(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."

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT. Charles Simeon gives an excellent summary of this Psalm in

the following sentences: — "The Psalms are a rich repository of

experimental knowledge. David, at the different periods of his life, was

placed in almost every situation in which a believer, whether rich or poor,

can be placed; in these heavenly compositions he delineates all the

workings of the heart. He introduces, too, the sentiments and conduct of

the various persons who were accessory either to his troubles or his joys;

and thus sets before us a compendium of all that is passing in the hearts of

men throughout the world. When he penned this Psalm he was under

persecution from Saul, who sought his life, and hunted him `as a partridge

upon the mountains.' His timid friends were alarmed for his safety, and

recommended him to flee to some mountain where he had a hiding place,

and thus to conceal himself from the rage of Saul. But David, being strong

in faith, spurned the idea of resorting to any such pusillanimous expedients,

and determined confidently to repose his trust in God."

 

To assist us to remember this short, but sweet Psalm, we will give it the

name of "THE SONG OF THE STEADFAST."

 

DIVISION.   In vs. 1-3, David describes the temptation withwhich he was

assailed, and from vs. 4-7, the arguments by which his courage was sustained.

 

1  These verses contain an account of a temptation to distrust God,

with which David was, upon some unmentioned occasion, greatly

exercised. It may be, that in the days when he was in Saul's court, he was

advised to flee at a time when this flight would have been charged against

him as a breach of duty to the king, or a proof of personal cowardice. His

case was like that of Nehemiah, when his enemies, under the garb of

friendship, hoped to entrap him by advising him to escape for his life. Had

he done so, they could then have found a ground of accusation. Nehemiah

bravely replied, "Shall such a man as I flee?" (Nehemiah 6:11) and David, in a

like spirit, refuses to retreat, exclaiming,  “In the Lord put I my trust: how

say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain?”   When Satan cannot

overthrow us by presumption, how craftily will he seek to ruin us by distrust!

He will employ our dearest friends to argue us out of our confidence, and he will

use such plausible logic, that unless we once for all assert our immovable trust in

Jehovah, he will make us like the timid bird which flies to the mountain whenever

danger presents itself.

 

2  For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon

the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart.”  How forcibly

the case is put! The bow is bent, the arrow is fitted to the string: "Flee, flee, thou

defenseless bird, thy safety lies in flight; begone, for thine enemies will send their

shafts into thy heart; haste, haste, for soon wilt thou be destroyed!" David seems

to have felt the force of the advice, for it came home to his soul; but yet he would

not yield, but would rather dare the danger than exhibit a distrust in the Lord his

God.  Doubtless the perils which encompassed David were great and imminent; it

was quite true that his enemies were ready to shoot privily at him.

 

 

3   “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”  It was equally

correct that the very foundations of law and justice were destroyed under Saul's

unrighteous government: but what were all these things to the man whose trust

was in God alone? He could brave the dangers, could escape the enemies, and defy

the injustice which surrounded him. His answer to the question, "What can the

righteous do?" would be the counter question, "What cannot they do?" When prayer

engages God on our side, and when faith secures the fulfillment of the promise, what

cause can there be for flight, however cruel and mighty our enemies? With

a sling and a stone, David had smitten a giant before whom the whole hosts

of Israel were trembling, and the Lord, who delivered him from the

uncircumcised Philistine, could surely deliver him from King Saul and his

myrmidons. There is no such word as "impossibility" in the language of

faith; that martial grace knows how to fight and conquer, but she knows

not how to flee.  (This seems to be the plight of godly citizens in the

United States who are dealing with “Liberal Secularists” who seem to

undermine the foundations on which this country was built! -  CY – 2010)

 

4  David here declares the great source of his unflinching courage. He

borrows his light from heaven— from the great central orb of deity. The

God of the believer is never far from him; he is not merely the God of the

mountain fastnesses, but of the dangerous valleys and battle plains.

“Jehovah is in His holy temple,  - The heavens are above our heads in all

regions of the earth, and so is the Lord ever near to us in every state and

condition. This is a very strong reason why we should not adopt the vile

suggestions of distrust. There is one who pleads His precious blood in our

behalf in the temple above, and there is one upon the throne who is never

deaf to the intercession of His Son. Why, then, should we fear? What plots

can men devise which Jesus will not discover? Satan has doubtless desired

to have us, that he may sift us as wheat, (Luke 22:31) but Jesus is in the temple

praying for us, and how can our faith fail? What attempts can the wicked make

which Jehovah shall not behold? And since He is in His holy temple,

delighting in the sacrifice of His Son, will He not defeat every device, and

send us a sure deliverance?  “Jehovah's throne is in heaven:” -  He reigns

supreme. Nothing can be done in heaven, or earth, or hell, which He doth not

ordain and overrule.  He is the world's great Emperor. Wherefore, then,

should we flee? If we trust this King of kings, is not this enough? Cannot He

deliver us without our cowardly retreat? Yes, blessed be the Lord our God,

we can salute Him as Jehovahnissi; (May I recommentExodus 17 –

Names of God – Jehovah-nissi by Nathan Stone – this web site – CY – 2010)

in His name we set up our banners, (ch. 20:5) and instead of flight, we once

more raise the shout of war.  “His eyes behold,” - The eternal Watcher never

slumbers; His eyes never know a sleep (ch. 121:3) – “His eyelids try the children

of men.”   He narrowly inspects their actions, words, and thoughts. As men,

when intently and narrowly inspecting some very minute object, almost close

their eyelids to exclude every other object, so will the Lord look all men through

and through. God sees each man as much and as perfectly as if there were no

other creature in the universe. He sees us always; He never removes His eye from us;

He sees us entirely, reading the recesses of the soul as readily as the glancings of the

eye. Is not this a sufficient ground of confidence, and an abundant answer to the

solicitations of despondency? My danger is not hid from Him; He knows my

extremity, and I may rest assured that He will not suffer me to perish while

I rely alone on Him. Wherefore, then, should I take wings of a timid bird,

and flee from the dangers which beset me?

