Day 16: Psalm 16

Psalm 16: The Golden Secret Psalm
Psalm 16
A Miktam of David.
(1)Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

(2)I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing."
(3)I say of the holy people who are in the land, 
"They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight."
(4)Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will pour out libations of blood to such gods 
or take up their names on my lips.

(5)LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
(6)The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; 
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
(7)I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
(8)I keep my eyes always on the LORD. 
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

(9)Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
(10)because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, 
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
(11)You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, 
with eternal pleasure at your right hand.

The Miktam/Michtam title is found in six psalms (16, 56-60) and is commonly understood to mean "golden." Although I did read that others say the Hebrew word Miktam means "to cover," like to cover one's mouth with a secret. What if we put the two ideas together and conclude that this is a golden nugget of a psalm that David secretly treasured in his heart.

John Piper says this, "the main point of Psalm 16, at least as I understand it, is this:
God will bring you — body and soul — through life and death to full and everlasting pleasure, if he is your safest refuge, and your supreme treasure, and your sovereign Lord, and your trusted counselor." 
David spent the first seven verses petitioning God to "preserve me."
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. V1

In verse 8, David then claims this preservation. Even though David seems to be struggling and begging for help, his confidence in the Lord is unshakable. 

Does that happen to you? It does to me, sometimes.

When you're presenting a request or a worry or fear before the Lord, do your knees wobble sometimes? Are you unsure if you should even ask this or if He really even cares? Do you stand before Him uncertainly at first, but like a good father, as you share and give and let go, you can stand up a little straighter because of His great love?

With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (NIV)
Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (ESV)

David's psalms are often like this: a worry, a petition, a fear shared is turned to confidence in the goodness and faithfulness of God--regardless of the outcome.

But what exactly is David so worried about in this psalm?

Verse 8 says, "I've got my eyes on God. He is right here beside me, and I am confident in him."

Then John Piper says this about verse 9, 
"this confidence that he will not be shaken, but will be preserved, leads to a great 'therefore' of joy. 'Therefore, my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.'"

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. (V9-10)
"A great THEREFORE of joy!" I love that. Pastor George, pastor of our church, always says whenever a "therefore" is used in the Bible, you need to look back and see what is the therefore THERE FOR?

The preservation, the safety that David called for in verse 1 is clear in verse 10. 

David longs to be in the presence of the Lord, doesn't he? When he is happy, scared, worried, he calls on the Lord. Sure David had some bad days, but he walked with the Lord throughout his life. History remembers David as a man after God owns heart. God said the same. 

What the "therefore is there for...

David did not want to EVER be without the Lord, even at the end of his life.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. V11

And in this verse, David claims that what God has always been for him, He will be forever.

Do you ever wonder about heaven? I mean here on earth I talk to God regularly. He is my best friend, the one I go to first, the one who sees me through. But in heaven, will I just have to get in line to talk with my best friend again?

What will that be like?

David is claiming that relationship he treasures here in this life, will continue in the next. There will be no line of saints to get to God. He will walk right next to each of us...still.

I don't know how, but that is what David is saying, and that is what I believe.

But let's go back for a second to David...did God's people of the Old Testament know about heaven? Did they know about Jesus?

David did.

King David knew he would die. The prophet Nathan told him: 
When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever."
2 Samuel 7:12-13
So at the end of this psalm: 
You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, 
nor will you let your faithful one see decay. NIV

For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; 
neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. KJV

David knew he would die; he knew his body would decay. But he also knew, from the prophet Nathan who spoke God's word, that God would set a descendant upon an eternal throne. David was reassured that his people, the Lord's people, would endure. That One would be set on the throne forever, eternally. Solomon would go on to build a magnificent temple in Jerusalem, but David would have known his son couldn't live forever. 

David KNEW Nathan's prophecy was of the Messiah.

In the book of Acts, Peter spoke of this also. Peter said David knew. 
"Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it."
Acts 2:30-32

According to John Piper, David was confident of these two great things: 
"his own preservation, body and soul through death, and the Messiah’s triumph over death — had to be connected, but he did not know how it would be.

Do you rejoice with David, that all this exultation in God is only possible — now and forever — because Jesus the Messiah was not abandoned to Sheol, and his body did not see corruption?"
We can rejoice with David because of Jesus's great sacrifice. We can rejoice with David because God the Father did not abandon Jesus in hell. His body did not decay.

Believe this and take heart, my friends.

Let us seek the Lord today. 
I have set the Lord always before me; 
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. KJV

Let us seek the Lord as our greatest refuge.
Let us hold Him in our hearts as our supreme treasure.


"God will bring you--body and soul--through life and death to full and everlasting pleasure, if he is your safest refuge, and your supreme treasure, and your sovereign Lord, and your trusted counselor."
--John Piper
And remember, just like you don't have to wait on hold to talk to God here on earth,

...no lines in heaven!

Heavenly Father, thank you for this psalm of gold. Thank you for the Bible and that we can learn so much about You and Your heart and Your great love for us through the stories of old. Thank you that we can have a relationship with You while we are here on earth that will continue eternally. Sometimes we do not understand what that means. Help us to have faith in Your promises. Heal our land, protect our loved ones, and strengthen Your church.
Amen.

HExoxo

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