Devotional · hymns · Old Testament · Psalms

Psalms for Psome – 16

My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.

This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.

I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book.

Psalm 16 – A psalm full of amazing truth. I can only promise that I will fail at even scratching the surface of this Psalm, but let us not keep from reading this psalm simply because it has so much to absorb.

Psalm 16:1-10

A Miktam of David. 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.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Peter preaches the resurrection, giving Old Testament sourcing of Psalm 16 in his reference to the grave. I understand the Jewish rabbinic literature, written prior to the appearance of our Lord on the earth, also stated this Psalm to be Messianic.

There is so much in this Psalm, yet the reference to “the lines have fallen” grabs my attention in this reading.

During the establishment of the newly formed nation of Israel, upon entering the land of their inheritance, each tribe was assigned a portion of the land by way of “lots”. David is referring to this historical event and applying it to his life. He has indeed a beautiful inheritance, a wonderful situation, in which the Lord took a poor shepherd boy and exalted him to be Israel’s greatest earthly King.

Yet, this psalm is Messianic. It is a picture of the Christ and of His Passion, His life and death, and resurrection.

Let’s pull back and get a 30,000′ foot view of the psalm. Take a moment to read the Psalm once more.

Would you not consider the author to be expressing great joy, confidence and trust in the Lord? His general attitude of this psalm is of victory. Such victory that this psalm includes victory over the greatest enemy, death and the passage through it unto life.

Back to my focus verse. The lines have fallen (for the Messiah) in a pleasant place.

How can that be said?

Pain and terror await the Messiah on the cross, and during His ministry, He was rejected by the very people He came to save. His few disciples didn’t get the message, and He is described as a Man of sorrows, One who was acquainted with grief.

The psalm itself holds the key, for in Psalm 16, the psalmist directs us to the Messiah’s ability to enter each trial and challenge with joy.

Consider the Psalmists inner life.

vs 5 – The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot

vs 7 – I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;

vs 8 – I have set the LORD always before me;

On a personal note, I have often fallen into the miry slough of self pity and self examination, which drives me into comparisons with others and finally a deep sadness of experience. As I look back on my travels with the Lord, I find I looked to myself for strength, for knowledge and for joy. My accomplishments would provide me my worth, and my holiness would show my devotion.

This is folly. My only strength, wisdom and love is to focus on the One who claimed me so long ago, that suffered the cross, looking to the joy that was ahead. He is to be the focus of my affection, the One whom I bless, and the One whom I need to keep before me, in front of me.

As I look to Him, verse 9 becomes real in my life, a fruit of the Spirit.

 Psalm 16:9

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.

Brother / sister – where is the Lord Jesus? Is He ever before you?


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