Joy

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can contact him by sending a message to  bobjc88 @ gmail.com. You can also find him at his new blog at www.roberlain.blogspot.com .

Psalm 16:1–11 (ESV)
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.
4 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.
5 The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

This Psalm reads as a prayer, but also as a testimony to the goodness of God in the psalmist’s life. God is a refuge to those who seek Him. Even if our physical lives are demanded of us, our souls and spirits can be kept safe in Him.

There is no good apart from God. Every good thing we enjoy is a gift from Him. But our relationship with Him should be the thing that we prize above all.

The world despises saints, saved sinners set apart for their Saviour. But if we are saints, we appreciate our brethren and their God infused integrity. To obey is better than sacrifice, especially if that sacrifice is to a false god!

If things are going well, it’s easy to forget God and delude ourselves that we’re self sufficient. But the psalmist was thankful to God for every good He enjoyed. And he had faith that he would inherit eternal life.

This Psalm is an Old Testament glimpse into the doctrine of resurrection. Death isn’t the end, there’s an eternity to come- in glory if our trust is in God. The Holy One is the Lord Jesus Christ, the firstborn from among the dead.

This Psalm is one of the clearest Old Testament prophecies of the resurrection of the Messiah, never mind the rest of us! God makes known to us the path of life, and He’s Jesus, the Living Word of God.

People sometimes assume God’s a killjoy. But those of us who know Him know that the opposite is true: He’s the source of all joy. I’m reminded of the line of the old hymn: “[Biblical] religion never was designed to make our pleasures less”- quite the contrary!

“God of all joy, how we praise You for every good thing we enjoy, but above all for Yourself, the source of every good pleasure. Thank You for the joy of our salvation, in Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.”


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