I believe scripture truths form the stoutest hearts and the sturdiest souls. As we memorize encouraging verses and pray them again and again, the pathways of faith, strength, peace, and more become embedded—not only in our minds but in our spirits. Reciting them back to their Author propels us into his Presence.
Psalm 16:7-11 The Message
7-8 The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go.
9-10 I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.
You canceled my ticket to hell—
that’s not my destination!
11 Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way.
The Word of God for the Children of God. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
The Bible repeatedly teaches us that the “heart” of our lives is the control center of our lives, which means our “real” life, our inner life as well as our outer life, is a reasonably genuine reflection of the yearnings of our hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 says: “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” And so, we must carefully guard and watch over our hearts so that our hearts would passionately follows hard after the pathways of God – by joyfully embracing Jesus Christ, as the most supreme treasure of our hearts and lives.
Today we ask ourselves: “What is the greatest treasure of our hearts?” In an entitlement-minded, customer-service, rights-oriented world that is filled with so many mind-boggling choices – even those of us who claim Jesus Christ can easily get bogged down, confused as to what treasures captures our hearts.
Most people ultimately treasure their families, spouses, children, relatives, and friends. Culture and Society sledgehammers we should treasure ourselves – our needs, our wants, our desires. And the retail market accommodates that by our supplying our needs, our wants, our desires with products and possessions and position and power. With the scarcity of products on shelves, it’s more pressing.
We are given the broadest array of choices from which to choose just how much, how many, how far, how high, how deep, and what kind – and what size, color, weight, brand name, manufacturer, and what kind of guarantee or warranty can be provided on whatever product happens to be remaining on the grocery shelf.
Today we are looking at Psalm 16 which is a prayer of worship written by King David. David is a significant character in the Bible. He was the young shepherd who became a great king; the young boy who slew a giant with a single stone; the man who went into hiding out of fear for his life – from numerous Kings and countless armies and King Saul and even from his very own son Absalom.
David was the King whose descendants would bring forth the long-promised Messiah in the human form of Jesus Christ, in spite of the fact that David had committed adultery and murder and fearfully tried in vain to hide what he had done. We look at King David today because in the midst of his victories and his defeats and his own struggles with his own sin – David yearned, longed for, desperately sought to have an intimate relationship with the most sovereign God of the universe.
In spite of his own personal failings, he treasured God more than anything or anyone else. God was King David’s supreme treasure. So much so that God Himself declared to us: “I have found in David . . . a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22).
In our text for this morning, as David sings his heart out, he joyfully worships God in grateful prayer, he tells us why we also should supremely treasure God.
Psalm 16:1-6 The Message
16 1-2 Keep me safe, O God,
I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense.
3 And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!
4 Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
5-6 My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir!
With maximum joy in our hearts and expressed from deep within our souls, we should treasure God because He is our Gracious Protector. David speaks of this by describing God as a home, a haven, a refuge, one place where we can go and know with absolute assurance, we will be safe forevermore. Alleluia! Alleluia!
With maximum joy in our hearts and expressed from deep within our souls, we should treasure God because He is our Sovereign Presence. Regardless of what dangers/fears/catastrophes we will inevitably face in this life, the one, only true safe place we have is in the presence of the sovereign God of all the Universe.
The refuge which God provides is our personal relationship with Him. David knew his personal wellbeing – the well-being of his soul, his refuge every day and for all eternity – depended on his personal relationship with the living God.
Sadly, we all too easily and contentedly look for security in so many places other than God. Many of those places are artificial; some we even make up for ourselves. Often our places of refuge are geographical or social. But throughout his incredibly diverse array of life experiences, David doggedly learned the one and only true safe place on earth is in the Sovereign Presence of our Supreme God. “I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’”
With maximum joy in our hearts and expressed from deep within our souls, we should treasure God because He the foundation of Righteous Relationships.
While David speaks of the joy of treasuring God through our relationship with God – he takes a moment to mention how we should live out our lives with one another as God’s people through Jesus Christ.
From Psalm 16, David teaches us how we are to do so by means of a contrast. First, he calls God’s people “saints” which literally means “those set apart for God” – and he says they are “the excellent ones” – which means they are to be a people who exhibit highly distinguished spiritual and moral qualities.
In stark and vivid contrast, he then speaks of “those who run after another god” – those who will struggle with multiple “sorrows” because they find their joy in treasuring other gods and trusting in other gods for security. Here, David refuses to endorse what they do; he will not lower himself to naming their gods: “their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.”
