Week 3: Psalm 16 (Dorothy)

I have chosen Psalm 16 for this week. Unlike some of the Psalms that say ‘A Psalm of David’, this one says ‘A Michtam of David’. Traditionally this has been interpreted as ‘A Golden Psalm,’ the others being Psalms 56-60. It has also been translated as pertaining to a certain tune or as profound or so precious as to be worthy to be engraved and preserved as a treasure. I pray that the golden Treasure of this Psalm might be opened to all of us this week.

Psalm 16:1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust (NKJV) This is a Psalm about trust – in life and in death. John L .Mays in his book “Psalms Interpretation A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching” has helped to open this up for me.

Personally, I love every line of this Psalm. I find it beautiful and three lines in particular help to bring the whole Psalm to memory (Not unlike when we say “The Lord is My Shepherd” will bring the whole of Psalm 23 to mind):
1. “My goodness is nothing apart from You” or “I have no good apart from you” (Verse 2) As Christians we see ourselves in the mirror of Christ and know this to be true to the very depths of our souls, to the ‘bottom of our boots’. With contrite hearts, we acknowledge this with gladness and trust in His merciful goodness.
2. “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” (Verse 6a) Verses 5 and 6 speak together of our incredible inheritance in God. I pray back this verse to give thanks, saying, “Yes Lord, you have caused the lines to fall for me in pleasant places. You are so good to us.” I can pray this even though I have experienced some very difficult times; but I can look back and see His goodness to me through those times and I can look forward to the unknown in trust.
3. “My flesh will also rest in hope.” (Verse 10b) There are some beautiful lines in verses 6-11 but this line in particular reminds me this is one of few places in the Old Testament that hints at resurrection (see also Psalm 41:12 and 73:24). We can trust in unbroken relationship in life and in death. Questions abound as to what David really understand about resurrection; much commentary on these verses relating to Christ.
One day we shall all raise our voice in one accord, “Yes, indeed! You have shown us the Path of Life and in Your Presence is fullness of Joy.” (see verse 11) Blessings to you all --- Dorothy Dahli

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Blessings & Judgments

I have had to conclude, through hard life experience, that the blessings for obedience referred to in Psalms & Proverbs are general advice for living rather than personal promises I can personally claim in any and every situation. There are too many other scriptures that promise suffering to those who follow God & speak of the wicked flourishing.

True.... gamblers are USUALLY soon parted from their money and drunken carousers are far more likely to get shot in a bar brawl. So, avoiding sins like these DO safeguard us against certain, specific effects of sin.

On the flip side, so many blessings are witheld or blocked by dishonest humans who have the power to do so. The man who works hard may be continually cheated out of his fair reward by an employer who pays as low a wage as possible while giving himself huge bonuses. People may labor hard & long to care for their families to the point of losing their health & even become disabled. A believer may be working 2 or 3 part time jobs & have no health insurance for their family.

Other people do not jst block blessings; they can actively harm God's people. A gang banger might kill an innocent Christian girl in a drive by shooting. Then there are those "no fault" tragedies ; a godly woman may be barren or die of breast cancer with seemingly no one to blame; though it's possible hormones injected into meat or genetically modified grain may be the invisible cause.... which would be the fault of the companies that will do anything for gain.

If JUST THE BELIEVERS who have the power to be agents of change would be obedient, much harm could be prevented or averted. How many believers are in places of power & influence, ignoring God's principles for fair pay, proper agricultural procedures, rewarding usuray (which God forbids) with a greater return than actual labor, & selling & buying the souls & bodies of others, then claiming God blesses them for obedience & judging those who have not.

Those who are blessed are FAR to quick to say, "God blessed my obedience," right in the presence of righteous brothers & sisters who wonder where the next house payment or meal is coming from. We need to give God more credit & take the responsibility of being a conduit of blessing to others who may be equally deserving, without judging them or patting ourselves on the back for it.