The Fullness of Joy


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

This is one of those Psalms that comes up for me several times a year and I always think, “Oh yeah, that’s a good one!” And in fact I think that 11 times as I read the Psalm because each verse solicits the same response as well. “Oh Yeah, that’s a good one!” I’ve spent the last hour chasing 11 rabbits (that’s what Cliff calls my distractions) around in my head and each one is more interesting than the last.

But that doesn’t end us up in a place of a solid devotion, does it? So I will just try and share a few of the rabbits I’ve chased in this prayer. This is a Messianic Psalm that prophetically (especially in verses 10) references Jesus' death and resurrection. And because Jesus is the Savior it also refers to our death and eternal resurrection. In verse 4 we find the phrases “run after other gods” and “pour out their libations of blood” which refers to participation in the worship of idols with the hope of receiving blessings from them. I love the way that David won’t even “take their names on my lips”. That’s a commitment to staying away from idolatry!

My favorite verses in this Psalm have always been 5 and 6.
6The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.

The idea that God would place a border around my life is comforting indeed. My inheritance is what lay inside of that border and it is good because it is from God. Verse 7 assures me that if I will listen the Lord will give me His counsel, which I sorely need and that even in the night His instruction awaits me. Educators and brain experts tell us that all real learning takes place while we sleep and the synapses for the information we’ve gained during the day are solidified. I don’t know if that’s what David had in mind here – but it’s still true. In a more tangible sense, night time is when many are able to find more quiet and thereby a chance to tune into God.

9Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
11You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

For our purposes during this week of “joy” we must give time to verses 9 and 11. What solicits that sense of joy and rejoicing? The presence of Lord – always before me. . . I shall not be shaken. Just as my joy cannot be stolen, neither can my security when it is found in the Lord. Because my joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it is always and forever mine. Because of the redeeming work of Jesus, the path of life has been made known to me and in that there is nothing but joy.

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