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Psalm 16





This is one of those chapters that is so full of wonderful stuff that we should take a couple, maybe even three, days to dive into it and learn some great truths.  But, since I am committed to one chapter for each day, that can’t happen.  I would, however, encourage you to spend a little more time with this chapter.  I think it would be time well spent.

As the Psalm opens David speaks of the safety that he has experienced in the refuge or protection of God.  This is kind of the big idea for this particular Psalm.  And much of the rest of the Psalm speaks to the safety David had experienced in his relationship with God.

In verse 2, David literally said, “I say to Yahweh, You are my Master.”  The one true God is the Lord of his life.  And David confesses that, apart from Yahweh, there is no good thing in him.

He goes on in verse 3 to speak of the saints in the area.  He calls them the glorious or excellent ones.  The word saint literally means holy one.  God called the nation of Israel (as He has Christ followers) to be a holy people.  David sees them as godly people and then refers to them as glorious.  What a great compliment!  These people were representing God so well, David took great pleasure in them and their holy lives.

Verse 4 is David’s lament about those who have chosen to chase after other gods.  He does not elevate the other gods by naming them.  He just says he will not participate in the worship of false gods.  And those who do will undoubtedly face multiplied sorrows.

From there David turns his attention to God.  He speaks of his choosing God and says that God holds his lot.  The concept of lot here is of a portion of an inheritance being distributed by casting lots.  It may very well be a reference to the way the Promised Land was distributed to the nation of Israel.  In fact, David goes on to speak of boundary or property lines.

The blessings that God gives us all fall within the character and nature of God.  In other words, He is not going to give His children something bad or evil or wrong.  He only gives good gifts to His children, gifts that are pleasant and beautiful or wonderful.  David wraps this up in verse 7 when he says that he blesses the Lord.  (The NIV says praise.)  We often talk of God blessing us.  Perhaps we should also think about how we can be a blessing to God.

In verse 10, we read about the soul not being abandoned or left in Sheol or the grave.  David has confidence in his relationship with God even in death.  He knows that death will not separate him from God.

This particular verse is just not about David.  In Acts 2:25-28, Peter attributes this verse to Jesus.  Paul does the same thing in Acts 13:35-37.  This sort of thing is actually pretty common in the Old Testament.

Old Testament prophecies usually had a near term fulfillment as well as a long term fulfillment.  Among other things that means that, in this case, a promised could be made to and fulfilled in David.  And the same promise could point to Jesus.  That does not equate David with Jesus.  It is just a prophetic process that happens to play out at two very different times with two very different results. 

I wish we had more time to deal with some of this chapter.  There really is some great stuff in these verses.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 15





This short Psalm has much to say to us that we could and should learn from.  But as we will see momentarily, we need to view this Psalm through the lens of the Gospel.  This will not change the truth of it but it will impact the application of the truth.

The Psalm starts with the question of who can be a dwell or abide in God’s sanctuary.  This literally means who can be a guest in God’s tabernacle or tent.  The second and follow-up question is who is able to live with God on His holy hill or on Zion. 

Both of these questions really are about who can be in relationship with God.  That is an incredibly important question that we all need to ask and then we all need to seek a Biblical answer.

As the Psalmist contemplates this, he gives us two requirements of who can be in God’s tent on God’s hill with Him.  One of those is the person has to walk blamelessly.  This concept speaks to being complete or sincere or perfectly whole.  It refers to someone who is living in obedience to God and who is maintaining a life of integrity.  The second requirement is the one who does what is right or who does what is righteous.  In other words, his life is in harmony with God’s standards.

Beginning with the end of verse 2 through the first part of verse 5, the Psalmist gives us the characteristics of being blameless and righteous.  It begins with speaking truth and not engaging in slandering or speaking falsely about others.  It moves on to treating others right. 

In verse 4, we find that blameless and righteous folks despise those who do vile, despicable things but honor those who try to live according to God’s words.  The last part of verse 4 speaks of one who keeps his word even when it has a great personal cost to it. 

Verse 5 speaks of not charging interest when money is loaned to a brother and not taking a bribe to bring false testimony against the innocent.

Then the Psalm ends with the statement that living blamelessly and righteously gives you a solid foundation to stand on.

Now here is the thing.  When David wrote this, the people of God lived under the Law of God.  Those laws dictated how life was to be lived.  Their ability to live that way was the basis for the depth of their personal relationship with God.

We are not under the Law today but instead are in grace.  Among other things that means our relationship with God is not earned by our obedience or deeds.  Instead our relationship with God is a gift of his grace received by the faith He gives us to believe in Him.  It is because our grace relationship that our lifestyles should resemble what we read about in this Psalm.  In other words, living the way this Psalm dictates is not how we are saved.  But if we are saved, we should live like this Psalm declares.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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