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The Path, Presence, and Pleasures of God

Psalm 16 is worth your time today. It begins with a straightforward prayer of David. Within that prayer is a plea. “Preserve me, O God.”

The plea is followed by a declaration. “For in you I take refuge.”

The declaration is based on a personal relationship. “I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord.’”

Within the context of this relationship, David acknowledges his total dependence on God. “I have no good apart from you.”

David moves on to describe his relationship with other people in light of his relationship with God. “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.”

Why? Because David has found complete satisfaction in God. “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.”

This leads David to delight all the more in God’s counsel. “I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the 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.”

This counsel produces confidence in David. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.”

Finally, David summarizes the blessings of his relationship with God. “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

What difference do these ancient words make for you and me? Consider four practical takeaways from Psalm 16:11—principles we would all do well to remember this week.

  • Every path does not lead to life.
  • Every tidbit of “joy” cannot be characterized as full.
  • Every pleasure will not last forever.
  • Therefore, don’t settle for less than life, full, and forever!