Psalm 16.1-11 – I Shall Not Be Moved
How do most of us complete this sentence? “The key to happiness is _______________________”. What do you thing that happiness is? Where does it come from? What about joy? Is joy based upon out “happiness”? Is it possible to go through trying circumstances and to still have genuine joy?
In Psalm 16 we see a very personal song. The author uses the terms “my”, “I” and “me” twenty-three different times and in 10 of the 11 verses of this Psalm. Some of the terms he use are:
- I put my trust (v1)
- Will I not offer (v4)
- I have a goodly inheritance (v5)
- I will bless the Lord (v6)
- My heart is glad (v9)
The singer of this song is truly appreciative of what the Lord has done in their life. The poet is genuinely appreciative of what the Lord still is doing in their life, and they author knows and rejoices in the knowledge what the Lord will do in their life and in the generations to come.
In our lives we will have troubles, and sorrows. We will have loved ones who will pass away. We will have friends who abandon us. We may fall ill from sickness or disease. Some may have terrible accidents caused by someone else’s foolishness that will maim us for life.
Bearing the Cross of Jesus has it’s own troubles outside of these things mentioned that happens just as a matter of life. Rejection, ridicule, social ostracizing are things that all Christians encounter at some point in their walk with Christ. Some lose jobs and fall on financial hardships from sharing their testimony. Some suffer more severe repercussions. Some are imprisoned, beaten, and tortured for years. Some are executed and suffer acid attack, burnings, hangings, and even crucifixion themselves.
Yet joy is not an emotion. Joy is a command. Philippians 4.4 tells us to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. Then the Apostle Paul tells us why, in our rejoicing in adversity, as well as in celebrations, we show to “all men” that the Lord is at hand, He is very present in our time of need. Psalm 5.11 explains, “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield.”
Seeking joy is not small thing. God wants us to be happy, but he also knows that only place that we can find happiness and true joy is in his presence. So he commands us to seek him. In verse 1 of Psalm 16 David prayed, “Preserve me…. O God! David knew he was in need and knew who could help him. He went straight to the source. He immediately took his need to the ONE who cared, and had the authority to do something about his plight. David right away put his trust in the Lord, God! Then he restated his faith in verse 2 and even went further to declare that “my goodness extendeth not to thee”. David is simply acknowledging that he has not good outside of God.
David acknowledges to God,
- I have done NOTHING for your favor!
- Still my soul calls out to you!
- I have commanded my soul to submit to you!
- I am at your great mercy!
In verse 3-4 David draws a contrast in what He knows about the differences between those who trust in God and those who don’t. Those who follow after other gods will have their sorrows multiplied. Those other gods cannot deliver them out of their troubles. Listen if money is what you put your trust in, it will burn up! When I use to be a practicing alcoholic, when payday came around and I went to the bar and bought rounds for everyone in the bar, and threw my money around like I was some kind of a big shot. I have all kinds of friends. People called me “brother”, and said things like, “Man I love you”, “If you ever need someone, call on me”. But you know when the money ran out. So did my friends. Those who supposedly loved me were gone. The ones who said that I could count on them, even after I went broke buying them drink after drink, couldn’t even spare the cash to get me a bottle of water to sooth my thirst. Friends your other gods will abandon you, because they are NOT real!
In contrast David tells us, those who server the Living God, those who trust in Jesus, will never be abandoned. He won’t leave you thirsting for water in your time of need, because He is the living water! Amen! The God of Heaven, the Creator of all that is seen and unseen has given me an inheritance. You know what that means? That means that I will NEVER be without! The One true God who made all of the splendor of the universe has given me pleasant places to dwell. He has a place with many mansions, and He has prepared a place form me! I know this because he said so. I also know this because every single day he gives me the things I need. Like David it is not because of anything that I have done, it is not because I have been a good man. I did not earn His favor. He just loves me. He has always loved me from the foundations of the earth. You know he has always loved you, from before you were formed in the womb? It is true. He said it.
The Psalmist goes on to say that He is joyful, that we can be joyful because we can rest in the assurance of who God IS! David said that the Lord:
- Gives counsel (wisdom)
- Gives instructions (Correction)
- Will never leave us alone (Protection)
- Show us the way (Guidance)
- Gives us everlasting pleasures in Him (Rewards Us)
It is the Lord who sustains us. When we acknowledge Him as our Lord, when we submit to Him and choose to follow Him as our God, the one True God sustains us. He sets hi seal on us through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, and keeps us to the day of redemption. It is not our doing at all. This is where our joy comes from. Amen!
Remember this and apply it to your heart…
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” Psalm 11.8-9