Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 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. - Psalm 16 NIV
The pandemic has metastasized fear, and the hearts of many are crying out, “Keep us safe, oh God!”
The New King James Version translates the first line of this psalm as, “Preserve me/Watch over me, for in you I put my trust.”
First things first, then, where, or in whom, are we putting our trust?
I often wonder what it must have been like to be David, to have a heart after God’s heart, and yet live prior to the fulfillment of God’s heart through Jesus Christ. He knew of it prophetically, but He didn’t get to see it.
Still, His faith was rock solid. Even in hard times.
In Acts 2:24-36, Peter is preaching to the crowds after they witness the Holy Spirit coming on the disciples in power and uttering the wonders of God in various languages.
As part of his proof of Christ’s resurrection, he makes reference to this psalm; that David prophetically saw Jesus, God’s Faithful One, not given over to decay.
Yes, Jesus died. He died a horrible death, taking upon Himself the wrath of sin for all mankind. But, as Peter says in verse 24, “it was impossible for death to hold him.” Impossible.
Death is given such power over us. We fear it. We grieve with an unquenchable ache when it steals away those we love.
And yet, we have this truth before us:
Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 NIV
David says his heart is glad, his tongue rejoices, and his body will also rest secure.
Because of His faith in God’s promise of Jesus’s defeat over death.
Is your heart glad today? Or instead, consumed by fear and worry…
Does your tongue rejoice? Or instead, mutter and complain…
Does your body rest secure? Or instead, fight against peace…
I’ll be honest, today was a harder day for me. I was consumed by pain and tormented by anything but peaceful assurance as I used all my strength just to walk out the day ahead of me.
But then I read these words in Psalm 16, and those of Acts chapter two. And tonight, again, I can confidently say:
The Lord continues to make known to me the path of life.
Apart from the Lord, I have no good thing.
Like David, when our eyes are on the Lord, we will not be shaken.
Trouble and trials may come, along with sickness and disease and yes, even death! This is not our final resting place, this world is not our home…
The cry of our hearts continues: “Keep us safe, Oh God!”
And the Answer to our cry remains:
We need not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday…(Psalm 91)
When the Lord is our portion and our cup, our lot is secure. The boundary lines have fallen for us on pleasant places because of Jesus. Surely we have a delightful inheritance!
Paul sums this up best in the verse below. (Read more about the power-packed transition “therefore” here.)
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
- 1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV
Stand firm. Let nothing move you. And go forth in peace.