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God Is with the Christian and Will Never Leave Him

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The Psalms have proven to be a source of comfort and encouragement to many in the midst of the various circumstances of life. No matter what the Christian encounters, he will find in the Psalms a way to move forward in the midst of his present circumstances. The afflicted will find many psalms that touch upon times of affliction. Those who are fearful will see reasons not to fear. Those who do not know God rightly will see many sides of God, as well as God’s being magnified through the Psalms.

In studying the Bible and seeking to mature as a Christian, a helpful approach is to take note of the responses of mankind to the activity of God. For instance, Christ died for sinners, and the proper response of man is to believe that Christ died for him. Another example is found in Romans 12:1-2, where Paul tells the Christian how to respond to God’s activity that he had stated just prior to these verses.

In the Psalms, we can see that David paid close attention to the activity of God and responded in a way that was pleasing to the Lord. As a result, the Christian must take note of David’s approach to responding to God’s activity.

Bless the Lord

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The first of David’s responses to God can be seen in David’s blessing the Lord. David says, “I will bless the Lord…” (KJV, Ps. 16:7) . While it would appear to be a good practice to bless the Lord, many Christians may not know what it means to bless the Lord. Maybe you are thinking, “How do I bless the Lord?”, or, “Is not God the One Who does the blessing?”

The Hebrew word that David used to depict blessing when he said, “I will bless the Lord…” (KJV, Ps. 16:7) , is barak, which has a number of different meanings. The meaning itself is largely dependent upon the context in which it is used. When the Bible speaks of God’s blessing man and uses the word barak, this speaks of man’s benefiting from God or God’s benefit toward man. On the other hand, when the Bible uses the word barak to speak of man’s disposition or response toward God, it depicts someone who is kneeling and/or giving God adoration.

Therefore, to bless the Lord is to express adoration toward God and would thus constitute praise. To bless the Lord would also mean that David spoke well of the Lord. The word barak also carries the meaning of saluting, much like the soldier salutes a superior officer. When we see David declaring, “I will bless the Lord…” (KJV, Ps. 16:7) , we see a man who was given over to adoring God and offering praise to Him.

God gives counsel

But the question must be asked, “Why did David have such a heightened desire to bless the Lord?” The psalms give us an answer. David goes on to say, “I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons” (Ps. 16:7) . Here, we see that David turned to blessing the Lord when he recognized the counsel that God had given him.

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Elsewhere, Asaph said, “Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Ps. 73:24) . In Isaiah, the Bible tells us that God is “…wonderful in counsel…” (Is. 28:29) . But what is at stake when the Bible speaks of the counsel of God? David had in mind God’s advice and guidance when he spoke of the counsel of God. Most likely David would have been reflecting on the Scriptures and words relayed to him through trusted prophets.

The Christian today has the Word of God to reflect upon and by which to hear God’s counsel. Thus, the counsel found in the Word should bring about a disposition of blessing the Lord.

Set the Lord before you

David also believed that it was right and proper to set the Lord before him. David said, “I have set the Lord always before me…” (Ps. 16:8) . Yet again, we must ask, “What did David mean by this?”
Here, we see a man who had an awareness of God’s presence in his life. The reason for why we can know that David had God’s presence in mind in this particular verse is due to the fact that Peter interprets the passage in this manner. Peter looks back at David’s words and says, “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved” (Acts 2:25). Here, we see that Peter tells us David “foresaw” the Lord before him (rather than that David “set” the Lord before him). In other words, David saw that God was with him and went before him.

Fear not

But what was David’s response to recognizing the presence of God in his life? Scripture says, “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved” (Ps. 16:8) . David saw the Lord before him; he recognized that God was at his right hand; therefore, David believed that he would not be moved. This verse is reminiscent of the many Scriptures that tell us to fear not, for God is with us.

What did God do to instill courage in Joshua and the Israelites? God reminded them of His presence in their lives. What did God do to instill courage in the Israelites during the days of Isaiah? He told the people to fear not, for God is with them.

Be glad, rejoice, and hope in the Lord

David continues on to highlight his responses to God’s activity in his life. David says, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Ps. 16:9) . David was filled with gladness, rejoicing, and hope. To be glad is, in essence, to be joyful and full of rejoicing. But then David goes on to actually say that he rejoiced. David is seeking to highlight a matter by using interchangeable words. This practice gives the effect of stressing a point to make it clear.

However, there is more at stake than merely stressing a point. The Hebrew word that David uses to depict rejoicing carries with it spinning around with great emotion. David was overcome with heightened emotions to God’s activity in his life.

Not only that, but David was filled with hope as to the work of God in his life. He trusted in God and was greatly acquainted with God’s character. Thus, David could say, “my flesh also shall rest in hope” (Ps. 16:9) .

God will not abandon you

But why was David filled with gladness, rejoicing, and hope? David continues on and says, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Ps. 16:10) . It is interesting to see the way that this Psalm is conveyed to the reader. In Deuteronomy 31:6, we are told that the Israelites were to be strong and courageous. They were not to fear or be afraid. The reason for this is that God would go with them and would not forsake them.

In David’s psalm, we have seen that David was concerned with the presence of God in his life. Thus, David knew that God was with him. In this, we can see the first half of Deuteronomy 31:6. But now in Psalm 16:10, we see the second half of Deuteronomy 31:6. Not only did David know that God was with him, he also knew that God would not forsake him. When meditating on this truth, David’s heart was made glad, his being rejoiced, and in this truth, David had much hope.

Final prayer

Father, I thank You for the book of Psalms. Thank you for the encouragement and counsel that You give in the book of Psalms. Help me to be like David and to respond to Your activity in my life in a way that is pleasing in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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