FRIDAY, JANUARY 19
SCRIPTURE: 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.