Psalm 16 – A psalm of David

Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.” The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods. Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever

Reflection

The Psalms have been and continue to be a great source for people finding encouragement and strength to continue on life’s journey because in the Psalms we encounter real honest gritty conversations that the author has with God. They are often penned in times of uncertainty such as the times we ourselves are experiencing right now. David displays his confidence in the Lord both for this life and the next. It is a Psalm of praise of the faithfulness and the might of God. David is still a refugee, he has already been promised the kingdom, but it all seems to be in the distant future, if at all. David takes God’s word as good even in his present circumstance. God is the source of all the good things that have happened to him. The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places, and he has delightful inheritance. David’s heart is glad, as he rejoices in praise and rests in security for he focuses with the whole of his being upon God. The boundary lines that David speaks of, those pleasant places of godly inheritance is the Promised Land of Canaan. Not only is there good land but there is guidance and instruction from God who is constantly by David’s right hand. God has assigned David his portion and his cup. David is assured that the Lord will not abandon him even in the grave. He rejoices that he will rest secure way beyond death and the grave. Verse ten is quite a remarkable statement.  ‘For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.’ Remember David was God’s chosen and anointed ruler over Israel, in this sense his position as king was holy. The Holy One refers also to Christ, known as the son of David. David trusts that his path of life would lead to eternal pleasures. Even after death he would be in relationship with God. He did not know how this would happen but he was confident that it would. Remember the Old Testament writers did not have the New Testament revelation and teaching of life after death. David was speaking with a prophetic vision of the resurrection from the dead.

This first Sunday after Easter once again we bear witness to the resurrection! The Holy One’s body did not decay as it was resurrected from the dead. The prophetic message of the Psalm has become a reality for all believers. Jesus has fulfilled all that was written. In Psalm 16 every believer can share, and own for themselves, the confidence of David. I would argue even further that our confidence ought to be greater because we have seen its fulfilment. We have received a foretaste of those eternal pleasures that await us in heaven. If the Lord has assigned to us our portion then we can be content. No matter the level of difficulties our earthly circumstances may be there is in store for us eternal good and in that knowledge we too can be confident and rejoice. God did not abandon Christ to the grave nor did he let him see decay. Not only did the Old Testament testify of Christ’s resurrection the disciples have seen the risen Christ with their own eyes! The foretold prophecy had become reality.

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