This devotional is about Psalm 16.
You may have noticed that one of David’s most frequent prayer requests was for safety. Psalm 16, for example, opens with the phrase, “Keep me safe, my God….”
It is not surprising that a warrior who who is also a believer would ask God for safety. After David the warrior became king, he still led his countrymen in battle and faced military threats to his kingdom, so it continued to be natural for him to ask God for safety.
But David’s relationship with the Lord went much further than asking God for safety. In verse 2, David affirmed that YHWH (“…the LORD”) was his Lord–the one he would worship and serve. He acknowledged in the second part of verse 2 that every blessing in his life came from God. Because YHWH was his God, David:
- sought godly friends (v. 3)
- stayed away from idols (v. 4)
- found his satisfaction in God (v. 5)
- was content with what God had given him (v. 6).
- received wisdom and guidance from God (v. 7)
David’s resolution was that he would “keep my eyes always on the LORD” (v. 8a). In other words, his walk with God would be the focus of his life, the thing he cared about and cultivated the most. Everything else was a benefit that flowed from God, but none of them would become his focus.
The final three verses of this Psalm express clearly David’s hope in God for eternity. He had hope even in death because the Lord “will not abandon me to the realm of the dead” (v. 10a). This is a clear affirmation of life after death. The phrase that follows in verse 10b also expresses David’s faith in his resurrection. We see this in his words, “…nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” While death is the temporary realm of everyone, David’s hope in God was secure because he believed that he would live for eternity with the Lord. That’s why he closed this Psalm with, “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.” David knew that he would be in the presence of God after he died. God’s presence would fill him with joy and give him eternal pleasures.
Is that your hope? Do you fear death or do you believe that death is a doorway to eternal joy and pleasure in God’s presence?
The last part of verse 10, “…nor will you let your faithful one see decay” is quoted four times in the book of Acts and each time it is tied to the resurrection of Christ from the dead (Acts 2:27, 31; 13:35, 37). That’s appropriate. It is Christ’s death for us and his resurrection that gives us hope of eternal life, enjoying God’s presence forever.
Have you trusted your eternal soul into the hands of the God who died for you and rose again? Are you trusting him to raise you from the dead?
David did both of these things and, though his life was threatened often in battle, he had nothing really to fear. May God give us the same grace, the same confidence that David had because we have put our faith in Christ alone.