David is telling us when we joyfully find our most supreme treasure in God – we will have a shared common communion of both heart and soul with others who are also faithfully trying to do so. In essence David is saying: “As I take refuge in the joyful sovereign presence of my safest refuge in God, I will find myself in the company of others who are tucked safely under the shadows of God’s wings. We are commonly linked at the heart and through our souls by our commitment to trust in God and live for God. Our confidence is in Him, not in the things of this world. We are His Heirs, citizens of heaven and fellow pilgrims on this earth.
With maximum joy in our hearts and expressed from deep within our souls, we should treasure God because He is our Beautiful Inheritance.
David continues to proclaim God as his most supreme treasure. By using the words “portion” and “cup” he is signifying God was all he needed to satisfy the hunger of his heart and soul. Besides his “portion” and his “cup” the Lord has also assigned him “a beautiful inheritance” which God Himself has measured out for him: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”
This harkens back to the nation of Israel who came out of 40 years of wandering in wilderness into the promised land; as Joshua divided the land up, the people of God who had been freed from the bondage of slavery joyfully received their own property for the first time in many generations.
Imagine the joy of those ancient Israelites: “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance!” This is the “beautiful inheritance” we receive when, by God’s sovereign grace, we are freed from the bondage of sin and death and are given the “beautiful inheritance” of eternal life through the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Ephesians 1:3-4 the apostle Paul writes: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.”
This is the “wondrously beautiful eternal inheritance” we will share with the people of God. Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Matthew 19:28).
“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.”
David was soul at war with himself much of his life. For many years he was
also, a fugitive with no home; he slept on the ground and often caves were his shelter. But despite his struggles and fears David was not only survived but he also thrived – because God had promised him “a beautiful inheritance.”
While that was not yet his when he wrote this psalm, he was secure in knowing God would do so. In treasuring God over himself, David possessed all that God promised and everything he needed. This is why David could write: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
In God we have absolutely everything our hearts could ever want or ever need! (Psalm 23:1)
With maximum joy in our hearts and expressed from deep within our souls, we should treasure God because He is our Wonderful Counselor. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Here, David again declares God to be his supreme treasure: “I bless the LORD!” Whether it be in the darkness of “night” or the light of day, God “instructs” (guides) hearts which treasure Him into the safest refuge of His will and His purpose.
This is the deep transformative work of God’s sovereign grace deep within our hearts and souls when we come to faith in Christ. By a providential work of the Holy Spirit, we are drastically and dramatically changed – worked upon, given a
different heart, a new spirit. Because God is the One who gives us His “counsel” – even in the darkest of nights God instructs our hearts to treasure and follow, in all things and ways, upon the pathways of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
But we are also reading here if we are to walk with God in the fullness of the new life, He has sovereignly given us through Jesus Christ – we will be “shaken” by struggles and fears when we fail, do not make God the supreme treasure of our hearts and lives. David says: “I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
God “gives counsel” spiritually, emotionally, vocationally, socially, morally, physically, and intellectually. When we “set the LORD always before” us – we will “not be shaken” spiritually, emotionally, vocationally, socially, morally, physically, and intellectually.
When God is our first priority and foremost upon the pathways of our hearts and lives, we can absolutely trust God that our souls will be secure and stable.
David could proclaim: “My heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” because the “path of life” he had already walked in God’s presence in this life caused him to know the joyful anticipation of living in God’s presence in the future: “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
David wrote these words about a thousand years before the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus; he lived in the hope of the cross and the empty tomb. By faith David believed God would fulfill His promise in sending a Savior; he prayed the gracious protection of God would save him from sin and death.
God fulfilled that promise; on this side of the cross, we no longer just hope in that promise. Jesus Christ has come; he did die on a cross for our sins; he has risen from the dead – and he has given us the same promise he gave David.
In John 11:25-26 Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
Well, if we do believe this, we treasure this we should live out our lives like that.
Well, if we do believe these words of God as spoken by David, then we ought to be the ones who with maximum joy and with deep expression from within our souls, treasure them beyond all other treasures offered by the wiles of our life.
In the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, let us Pray,
I praise and thank You for Your great goodness towards me, and the many blessings that You shower on each one of us day by day. Be with me each step of the way and help me to keep my eyes trained on the lovely Lord Jesus.
I thank You that I have been given everything I need for life and godliness and pray that I may experience the fullness of joy we have all received in Christ, not only in the world to come, but as a daily experience in this present world. Thank You, Father, that You have made known to me the path of life in Christ Jesus my Saviour, in Whose name I pray, and thank You that in Your loving presence is the fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore, Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.