“ 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.” Psalm 16 (ESV)
The words of Psalm 16 have been echoing in my mind for several days. This psalm rings deeply of the unshakable joy and unchanging promise that belongs to those who have been adopted into the family of God. It has challenged my view of God and reminded me of His proper place in my heart and mind.
While the world turns from one thing to another in a race for satisfaction it can never find, our hope and security, as believers, is centered upon a foundation that is secure and unchanging. At times, I cannot trust my own changing heart, and the memory of who I was overshadows the truth of who I am in Christ: redeemed and forgiven, a child of God!
Not only are we redeemed and forgiven, but as children we receive all the benefits of our beautiful inheritance (vs. 6). We receive the joy of fellowship with one another (vs. 3), we gain counsel and wisdom from the Lord (vs. 7), we have happiness and security (vs. 9-11). Indeed, we have everything we need.
But the element of this psalm that strikes me as most profound is the central gift of the Gospel and our greatest good: the Lord Himself. We could have everything this world has to offer yet still be unsatisfied apart from Christ.
David boldly proclaims in verse 2: “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.”
David’s greatest good was the Lord. In fact, he went so far as to say that his only good was found in the Lord. I wonder if my own life reflects God as my greatest good. Is He my greatest source of joy? Do I treasure my relationship with Christ as more important than everything else? Oftentimes I find that I am so delighted in the promises and benefits that come with being a follower of Christ that I forget about the greatest benefit: a relationship with the Lord Jesus Himself!
How do I make Christ my greatest and only good? How can I develop this perspective even when the Lord seems intangible and mysterious? David answers this question in verse 8:
David’s hope and trust was in the Lord, and he knew that the only way for this to remain so was to consciously set the Lord before him. This took continuous and active intentionality on his part. How often I allow my own thoughts and affections to flow wherever the wind takes them. Yet if God is my source of salvation, strength, wisdom, hope, and joy then I must actively be setting Him before me.
Far too often I forget this, and become lazy in my posture towards the Lord. How dangerous when the Gospel becomes old news in my heart! Yet David reminds himself and us that when the Lord is front and foremost we have nothing to fear. And, unlike the shifting and superficial promises of the world, this promise is based upon a covenantal relationship that is secure, unchanging an unfading. What a joy!
How different our lives may look if we actively set the Lord before us. My prayer for myself and the women of SCC is that we would cling to Christ and the Gospel ever so closely. We are prone to wander, but God is faithful! In the words of the beloved hymn, Come Thou Fount, “bind my wandering heart to Thee!”
– Corine Lugowski