January 16, 2017: Day 16 – Psalm 16

We begin by trying to figure out what the word “miktam” might mean.  The bottom line is that, once again, no one knows what it means.  I have my own theory, but let me share some others first, and then mine.  Some think that it refers to a wind instrument, so this psalm would be played to a wind instrument, similar to past psalms which we have seen, such as the flute.  But there is no linguistic backing for this definition.  In modern day Hebrew the term refers to an epigram, which is a brief, sometimes satirical, statement.  But back in David’s day the Babylonians in their language had a similar word and it meant a lid or a metal cover to a vessel.  See where I am going with this one?  I think this is the first psalm we have which was highlighted as being accompanied by percussion, or the drums.  See, the drums are not of the devil after all.

This is a beautiful, but fairly unknown, psalm.  Any psalm which asks for protection and ascribes to the Lord refuge is one that ought to be on our radar.  In this era where some of us feel as if terrorists are the biggest threat to our livelihood (they are not by the way), and in this time where our policies are shaped by fear and a seeming lack of security, any psalm which addresses protection and refuge should be a breath of fresh air.  

Think of this phrase: “You are my Lord, I have no good apart from you.”  I know people who are doing incredible good around the world, and yet would never say that they believe in Jesus as Savior.  In fact, the people that I know who are doing some of the most incredible, altruistic, life giving work around the world would specifically say that they are not disciples of Jesus in any way shape or form.  So the phrase, “I have no good apart from you”, how does that apply?  Notice the psalmist does not say: I can do no good apart from you.  The source of all things good, all things, comes from our Creator God.  

So what is the source of the good that comes from the people who do not profess God to be their source of all things good?  Can a person do good without God.  I have to answer yes, they can.  But I quickly follow it up with: but they could do so much more good for themselves and for this world if they only knew Jesus.  What happens sometimes is that when we come to know Jesus then the good that we would do, we don’t.  We don’t do it because for some reason some disciples are perfectly happy and content to only look out for their own salvation and their own self-interests.  Remember what Dire Straits said: “When you point your finger cos your plan fell through
You got three more fingers pointing back at you.”  I’ll give you the link for that song: 

 

The Psalm continues and ends with a wonderfully glass half full approach.  I have no problem sleeping, the psalmist states.  What a great statement and what a testimony to his reliance upon the Lord for all things.  When I have problems sleeping it is mostly because there is something at the church which is causing conflict or is unresolved.  There simply are times when we turn things over to the Lord, but anxiety is still present.  The fullness of joy which God provides is also very attainable.  Have you ever heard in the Bible a promise for: “pleasures evermore?”  That would make some Puritans roll over in their grave.

But what is wrong with the statement: Life is an awesome adventure and then you go to heaven.  It is a statement we could all live by and it will provide the inevitable “pleasures” that life ought to have.  There is nothing wrong with living a “pleasurable” live.  In fact, as this psalm tells us, pleasure and joy have been given to us by God.  They are not gifts from Satan, but rather gifts from God.  Think of that next time you have a chocolate and vanilla shake.

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2 Responses to January 16, 2017: Day 16 – Psalm 16

  1. Dot Rineer says:

    Hark! Do I hear a miktam in this song “Fullness of Joy” (Psalm 16) by Shane & Shane?

    https://youtu.be/R8mLTdQQXg4

  2. Kathy Eisenhauer says:

    I feel this psalm is a beautiful reminder that everything good that I have comes from the Lord. If what I notice about myself and/or my surroundings is NOT good then it is a reminder that I need to start figuring out how it needs to change. We as humans have more control than we realize over things around us and we definitely have control over how we relate or respond to those moments or things. Of course we do not have the ability to affect everything. A statement I hold close to me is “take responsibility for what you can change and let God take care of the rest”.

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