(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
TITLE. To the Chief Musician, A Psalm of David. So far the title
corresponds with Psalm 40, of which this is a copy with variations. David
appears to have written the full length Psalm, and also to have made this
excerpt from it, and altered it to suit the occasion. It is a fit pendant to
Psalm 69, and a suitable preface to Psalm 71. To bring to remembrance.
This is the poor man's memorial. David personally pleads with God that he
may not be forgotten, but David's Lord may be heard here also. Even if the
Lord seems to forget us, we must not forget Him. This memorial Psalm acts
as a connecting link between the two Psalms of supplicatory expostulation,
and makes up with them a precious triad of song.
(The Reader is referred for full Exposition to Psalm 40:13-17, this web site)
1 This is the second Psalm which is a repetition of another, the former being
Psalm 53, which was a rehearsal of Psalm 14. The present differs from the
Fortieth Psalm at the outset, for that begins with, "Be pleased," and this, in our
version, more urgently with, “Make haste,” - or, as in the Hebrew, with an abrupt
and broken cry, O God, to deliver me; O Lord, to help me hasten.” It is not
forbidden us, in hours of dire distress, to ask for speed on God's part in His
coming to rescue us. The only other difference between this and v. 13 of ch.40, is
the putting of Elohim in the beginning of the verse for Jehovah, but why this is
done we know not; perhaps, the guesses of the critics are correct, but perhaps
they are not. As we have the words of this Psalm twice in the letter, let
them be doubly with us in spirit. It is most meet that we should day by day
cry to God for deliverance and help; our frailty and our many dangers
render this a perpetual necessity.
2 Here the words, "together," and, "to destroy it," which occur in
ch. 40, are omitted: a man in haste uses no more words than are actually
necessary. His enemies desired to put his faith to shame, and he eagerly
entreats that they may be disappointed, and themselves covered with
confusion. It shall certainly be so; if not sooner, yet at that dread day when
the wicked shall awake to shame and everlasting contempt. “Let them be
ashamed and confounded that seek after my soul: let them be turned
backward, and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.” - turned back
and driven back are merely the variations of the translators. When men
labor to turn others back from the right road, it is God's retaliation to drive them
back from the point they are aiming at. (I trust that God is dealing such with
the American Civil Liberties Union – CY – 2011)
3 “Let them be turned back” - This is a milder term than that used in
ch. 40, where he cries, "let them be desolate." Had growing years
matured and mellowed the psalmist's spirit? To be "turned back," however,
may come to the same thing as to be "desolate; " disappointed malice is the
nearest akin to desolation that can well be conceived - “for a reward of their
shame that say, Aha, aha.” They thought to shame the godly, but it was their
shame, and shall be their shame for ever. How fond men are of taunts, and if they
are meaningless ahas, more like animal cries than human words, it matters nothing,
so long as they are a vent for scorn and sting the victim. Rest assured, the enemies
of Christ and His people shall have wages for their work; they shall be paid in
their own coin; they loved scoffing, and they shall be filled with it - yea, they shall
become a proverb and a byword for ever.
4 Anger against enemies must not make us forget our friends, for it is
better to preserve a single citizen of Zion, than to kill a thousand enemies.
“Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee:” All true
worshippers, though as yet in the humble ranks of seekers, shall have cause
for joy. Even though the seeking commence in darkness, it shall bring light
with it – “and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be
magnified.” Those who have tasted divine grace, and are, therefore, wedded
to it, are a somewhat more advanced race, and these shall not only feel joy, but
shall with holy constancy and perseverance tell abroad their joy, and call upon
men to glorify God. The doxology, "Let the Lord's name be magnified" is
infinitely more manly and ennobling than the dog's bark of "Aha, aha."
5 “But I am poor and needy:” - Just the same plea as in the preceding
Psalm, v. 29: it seems to be a favorite argument with tried saints; evidently our poverty
is our wealth, even as our weakness is our strength. May we learn well this riddle.
“make haste unto me, O God:” - This is written instead of "yet the Lord
thinketh upon me," in Psalm 40: and there is a reason for the change, since
the key note of the Psalm frequently dictates its close. Psalm 40 sings of
God's thoughts, and, therefore, ends therewith; but the peculiar note of
Psalm 70 is "Make haste, "and, therefore, so it concludes - “thou art my help
and my deliverer:” - My help in trouble", my deliverer out of it - “O Lord,
make no tarrying.” Here is the name of “Jehovah" instead of "my God."
We are warranted in using all the various names of God, for each has its own
beauty and majesty, and we must reverence each by its holy use as well as by
abstaining from taking it in vain. I have presumed to close this recapitulatory
exposition with an original hymn, suggested by the watchword of this Psalm,
Make haste, O God, my soul to bless!
My help and my deliverer thou;
Make haste, for I am in deep distress,
My case is urgent; help me now.
Make haste, O God! make haste to save!
For time is short, and death is nigh;
Make haste ere yet I am in my grave,
And with the lost forever lie.
Make haste, for I am poor and low;
And Satan mocks my prayers and tears;
O God, in mercy be not slow,
But snatch me from my horrid fears.
Make haste, O God, and hear my cries;
Then with the souls who seek thy face,
And those who thy salvation prize,
I will magnify thy matchless grace.
"Excerpted text Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.
Materials are reproduced by permission."
This material can be found at:
If this exposition is helpful, please share with others.