Monday, December 22, 2014
Pondering God's Portion, Path, Presence, and Pleasures in Psalm 16
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. It proves that a Christian in fellowship with God is the happiest of all people on the planet. They are not bound up by a bunch of rules and regulations, but have the glorious liberty of the sons of God. In fact, we are promised that in II Corinthians 3:17: "Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." It is the opposite of what the world thinks. The world thinks Christians are miserable, and they can be, if they are only carnal. But the Spirit of God abiding with us always gives us hope and peace, even in difficult circumstances.
It is not having everything going right that makes a person happy. It is in knowing the Person who is Peace Personified. In Psalm 16, my Bullinger Companion Bible had a note about a note about 4 very important "P's" in verses 5 and 11. We receive these when we become children of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
1. A portion "The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot." Psalm 16:5
Verse 11 contains three more blessings:
2. Guidance for our path "Thou wilt show me the path of life..."
3. The presence of the Lord in our lives "In Thy presence is fullness of joy"
4. Finally, pleasures at His right hand if we are overcomers. "At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."
What beautiful gifts from God. The word for portion in verse 5 is manah. (#4487) It can mean a part, a portion or a lot. Did you ever think about what a privilege we have to have God included in our "lot in life?" Yes, we must make a decision to believe in Christ but He also chose us from the foundation of the world. We need to remember, especially in times of difficulty, that God will always be our portion. He is faithful to us, even if we lose faith in Him. Jesus promised in John 10:28-29: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them to Me,is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." This verse was the one that really convinced me of eternal security, because we are not strong enough to even pluck ourselves out of God's hand, even if we wanted to. Thank God!
"My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever." Psalm 73:26
"Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words." Psalm 119:57
"I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." Psalm 142:5
"The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:24
The Lord also will show us the path of life, if only we are willing. Whenever I go my own way, I end up in despair because I do not ultimately know what is best for me. Only God knows what is the best for me. Therefore, I can trust the path that He leads me on, even if it is through dark valleys at times, because He promises to work all things for good to those who love Him.
"Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies." Psalm 27:11
"Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight." Psalm 119:35
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105
"Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways." Psalm 139:3
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path... Psalm 142:3
"But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." Proverbs 4:18
"Thus saith the LORD, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;" Isaiah 43:16
His presence within our lives is what gives me the courage to face each day, even though this world is filled with trouble. Sometimes, I cut off my sense of His Presence by my own personal sins. It makes me want to confess them and run back to my Father as quickly as I can. It is my belief that those in hell will experience just the opposite: a total lack of His presence and or any sense of well being forever and ever. What an awful thought. But if only we take His free gift of salvation we need never be afraid of being eternally separated from His presence.
"And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden." Gen. 3:8 (This is how humanity first went wrong...by hiding from God's presence.)
"And He said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest." Exodus 33:14
"Glory and honour are in His presence; strength and gladness are in His place." I Chronicles 16:27
"Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the LORD, because He cometh to judge the earth." I Chronicles 16:33
"If, when evil cometh upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house, and in Thy presence, (for Thy name is in this house,) and cry unto thee in our affliction, then Thou wilt hear and help." II Chronicles 20:9
"Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man: Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues." Psalm 31:20
'For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" I Thessalonians 2:19
"Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Jude 24-25
Finally, we enjoy true and lasting happiness when we seek Him first and His kingdom. The pleasures He has for us, like David told us about in Psalm 16, are beyond what any eye can see or ear can hear,far beyond what this world has to offer. (See I Corinthians 2:9)
"If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures." Job 36:11
"They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures." Psalm 36:8
At this holiday season, there is no better time to "take the cup of salvation"(Psalm 116:13), and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ , who died as a substitute for all of the world's sins. In believing that it included you personally, you also will be able to enjoy these magnificent promises from God's Word. I want to wish you, my dear reader, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And that is all because Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and our hope and joy in the life to come.