Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Fourteen

Grace CRC Midweek Devotion: Week Fourteen

Scripture: Read Psalm 16

Devotion – “Finding Jesus in the Psalms” from The Worship Initiative: Real confidence is in rare supply. Playing it cool is one thing. It’s easy to straighten your shoulders, arch your back, stick out your chest, and talk tough. But actual, deep, emotional confidence and security of soul is hard to find. This should not surprise us because we are sinners, surrounded by other sinners, in a fallen and fragile world. How can any of us truly experience the deep peace and joy of authentic confidence in a world awash with facades of security? In Psalm 16, we walk with king David the short but significant path from fear to confidence, from instability to security, from anxiety to authentic lasting joy. He begins, in distress, with the plea, “Preserve me, O God.” Then, amazingly, by verse 8, he declares with confidence, “I shall not be shaken.” How does such a change of heart happen? Theology. Rehearsing who God is for us can transform everything. Far from detached thought experiments and philosophical speculations, what we believe about God can be life and death for us today. It will make all the difference if we, like David, know God to be our reliable Savior, our sovereign Lord, and our greatest Treasure.

Reliable Savior: First, God saves us from harm by being both our safest refuge and our trusted counselor. Verse 1: “In You I take refuge.” There is no safer place to hide than in the arms of the omnipotent God. Verse 7: “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel.” Not only does He protect from without, but He provides wisdom from within through the leading of His Spirit. God is able to save us from the fears that threaten us, not only by intervening to guard us from harm’s way, but also by guiding us out of trouble. Knowing God as our Savior — both as refuge and counselor — inspires confidence that, come what may, we have a resource beyond compare.

Sovereign Lord: David says in verse 5, “You hold my lot.” God rules over our lives, not just in the big picture, but in all the little details. It’s difficult to relinquish control to God when times are difficult. However, acknowledging ourselves to be God’s, and God to be ours, then such knowledge is remarkably stabilizing. It doesn’t mean that we will not walk through measures of pain or defeat, but it does mean that we are assured a final victory. It doesn’t mean we take every battle, but it does mean that we will most certainly win the war.
Side by side with David’s declaration in verse 5, “You hold my lot,” is his statement, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.” And then, immediately after in verse 6: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Rejoicing in the sovereignty of God leads into embracing Him as the greatest Treasure.

Greatest Treasure: In verse 2, David says, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.” God is the ultimate good. He is the fountain of the river of all delight. All other goods are good only when they are in Him. Apart from him, all other good things will prove empty in the end.
Does verse 3 threaten David’s deep delight in God? “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.” How can all his delight be other people, and God still be his greatest treasure? Note that David does not say that he delights in God’s people rather than God, but that people who reject his God give him no pleasure. Godless people, living in godless ways, do not meet with his approval and admiration. He is too captivated by God not to see the folly in godless living. Because he treasures God as his supreme treasure, he also takes delight in those who treasure God as supreme as well. His love for God spills over in love for those who love God.

Truly Solid Joy: Finally, David closes his song of growing assurance with the high note. Having begun with the plea for God to preserve him, he finishes in confidence and hope. He has moved from anxiety to awe, from pleading to praising, from bemoaning his troubles to basking in the glory of God. “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.” As firm as David’s confidence is, ours can be even more solid today. Jesus took on our flesh, lived a blameless life, bore our curse on the cross, and God did not abandon his soul to Sheol, the place of death. His flesh did not see corruption because God raised Him to rip the doors off the gates and conquer the Serpent. In Jesus’s victory over the grave, we are freed from the greatest fear. “Through death He [destroyed] the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver[ed] all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery” (Hebrews 2:14–15). And now, seated at His Father’s right hand, He is the final destination on the path of life. He is our fullness of joy. In Him are pleasures evermore.

Reflect

  • Worship: Settle your heart and mind on one attribute of God* from today’s reading. Worship Him for who He is and praise Him for your delightful inheritance and His good counsel.
  • Pray: Read Psalm 16 aloud and turn it into a prayer. As you recite each verse, lift it up as a personal offering to God. When you get to verse 9, meditate on what God has done for you to make your heart glad. Then let your tongue rejoice by listing before Him all of His goodness to you. Commit to walking expectantly in the knowledge of the eternal pleasures promised in verse 11.
  • One Kind Act: In verse 3, David mentions his delight in others who hold fast to the truth. Think of someone who through their obedience and belief, give you delight. Take a minute today to let them know. Perhaps mention something you have noted in their behavior or countenance that uplifts and inspires you to praise God. Tell them you take delight in them for God’s glory.  

*Eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, unchangeable, infinite, almighty; wise, good, loving, gracious, merciful, patient, holy, righteous, sovereign.

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