THE GOOD LIFE
Whether or not your boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places (6), give thanks to God for his mercies today.
Read Psalm 16
A miktam of David.
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMake a list of some of your key responsibilities in life. What are you thankful for in each of them?
The psalms explore all of life in its ups and downs. Psalm 16 is fully aware of troubles (notably the threat of death in verse 10), and the frantic activity of “those who run after other gods.” But it is dominated by an overwhelming sense of thankfulness for the life God invites us to lead in the midst of all of that.
It includes praising God for telling us how to live (7) and praying that God will keep us from death (10). We could understand this in terms of being kept alive to enjoy what God is calling us to do and not to try and find shortcuts to success or happiness that bypass God (4).
Perhaps the central understanding of the psalmist is that what God requires of us can be a joyful responsibility, and not just a burden. Look at verse 6 again. Those “boundary lines” might include job, vocation, family and home commitments, as well as other responsibilities. As a result, the psalm invites us to reflect on how the life we have been given is a gift from God: for us, and for our good.
Are there aspects of your Christian walk that have seemed more of a burden than a blessing? How can you begin to shift your viewpoint?
How are the responsibilities that you listed above a gift from God? Give thanks for them.