Tuesday, March 14, 2023

           We know that David wrote many of the Psalms that we have in our Bibles.  In his writing, he was often inspired by the Holy Spirit to reflect upon his relationship with God and what that reality meant to him.  Psalm 16 is one such Psalm.  He opened with a simple prayer—a prayer we could easily pray today.  “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge” (Psalm 16:1).  And almost immediately, he declared his trust in the Lord.  We could begin each day with just such a prayer.  These words are sort of a “good morning” to the Lord.  In the next verse, he wrote, “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing’” (Psalm 16:2).  Indeed, if we take God out of our lives, we are left with nothing good.  We have a life marked by emptiness and longings that can only be satisfied by the Lord in a lasting and holy way.
            David reminded us in Psalm 16:5 that God often has a mission for us to take on or a role for us to play in His ongoing work.  He wrote, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.”  The Lord graciously invites us to join in what He is doing.  There is no safer or better place to be than to be in the will of God and to be doing what God has for us to do.  Occasionally, God calls us to wait on Him.  David had to wait to assume the throne of Israel.  God’s timing is always perfect and He always sees the future and the road ahead much clearer than we ever could.
            For David, a life without praising God was unthinkable.  Much of the Psalms involve praising God—for His blessings, His gifts and for whom He is.  The Psalms were often hymns for ancient Israel to sing—comparable in part to songs and music we offer to the Lord in worship today.  David wrote, “I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”  This shepherd boy who became a king declared “I will praise the LORD.”  There was no uncertainty or hesitation in his mind.  He knew that God was worthy of praise and that any healthy relationship with the Lord involved praise and worship in large measure.  Note that David mentioned even praising the LORD “at night.”  If you find yourself unable to sleep or if worry robs you of sleep, take time to praise the Lord.  Think of all that God has done for you or given to you.  Rather than counting sheep, count your blessings.  And turn that counting into praising.  Some people fear the night.  What better way to respond to fear than to praise the Lord and rest in His secure arms and care!  David reminds us, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure” (Psalm 16:9).  Praising God puts us at peace.
            David ended Psalm 16 with a resounding cry of confidence in the Lord and the ways that the Almighty had set before Him.  This soon-to-be king was confident that his times were in God’s hands.  We read at the end of Psalm 16, “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.”  Path, presence and pleasures.  David was confident in the path that God had chosen for Him.  He trusted in the promise of God’s unfailing presence.  And he knew that life’s greatest pleasures proceed from the Lord and not the pursuit of earthly treasures or possessions.  Today, by faith, we can walk with God on pathways that He has chosen for us.  We can take delight in His presence and know that He is with us always—even to the end of the age.  And we can find our greatest pleasures and rewards in Him and His ways.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30).  Reading Psalm 16 would likely take less than ninety-seconds but the rewards and takeaways can remain with you throughout the day (and even throughout life).  Have a great Tuesday!  Remember worship can always be seen and shared at our church location at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis. 

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