not" is

solemnly pronounced. (Compare Ezekiel 9:4) - Michtam of David. This is the

fourth of the Psalms of the Golden Secret, and the second of the "Destroy nots."

These names if they serve for nothing else may be useful to aid the memory. Men

give names to their horses, jewels, and other valuables, and these names are

meant not so much to describe as to distinguish them, and in some cases to

set forth the owner's high esteem of his treasure; after the same fashion the

Oriental poet gave a title to the song he loved, and so aided his memory,

and expressed his estimation of the strain. We are not always to look for a

meaning in these superscriptions, but to treat them as we would the titles

of poems, or the names of tunes.

 

DIVISION. The ungodly enemy is accused, vs.1-5; judgment is sought from

the judge, vs.:6-8; and seen in prophetic vision as already executed, vs.9-11.

 

1  Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation?” - The enemies

of David were a numerous and united band, and because they so

unanimously condemned the persecuted one, they were apt to take it for

granted that their verdict was a right one. "What everybody says must be

true, "is a lying proverb based upon the presumption which comes of large

combinations. Have we not all agreed to hound the man to the death, and

who dare hint that so many great ones can be mistaken? Yet the persecuted

one lays the axe at the root by requiring his judges to answer the question

whether or not they were acting according to justice. It were well if men

would sometimes pause, and candidly consider this. Some of those who

surrounded Saul were rather passive than active persecutors; they held

their tongues when the object of royal hate was slandered; in the original,

this first sentence appears to be addressed to them, and they are asked to

justify their silence. Silence gives consent. He who refrains from defending

the right is himself an accomplice in the wrong. “Do ye judge uprightly,

O ye sons of men? Ye too are only men though dressed in a little brief

authority. Your office for men, and your relation to men both bind you to

rectitude; but have ye remembered this? Have ye not put aside all truth

when ye have condemned the godly, and united in seeking the overthrow

of the innocent? Yet in doing this be not too sure of success, for ye are

only the "sons of men," and there is a God who can and will reverse your

verdicts.

 

2  Yea, in heart ye work wickedness;” -  Down deep in your very souls

ye hold a rehearsal of the injustice ye intend to practice, and when your

opportunity arrives, ye wreak vengeance with a gusto; your hearts are in

your wicked work, and your hands are therefore ready enough. Those very

men who sat as judges, and pretended to so much indignation at the faults

imputed to their victim, were in their hearts perpetrating all manner of evil.

ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth.”  They were deliberate

sinners, cold, calculating villains. As righteous judges ponder the law,

balance the evidence, and weigh the case, so the malicious dispense

injustice with malice aforethought in cold blood. Note in this verse that the

men described sinned with heart and hand; privately in their heart, publicly

in the earth; they worked and they weighed--they were active, and yet

deliberate. See what a generation saints have to deal with! Such were the

foes of our Lord, a generation of vipers, an evil and adulterous generation;

they sought to kill Him because He was righteousness itself, yet they

masked their hatred to His goodness by charging Him with sin.

 

 

3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb:” -  It is small wonder that

some men persecute the righteous seed of the woman, since all of them are

of the serpent's brood, and enmity is set between them. No sooner born

than alienated from God--what a condition to be found in! Do we so early

leave the right track? Do we at the same moment begin to be men and

commence to be sinners?-  “they go astray as soon as they be born,

speaking lies.”  Every observer may see how very soon infants act lies.

Before they can speak they practice little deceptive arts. This is especially the

case in those who grow up to be adept in slander, they begin their evil trade

early, and there is no marvel that they become adept in it. He who starts

early in the morning will go far before night. To be untruthful is one of the

surest proofs of a fallen state, and since falsehood is universal, so also is

human depravity.

 

4 “Their poison is like the poison of a serpent:” -  Is man also a

poisonous reptile? Yes, and his venom is even as that of a serpent. The

viper has but death for the body in his fangs; but unregenerate man carries

poison under his tongue, destructive to the nobler nature -“they are like

the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;” -  While speaking of

serpents the psalmist remembers that many of them have been conquered

by the charmer's art, but men such as he had to deal with no art could tame

or restrain; therefore, he likens them to a serpent less susceptible than

others to the charmer's music, and says that they refused to hear reason,

even as the adder shuts her ear to those incantations which fascinate other

reptiles. Man, in his natural corruption, appears to have all the ill points of

a serpent without its excellences. O sin, what hast thou done!

 

5  Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never

so wisely.”  Ungodly men are not to be won to right by arguments the most

logical, or appeals the most pathetic. Try all your arts, ye preachers of the

word! Lay yourselves out to meet the prejudices and tastes of sinners, and

ye shall yet have to cry, "Who hath believed our report?" It is not in your

music, but in the sinner's ear that the cause of failure lies, and it is only

 the power of God that can remove it.

 

            "You can call spirits from the vast deep,

            But will they come when you do call for them?"

 

No, we call and call, and call in vain, till the arm of the Lord is revealed.

This is at once the sinner's guilt and danger. He ought to hear but

will not, and because he will not hear, he cannot escape the damnation

 of hell.

 

6  Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth:”  If they have no capacity

for good, at least deprive them of their ability for evil. Treat them as the

snake charmers do their serpents, extract their fangs, break their teeth. The

Lord can do this, and He will. He will not suffer the malice of the wicked to

triumph, He will deal them such a blow as shall disable them from mischief -

break out the great teeth of the young lions, O Lord.” As if one brute

creature had not enough of evil in it to complete the emblem of ungodly

nature, another specimen of ferae naturae (wild by nature) is fetched in. For

fierce cruelty the wicked are likened to young lions, monsters in the prime of their

vigor, and the fury of their lustiness; and it is asked that their grinders may be

smashed in, broken off, or dashed out, that the creatures may henceforth be

harmless. One can well understand how the banished son of Jesse, while

poisoned by the venomous slander of his foes, and worried by their cruel power,

should appeal to heaven for a speedy and complete riddance from his enemies.

