Wednesday 5th May 2021

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Last Sunday we looked at a connection Simon-Peter makes between the new promise God reveals through Jesus’ death and resurrection and the message we can read in the Old Testament prophecy of Joel. As Simon-Peter continue to tell the crowd about the Good News of Jesus Christ, he goes on to quote from one of the psalms written by King David.

Read Psalm 16

Simon-Peter quotes the last section of this psalm and we will look at why he does this on Sunday. Today I want us to look at the beginning of the psalm and to notice that it is a very personal prayer or song. Look at how many times ‘me’ and ‘my’ are used, notice the words which come after me and my (my delight / my eyes).

Even though it starts with the phrase ‘keep me safe’ this isn’t a psalm written when David is in trouble, rather he is referring to the constant love and care God brings into his life, and is declaring that only when he fully depends on God, does he truly experience a fulfilled life.

Having started by expressing the importance of the relationship he enjoys with God (v1-2), David then goes on to say that God is his greatest companion, making each day more enjoyable. He then looks at the lives of both those who delight in pleasing and trusting God and those who trust in the gods (idols) which other nations worship. This enables David to see the difference trusting God makes (v.3-4) to people’s lives. Can you do the same? Can you contrast the lives of those you know who put their trust in the Good News of Jesus Christ, and those who put their trust in themselves or the wisdom of other people and see a different in their outlook on life?

The Good News Bible translates verses 5 and 6 as:

You, Lord, are all I have, and you give me all I need; my future is in your hands.

How wonderful are your gifts to me; how good they are!

This gives us a great summary of what David is expressing in this psalm, but we might think – it’s fine for David to say such things, he has been made a king, living in a royal palace with lots of servants – I’d be happy if that’s what trusting God brought into my life! When we look at what the bible tells us about the life of David, both before and after he becomes king of Israel (1 & 2 Samuel) we see that life isn’t always easy for David, and even as King he had difficult decisions to make. David had to learn from his mistakes, from the occasions when he relied on his own wisdom rather than trust in God’s advice and instructions.

Verse 7 gives us an interesting insight into the life of David, revealing that even kings find themselves lying in bed pondering over situations and decisions which need to be made, perhaps even dreaming about what was on his mind. There in the night-time as the big questions looming in his life made their presence felt, David once again looked to God for him to give wisdom and insight into how to deal with these situations.

Looking to God for help both through the day and in the night leads David to write (v.8) that he needs to remember that God is always with him, and needs to stay alert to the ways in which God wants to counsel him.

David lived under the Old Covenant promise from God, the events which we refer to as ‘Easter’ hadn’t yet happened.  David had enjoyed knowing the presence of God’s Holy Spirit in his life, but not as an ever-present help, only as a ‘special occasion’ visitor, yet he was able to declare that (v.2)

You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing.’

How much more should we who have a risen, living Saviour and the ever-present help of God’s Holy Spirit be able to echo that declaration (v..2) as we put our trust in God.

Let the words of this song help you to thank God for all the good things he brough into your life:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!

 

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged: take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful, who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness ­take it to the Lord in prayer!

(Joseph Scriven 1819-86)

This will be the last of the Wednesday articles, as next Tuesday (afternoon or evening) we will be starting a fortnightly Bible-study. If you haven’t yet told me that you want a bible-study booklet, I do still have a few available. - Stephen


Page last updated: 7th May 2021 7:05 AM