 

 

5  The Lord trieth the righteous:” - He doth not hate them, but only tries

them. They are precious to Him, and therefore He refines them with

afflictions. None of the Lord's children may hope to escape from trial, nor,

indeed, in our right minds, would any of us desire to do so, for trial is the

channel of many blessings.

 

"It is my happiness below

     Not to live without the cross;

But the Saviour's power to know,

    Sanctifying every loss."

 

"Trials make the promise sweet;

    Trials give new life to prayer;

Trials bring me to His feet—

    Lay me low, and keep me there."

 

"Did I meet no trials here

    No chastisement by the way—

Might I not, with reason, fear

    I should prove a cast away?"

 

"Bastards may escape the rod,

    Sunk in earthly vain delight;

But the true born child of God

    Must not— would not, if he might."

 

William Cowper.

 

Is not this a very cogent reason why we should not distrustfully endeavor

to shun a trial? — for in so doing we are seeking to avoid a blessing -

but the wicked and him that loveth violence His soul hateth: why,

then, shall I flee from these wicked men? If God hateth them, I will not fear

them. Haman was very great in the palace until he lost favor, but when

the king abhorred him, how bold were the meanest attendants to suggest

the gallows for the man at whom they had often trembled! Look at the

black mark upon the faces of our persecutors, and we shall not run away

from them. If God is in the quarrel as well as ourselves, it would be foolish

to question the result, or avoid the conflict. Sodom and Gomorrah perished

by a fiery hail, and by a brimstone shower from heaven; so shall all the

ungodly. (I recommend arkdiscovery.com – CY – 2010) They may gather

together like Gog and Magog to battle, but the Lord will rain upon them

"an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone:" (Ezekiel 38:22).

 

6  Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, an horrible

tempest:  this shall be the portion of their cup.”  Some expositors think that in

the term "horrible tempest,” there is in the Hebrew an allusion to that burning,

suffocating wind, which blows across the Arabian deserts, and is known by

the name of Simoom. "A burning storm, "Lowth calls it, while another

great commentator reads it "wrath wind; "in either version the language is

full of terrors. What a tempest will that be which shall overwhelm the

despisers of God! Oh! what a shower will that be which shall pour out

itself for ever upon the defenseless heads of impenitent sinners in hell!

Repent, ye rebels, or this fiery deluge shall soon surround you. Hell's

horrors shall be your inheritance, your entailed estate,  the portion of your cup.

The dregs of that cup you shall wring out, and drink for ever. (Isaiah 51:17)

A drop of hell is terrible, but what must a full cup of torment be? Think of it—

a cup of misery, but not a drop of mercy. O people of God, how foolish is it to

fear the faces of men who shall soon be faggots in the fire of hell! Think of their

end, their fearful end, and all fear of them must be changed into contempt of

their threatenings, and pity for their miserable estate.

 

 

7 The delightful contrast of the last verse is well worthy of our observation, and it

affords another overwhelming reason why we should be stedfast, unmoveable,

(I Corinthians 15:58) not carried away with fear, or led to adopt carnal

expedients in order to avoid trial.  For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness.”

It is not only His office to defend it, but His nature to love it. He would deny Himself

if He did not defend the just. It is essential to the very being of God that He should

be just; fear not, then, the end of all your trials, but "be just, and fear not."  God

approves, and, if men oppose, what matters it?  “His countenance doth behold the

upright.”  We need never be out of countenance, for God countenances us. He

observes, He approves, He delights in the upright. He sees His own image in them,

an image of His own fashioning, and therefore with complacency He regards them.

Shall we dare to put forth our hand unto iniquity in order to escape affliction? Let us

have done with byways and short turnings, and let us keep to that fair path

of right along which Jehovah's smile shall light us. Are we tempted to put

our light under a bushel, (Matthew 5:15) to conceal our religion from our neighbors?

Is it suggested to us that there are ways of avoiding the cross, and shunning the

reproach of Christ? Let us not hearken to the voice of the charmer, but

seek an increase of faith, that we may wrestle with principalities and

powers, and follow the Lord, fully going without the camp, bearing His

reproach. Mammon, the flesh, the devil, will all whisper in our ear, "Flee as

a bird to your mountain;" but let us come forth and defy them all. "Resist

the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)  There is no room or reason for

retreat. Advance! Let the vanguard push on! To the front! all ye powers

and passions of our soul. On! on! in God's name, on! for "the Lord of hosts

is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."  (ch. 46:11)

 

 

 

Excerpted text,  Copyright AGES Library, LCC.  All Rights reserved.

Materials used by permission.

 

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