 

7  Let them melt away as waters which run continually:” -  Like mountain

torrents dried up by the summer heats let them disappear; or like running streams

whose waters are swiftly gone, so let them pass away; or like water spilt which

none can find again, so let them vanish out of existence.  Begone, ye foul streams,

the sooner ye are forgotten the better for the universe - “when he bendeth his

bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces.” When the Lord goes

forth to war, let His judgments so tell upon these persecutors that they may be

utterly cut in pieces as a mark shattered by many shafts. Or perhaps the meaning

is, when the ungodly man marches to the conflict, let his arrows and his bow

drop into fragments, the string cut, the bow snapped, the arrows headless, the

points blunted; so that the boastful warrior may not have wherewithal to hurt the

object of his enmity.  In either sense the prayer of the Psalm has often become

fact, and will be again fulfilled as often as need arises.

 

8  As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away:” As the

snail makes its own way by its slime, and so dissolves as it goes, or as its

shell is often found empty, as though the inhabitant had melted away, so

shall the malicious eat out their own strength while they proceed upon their

malevolent designs, and shall themselves disappear. To destroy himself by

envy and chagrin is the portion of the ill disposed - “like the untimely birth

of a woman, that they may not see the sun.”  Solemn is this curse, but how

surely does it fall on many graceless wretches! They are as if they had never

 been. Their character is shapeless, hideous, revolting. They are fitter to be hidden

away in an unknown grave than to be reckoned among men. Their life comes

never to ripeness, their aims are abortive, their only achievement is to have

 brought misery to others, and horror to themselves. Such men as Herod,

Judas, Alva, Bonner, had it not been better for them if they had never been born?

(Matthew 26:24) - Better for the mothers who bore them? Better for the lands

they cursed? Better for the earth in which their putrid carcasses are hidden from

the sun? Every unregenerate man is an abortion. He misses the true form of

God made manhood; he corrupts in the darkness of sin; he never sees or shall

see the light of God in purity, in heaven.

 

9  Before your pots can feel the thorns,” - So sudden is the overthrow

of the wicked, so great a failure is their life, that they never see joy. Their

pot is put upon the hook to prepare a feast of joy, and the fuel is placed

beneath, but before the thorns are lit, before any heat can be brought to

bear upon the pot, yea, even as soon as the fuel has touched the cooking

vessel, a storm comes and sweeps all away; the pot is overturned, the fuel

is scattered far and wide. Perhaps the figure may suppose the thorns, which

are the fuel, to be kindled, and then the flame is so rapid that before any

heat can be produced the fire is out, the meat remains raw, the man is

disappointed, his work is altogether a failure - “he shall take them

away as with a whirlwind,” - Cook, fire, pot, meat and all, disappear at

once, whirled away to destruction - “both living, and in his wrath.”  In the

very midst of the man's life, and in the fury of his rage against the righteous,

the persecutor is overwhelmed with a tornado, his designs are baffled, his

contrivances defeated, and himself destroyed. The passage is difficult, but

this is probably its meaning, and a very terrible one it is. The malicious wretch

puts on his great seething pot, he gathers his fuel, he means to play the cannibal

with the godly; but he reckons without his host, or rather without the Lord of

hosts, and the unexpected tempest removes all trace of him, and his fire,

 and his feast, and that in a moment.

 

10  The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance:” - He will

have no hand in meting out, neither will he rejoice in the spirit of revenge,

but his righteous soul shall acquiesce in the judgments of God, and he

shall rejoice to see justice triumphant. There is nothing in Scripture of that

sympathy with God's enemies which modern traitors are so fond of

 parading as the finest species of benevolence. (I wish that this statement

could be paraded before the world on the nightly newscast – CY – 2011)

We shall at the last say, "Amen, "to the condemnation of the wicked, and feel

no disposition to question the ways of God with the impenitent. Remember how

John, the loving disciple, puts it. "And after these things I heard a great voice

of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation and glory, and honor,

and power, unto the Lord our God: for true and righteous are His judgments:

for He hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her

fornication, and hath avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. And

again they said, Alleluia. And her smoke rose up for ever and ever."

(Revelation 19:1-3) – (I was just getting ready to make the following remark

before realizing that Mr. Spurgeon cites John in the above passage and that is:

Sometime in the last few years I read where that the term “Alleluia” is used in

the Bible, it is always in reference to the Destruction of the Wicked – I will

leave it to the reader to verify or disprove this as it is beyond my scope at

this time – If so, it is quite interesting! – CY  - 2011) – “he shall wash his

feet in the blood of the wicked.” -  He shall triumph over them, they shall be

so utterly vanquished that their overthrow shall be final and fatal, and his

deliverance complete and crowning. The damnation of sinners shall not mar

the happiness of saints.

 

11  So that a man shall say,” -  Every man however ignorant shall be

compelled to say, - “Verily,” in very deed, assuredly – “there is a reward for

the righteous:” -  If nothing else be true this is. The godly are not after all

forsaken and given over to their enemies; the wicked are not to have the best

of it, truth and goodness are recompensed in the long run - “verily He is a

God that judgeth in the earth.” All men shall be forced by the sight of the

final judgment to see that there is a God, and that He is the righteous ruler

of the universe. Two things will come out clearly after all - there is a God and

there is a reward for the righteous. Time will remove doubts, solve difficulties,

and reveal secrets (Luke 12:2-3); meanwhile faith's foreseeing eye discerns

the truth even now, and is glad thereat.

 

 

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