Thoughts on Psalms… 16

Thoughts on Psalms… 16

Psalm 16 is not a psalm that describes me… at least not yet.

It’s a psalm of which I’m a bit in awe, a psalm to which I aspire, but a psalm up to which I don’t yet live.

Let’s take a look…

Interested in knowing Why? this series on Psalms…
check out the 1st post

Psalm 16

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.

I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

My 3 Thoughts

  1. vv.1-2: In whom I take refuge… I have no good apart from you
    • We often ask God to preserve us… but that promise of refuge is predicated on the fact that we take refuge in him. It’s one thing to take refuge in him when things are going wrong and we feel like we have no where left to turn. It’s another thing to say that, whether things are going poorly or not… the starting point from which we begin each day is… “The Lord is my refuge today, come what may… good or bad.”
    • “I have no good apart from you.” … whoa! We in the West are FLOODED with ‘things’, but what place do those things hold in our lives? It sounds to me as though David, when all was said and done, had a firm realization that everything he had paled in comparison to his relationship with God. When I stop to think about my life… Psalm 16 forces me to ask myself, do I consider my relationship with God my first and foremost ‘good’? If not… there’s work to do.
  2. vv.5-6: My portion, my lot, my pleasant places & my inheritance
    • David’s sense of contentment is palpable in these two verses. Anyone who knows anything about his life, will remember that he had some pretty rough patches. Still though, whether he was going through them at the time or whether they were just a memory, they were not enough to diminish his sense of contentment… amazing.
    • As an analyzer, I have a hard time letting things go. Memories tend to stick with me and when those memories are good one, it’s great, I can prolong the sense of joy that accompanies them. More painful memories however, mean that the pain & hurt is also prolonged. Not good. Lord, help me to pursue contentment in you despite past pain.
  3. vv. 7-8: Counsel, instruction and a prominent position
    • – Is it really the Lord who gives me counsel?
      – What does my heart do in the night, instruct or worry?
      – Have I really set the Lord always before me?
      – Can I really say “I will not be shaken”?
    • The correct Christian response is … “Well of COURSE I do. What a question!”, but in reality it’s not always the case.
      • I don’t always seek counsel from him first. Sometimes I scrounge the recesses of my mind first. Sometimes I speak to others first. Sometimes I grope around in a fog of unsure-ness for a long time before seeking counsel from the Lord.
      • If I find myself awake at night, my heart is usually more prone to worry and fret than it is to instruct me. And when it does instruct me it’s sometimes more along the “the heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17.9) lines.
      • There are times when I forget the Lord. There are times when I’m mad at life & I don’t always want to talk to the Lord. The Lord is not always before me, to my shame & regret. In times of lucidity I realize it and realize my need to come back to a place where that is true.
      • There are many times where I’m shaken; more than I care to admit. I think I’d have to say that over the past year or two, I’ve been shaken more than I’ve been stable. (honesty alert!)… but that’s just really a reflection of one thing… I’ve not given God the place at my right hand (a place of preeminence, prominence, importance, immediate access)… and there’s some work that “I” need to do.

Food for Thought…

If I were to sum up this Psalm, I think the quickest way would be this…

If he is at my right hand… I’ll not be shaken.
When I’m at his right hand… there are pleasures / pleasant places / general contentment forevermore.

I’ve got some work to do.

Thanks for stopping by today!

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