Keep me safe, O God,
I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!”
Without you, nothing makes sense. (Psalm 16:1-2)
Apart from a few encounters with bullies growing up, I’ve rarely faced external threats of violence. My enemies have primarily come from within, as I have battled bipolar disorder. Facing the demons of depression and mania, my mind has turned against me such that I have no longer been safe in my own skin. I’ve posed a distinct threat to myself and others.
At such times, I’ve run to God for shelter and found God already reaching out for me. God has brought me to my senses and led me to secure shelter in which to stand. Once there, I’ve found loving companions to keep me safe.
And these God-chosen lives all around –
what splendid friends they make! (Psalm 16:3)
Through the faithful fellowship of friends and family watching out for me, encouraging me, caring for me in so many ways, I have seen the face and touched the hands of God.
With such loyal companionship as God has provided, one would think I would gratefully and gladly hold on tight. Yet, I am prone to wander. David’s words serve as a warning to me.
Don’t just go shopping for a god.
Gods are not for sale.
I swear I’ll never treat god-names
like brand-names. (Psalm 16:4)
I am fickle when it comes to faithfulness. My lips profess there is one true God who is my Lord and Savior but my heart is often far from Him. I talk the talk yet fail to walk the walk. God help me to be a man after God’s own heart — like David.
My choice is you, God, first and only.
And now I find I’m your choice!
You set me up with a house and yard.
And then you made me your heir! (Psalm 16:5-6)
David enjoyed many blessings in his life. God chose him when he was only a shepherd boy to become Israel’s king. God moved him from the fields to a palace. God prospered him more than he could have imagined.
No doubt God can and does bring us temporal blessings in this life. More than this, however, God promises us a home in the next — part of His blessed family. In Christ, we are made heirs of God’s abundant life that begins now and lasts forever. In this promise, we rest secure.
The wise counsel God gives when I’m awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I’ll stick with God;
I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. (Psalm 16:7-8)
God’s gift of adoption into His family should not make us complacent. Instead, with the conviction of faith we are motivated to do more by grace than if we anxiously tried to earn God’s blessing.
I’m happy from the inside out,
and from the outside in, I’m firmly fixed.
You cancelled my ticket to hell –
that’s not my destination! (Psalm 19:9-10)
More than being protected in this life, God has rescued us in Christ from eternal destruction. Without Christ, we are without hope. With Christ, we have all in the world — and well beyond.
Now you’ve got my feet on the life path,
all radiant from the shining of your face.
Ever since you took my hand,
I’m on the right way. (Psalm 19:11-12)
With Christ leading us by the hand, we are no longer lost. More than this, Christ shines through us to light the way for others to follow.
As I write this, snow is falling here in the Midwest. The roads will be hazardous. I pray for travelers’ safety along the way. In a larger sense, I also pray for all travelers that they find the Way that leads to Life.