I. Read Psalm 16.
Psalms 16 (NRSV)
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 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.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 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.
Introduction – Have you ever been locked out? Perhaps of a building or even your own house? In one sense the whole story of the Bible is the story of Man being locked out of God’s presence and most importantly God making a way back. This Psalm is Messianic. Peter cites it in Acts 2:25-28 which applies verses 8-11 to the resurrection of Jesus. God will not give up the body of Jesus to rot in the grave. Rather, God raised Jesus to the Right Hand of power, into His presence. Before Christ, those like David the writer of this Psalm, called on the Lord and by faith were given refuge. God provided an elaborate system of sacrifices to show a path of blood on the altar and not only the death of the animal, but a fiery transformation of the victim into an acceptable offering. All of this was preparation for the true path of life which came through Christ’s blood and ultimately His resurrection and ascension (with a true human nature) to the right hand of the Father. This Psalm testifies to Christ. And now through Christ we can say confidently, “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
In your own words, respond to the questions.
- Our greatest challenge is often our heart’s idolatry. Can you bring yourself to say with David (and Jesus), “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you”?
- God takes pleasure in His people, his saints, “in whom is all my delight” (verse 3). This is even more clear of those who are united to Jesus by faith (Rom. 8:31-39). How might you think of yourself differently as result? Do you walk in this love and acceptance or in self-condemnation?
- Meditate on this statement: “In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Explain how and why God’s presence is the most satisfying.
- What are a few ways that you could grow in experiencing God’s presence in your daily life?
II. Pray Psalm 16. Write out a short prayer using the text and ideas in the Psalm. Express your heart to God as you respond to Him and ask Him to help you realize His presence in your life.
III. Sing this Psalm. Worship Him using this setting of Psalm 16. This version is a simple melody (from Lutheran worship resources). Listen to or download this Psalm setting and view the music.