The psalmist maintains a steady communion with God, receiving
counsel and allowing his heart to instruct him. How does
a heart attuned to God’s counsel manifest in our lives and that of
the psalmist? It seems to provide stability, a steadiness that promotes
an unshakable foundation. The psalmist experiences gladness,
rejoicing, and security. When we act on the Lord’s counsel
and the heart’s instruction, what do we experience?
Those who live without attuned hearts remain unaware of
God’s purposes for their lives. They may doubt the value of their
lives, perhaps drifting from place to place looking for love but
not knowing where to find it; looking for security, not knowing
that they are powerless to bring it about by their own efforts.
Those who keep their hearts secure in God will not be
moved. They do not doubt the worth of their lives and are grateful
day by day for God’s abundant blessings. God daily shows
them the path of life.
In verse 10, the psalmist alludes to a time of extreme trouble.
Even in that situation, his loyalty and faithfulness to God
brings about a happy end: “You do not give me up to Sheol, or
let your faithful one see the Pit.” We who bless the Lord trust
that God will not give us up to the darkness and despair of
Sheol. We and the psalmist remain steadfast because we keep
God ever in our minds and hearts. Therefore, we experience a
fullness of joy that arises out of wholehearted trust. The heart is
glad, and the soul rejoices. May we too choose the path of life.
Loving God, we thank you for the blessings of security that come in the wake of knowing that we belong to you. When we understand our lives in the light of your steadfast love and faithfulness we experience the steady joy of knowing that our lives matter. Amen.
Psalm 16 and Acts 2 fit together, since the latter quotes the former. Both celebrate God’s presence in human life and the powerful expression of that presence. In his Pentecost sermon Peter sees a messianic application of the psalm to the resurrection of Jesus. First Peter affirms that resurrection creates community, stressing the faith and love of Christians that arise without the experience of physical contact with Jesus. For later generations, belief and commitment are born out of the witness of others.
• Read Acts 2:14a, 22-32. When has a life experience made you, like Peter, feel that your faith was a sham? How did you move past that experience into renewed hope?
• Read Psalm 16. When have you perceived God as refuge? How has your faith in God steadied your life? What is your “goodly heritage”?
• Read 1 Peter 1:3-9. What act of power and grace on God’s part allows you to reconfigure or reinterpret your life story?
• Read John 20:19-31. When have you employed the power to release others from their sin? to leave them in their sin?
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