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Singing Psalm 16 for everlasting pleasure


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Singing Psalm 16 for everlasting pleasure

“Preserve me, O God, for I’m trusting in You.     ‘Yes, You are my Master,’ I said to the LORD; Besides You I do not possess any good.     In Your holy messengers I take delight.” ~ Psalm 16:1-3

Like when making preserves or fermented foods, the Lord uses sugar and vinegar at just the right times and in just the right measures to make you sweet and to make you endure not for a long, miserable while but for everlasting pleasure.

Singing Psalm 16 you seek everlasting pleasure

Who or what do you look to for everlasting pleasure?

Do you welcome life’s timelines as gifts from the Lord’s right hand or do you rush ahead to the next phase of life whether or not you are ready in hopes of finding everlasting pleasure?

Singing Psalm 16 helps you connect emotionally with the fact that the Lord is leading you perfectly and doing it mostly through the ways he uses your struggles transformatively. The lines have fallen in pleasant places for you in spite of and even through your rushing into things, missed opportunities, long years of waiting for direction, misunderstandings, illnesses, losses, failures, and rejections. Only the Lord could pull that off!

Once you are totally convinced that any good you had, have, or will have is sourced from the Lord, you stop looking to people, places, and things for everlasting pleasure and start looking to Jesus.

“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.” ~ Deuteronomy 18:20

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 1:13

When you are not totally convinced that any good you have is from the Lord, you look to other people, places, and things hoping to find it. The Holy Spirit illumines your mind to the vanity of this and clues you in to the certainty of your inheritance so that your mind is set on the Lord, the very source of everlasting pleasure. O Lord, please give your people faith in you to know without a doubt that everlasting pleasure isn’t a pipe dream but a promise. And you never break your promises.

“Those running to idols will multiply griefs.     I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, Nor will I confess their vain names with my lips.     The LORD’s my inherited portion and cup.” ~ Psalm 16:4-5a

Singing Psalm 16 you taste everlasting pleasure

“You care for my lot, where the lines fell to me,     My pleasant and lovely inherited land, The LORD who gives counsel to me I will bless,     For surely my mind teaches me through the night.” ~ Psalm 16:5b-7

Disappointments and detours transform into vehicles of everlasting pleasure when your mind is grounded in the counsel of the Lord. Even (and especially) as you sleep, the roots of his wisdom teach you all you need to know.

“The LORD ever present before me I keep.     He stands at my right hand; I shall not be moved. My glory rejoices, my heart is made glad;    And also my flesh will live safely at ease.” ~ Psalm 16:8-9

When our youngest son needed reconstructive surgery on his ears, God’s church rallied together to encourage him. We made two 17 day trips to California three months apart. Pastor Nathan Eshelman gave him his own psalter. Eileen invited us to stay with her. Becky and Marjan had us over to their homes for delicious meals. Marjan shared how her husband often leads their family to sing Psalms 16 and 121 so that they would know with certainty who it is who preserves them and gives them life, to be confident in life, and to live it securely with hope and joy and in peace. Those times of fellowship were tastes of everlasting pleasure—tastes of what will be not merely par for the course but a hole in one in the new heavens and the new earth. 

The Lord used a congenital medical condition to supply a front seat view of his compassion displayed through his people. Church, at times, can be a foretaste of heaven—not so much when sinned against, losing loved ones, or having setbacks. In those times, you taste the dirt of earth. But keep your eyes fixed on Jesus for the blessing that he has for you in difficult relational situations. Trust him to give you the answer he has for you as you seek him. He will surely give it. Though many people were pressing up against him in the crowds as he traveled, Jesus felt power go out from him. One woman touched him who trusted that Jesus could begin her time of everlasting pleasure by meeting her greatest physical need. She, weary and burdened, came to Jesus. He gave her rest as a precursor to everlasting pleasure.

Singing Psalm 16 you hope for everlasting pleasure

“For You’ll not abandon my soul to the grave,     Your Godly One You will preserve from decay.” ~ Psalm 16:10

Peter leads up to his quote of Psalm 16 with:

“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” ~ Acts 2:22-24

Jesus’ body was brought to the grave, but the Father preserved it from decay even as his soul is infinitely knit together with the Father’s and the Holy Spirit’s that even death could not destroy. His body joined his soul three days later just as Jesus said it would.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20-21

Amazingly, God places his people exactly where he wants them and uses the very troubles that you would have avoided if you could have, to make what will, in the end, be better than if you did not go through those troubles. He shows you this in his big story woven together throughout the many little stories within his word. You truly cannot imagine the everlasting pleasure he has in store for you.

When someone says “come to me, learn from me,” you might expect them to cite their credentials on how much they know. “Listen to me because I know what I’m talking about.”

Jesus surprises with what he gives to those who are weary and burdened (rest) and the reasons he cites to come to him and learn from him, “for I am gentle and lowly in heart.”

This is God’s heart. He takes the humble way. Rather than lead the charge to victory from the get go, he had Moses ask Pharaoh to “let my people go.” God will prevail, but he prefers partnership over conquest. He’d rather see repentance and extend forgiveness than to squash stubborn pride ending in judgment without mercy.

O Lord, please enable each of your people to be able to say with Jesus without an ounce of pride, “I am gentle and lowly in heart.”

“…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” ~ 1 Peter 3:4

He works with his people to bring them low so they would look up and exalt him because that is the path to life. Looking to yourself without his direction is the path to death. But you begin by looking at where God has placed you, in what sort of body, and within a family, church family, and community. You begin where you are and look to God to lead you from there to everlasting pleasure. The Lord’s guiding presence has everything to do with that. Sheep need to be guided well. Only your good shepherd is qualified for this job.

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” ~ Ephesians 3:8-10

Singing Psalm 16 you tap into the best kept secret. There is everlasting pleasure when the Lord makes himself known to you. Intimate knowledge of him awaits all of those who would trust in Christ and the unsearchable riches of Christ you have to look forward to. Meanwhile, you have access to the creator of all things who guides you and gives you confidence to seize the day, each and every day until he brings you finally home where you know you belong and are richly welcomed. You, as part of Christ’s church, are a living stone.

“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Peter 2:4-5

So great are the riches of Christ that they are unsearchable, beyond finding out without the Holy Spirit’s illuminating. Ask him to teach you, counsel you, open your eyes to the everlasting pleasure that awaits you in Christ, and to enable you to come to him, trust him, and love him. The devil comes to snatch the seeds from the soil, but he can’t reach the seeds if they are deeply planted and rooting in rich soil.

“Life’s path You will show me; full joy is with You;     Your right hand holds pleasures for me evermore.” ~ Psalm 16:11

April 25, 2016 – March 22, 2024

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