"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Psalm 16: ROCC SG Week 8

Psalm 16 – Contentment in God’s Presence (Now & Later)

“A Miktam of David’ – If you recall back in week 4, we studied Psalm 57. It was also a Miktam of David. This is understood to be a ‘Golden’ or ‘Engraved’ Psalm, one considered special and worthy of commemorating with an inscription. There are six Miktams in the Psalms (16, 56, 57, 58, 59 & 60).

Unlike many of the previous psalms, it’s difficult to sharply divide this psalm into distinctive parts. However, it is possible to consider themes for the following divisions: A statement of faith in the Lord, and in the Lord alone (verses 1-5); A statement of contentment, confidence and joy, for the present and the future in the Lord (verses 6-11). 

The study guide references two New Testament sermons from which Psalm 16:8-11 are quoted.
    • In the first, Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:25-28) uses these verses to point to Jesus as the true, resurrected Messiah. Begin reading in verse 22 of Acts 2 to get the full context of Peter’s preaching. In short, the Psalm pointed to Christ as the “Holy One” that would not “see corruption.” Jesus was a descendant of David and is the only one that is not corrupted.
    • In a like manner, Paul at Antioch (Acts 13:34-38) references the same passage, saying, “Therefore he says also in another psalm, “You will not let your Holy One see corruption.” Then Paul says, “For David, after he had served his purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption.”
    • Bottom line, our bodies are bound for decay; aka, corruption. Our souls will live eternally with new bodies, but in the grave even David had decayed. Jesus defeated the corruption of death and arose in glory; no decay. It is this messianic message that most commentators, and even Peter and Paul, believe to be found in Psalm 16. It may also point to David simply praying to God that he might not experience corruption. Yet even though he cannot escape it, Christ came as fulfillment to this hope. 
Sheol (verse 10) – most often rendered ‘Hades’ or underworld. It has been thought of an intermediate state of the souls or even described as a pit of suffering. The key is that it is a place for which Christ has not been and there is separation from God. To the psalmist, it is this “Godless” grave that he most wants to avoid ending up.
ESV — Psalm 16         

A Miktam of David.

16 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

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.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in rthe night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

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.

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