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The Psalmist

“David … the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1).

Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in the Word, David’s experience stands as one of the most striking, varied, and instructive. He knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles, and David wore a crown. The laborer has his cares, and David handled a shepherd’s crook. The wanderer has many hardships, and David abode in the caves of Engedi. The captain has his difficulties, and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him.

The psalmist also had trials brought on by his friends and family. His counsellor, Ahithophel, forsook him, and his own son, Absalom, rose up against him. Poverty and wealth, honor and reproach, and health and weakness all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to rob his joy. David no sooner escaped from one trial than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of despondency and alarm, than he was again brought into the lowest depths, and all God’s waves and billows rolled over him.

It is probably for this reason that David’s psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether ecstasy or depression, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools—the school of heart-felt, personal experience. As we are instructed in the same school, as we grow matured in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David’s psalms, and find them to be “green pastures.” Let David’s experience cheer and counsel you today.

—From Morning and Evening by C.H. Spurgeon