The Book of Psalms, or the Psalter, is often where most people go for comfort and guidance in the Bible. This chapter of the Old Testament includes 150 songs and poems written by David, Solomon, Moses, Asaph, the sons of Korah, Heman, and Ethan. In the new book, Spurgeon and the Psalms, publisher Thomas Nelson (Maclaren Series) has adapted short devotions from Charles H. Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David: An Original Exposition of the Book of Psalms…in Three Volumes before each of the 150 Psalms in the New King James Version (NKJV).
With a Black Leathersoft-TM cover and gold-edged pages, this slim 8.5-inch by 5.5-inch volume feels rich and sacred and will likely be a happy addition to anyone’s bedside table or morning best 20-minutes.
New King James Version Nice for Psalms
Many of us grew up with the King James Version and the language of the Psalms is especially pleasing and often memorized in the King’s English. When I left the religious cult of Christian Science, a sect that uses only the KJV, the first study Bible I purchased was in the New King James Version. I felt it was modern enough yet paid homage to the KJV in a way that felt homey but allowed me to read the scriptures with fresh eyes. I still have Psalm 23 and other passages memorized in the King James Version and greatly appreciate a study volume of the Psalter in a more traditional language. For other translations and deeper study, I use Bible Gateway’s website and the YouVersion Bible App.
Spurgeon and the Psalms: The Book of Psalms with Devotions from Charles Spurgeon
This new book from Thomas Nelson has 351 thin gold-edged pages, plus another ten or so pages for notes at the end of the book. The contents include a preface to the New King James Version, a preface by C. H. Spurgeon, an introduction, and 150 Psalms.
Spurgeon’s Treasury of David was his seven-volume “magnum opus,” first published in weekly installments over a twenty-year span in the London Metropolitan Tabernacle’s periodical, The Sword and the Trowel. As each section was completed it was published as a volume until the seventh and final volume was released in 1885. Considering the copyright has long since expired casing Spurgeon’s works to be in the Public Domain, publishers are allowed to pull content and republish as they like.
Range of Emotions in the Psalms
One of the things I appreciate the most about the Psalms is the vast range of emotions the writers use. Anger, fear, doubt, joy, sorrow, lament, uncertainty, happiness, shame, thankfulness, and loneliness are used by the writers to put weight to human experience and connect us to the divine. In the Psalms, we have evidence that God sanctions our feelings and that the human condition has not changed much if at all. We still grapple with the same doubts, the same fears, and the same struggles as David did so many years ago.
Psalm 1 – The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the [a]ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he [b]meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the [c]rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
I’ve always loved the imagery in Psalm 1 urging us to be, as lovers of the Lord, to be as trees are planted by rivers of water – firm, grounded, and rooted in our faith.
This delightful volume is fresh and helpful. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and to the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid for supplying me with this review copy of Spurgeon and the Psalms. This book is available on AMAZON and the FaithGateway Store.