Monday, March 11, 2013

Camping in His presence

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Psalm 16:1-11

TO CHEW ON: "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 16:11

This psalm is called a Michtam — a title which, a footnote in my Bible says, refers to deliverance from death. Peter quotes from Psalm 16 on the day of Pentecost, referring to Jesus' deliverance from death in resurrection. Peter had done his memory work — note how closely his speech followed Psalm 16:8-11:

"I foresaw the LORD always before my face,
      For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
       Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
      Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
       For You will not leave my soul in Hades,
      Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
       You have made known to me the ways of life;
      You will make me full of joy in Your presence." - Acts 2:25-28

Peter then applied the message of the psalm to their current situation. My paraphrase: 'See, this is what David prophesied, that from his (David's) line Christ would come to sit on his throne. He foresaw this Christ's resurrection which God fulfilled in Jesus. And it's Jesus who is now at the right hand of God, who pours out the Holy Spirit on us today.'

And so as we now think about "the path of life" David asked God to show him, we interpret it in the light of Jesus' resurrection. When we claim this verse for ourselves, and pray it over our lives, we do it knowing Jesus has conquered death and the "path of life" winds into eternity.

But we don't have to wait till eternity to experience the joy of it. We can have it whenever we camp in His presence. A commentary article in my Bible expands on what that means:

"Radical, passionate, life-changing devotion bursts forth in our lives from one primary source: consistently being in the presence of the Lord.
  • Know that abundant life, fulfillment, delight and joy are found in the presence of the Lord (Psalm 16:11 - our focus verse).
  • Stay in God's presence for there you will find wisdom and protection from those who would rise up against you (Psalm 17:2-9).
  • Follow David's example by recognizing that it is in God's presence that you will find grace, honor, mercy, faithfulness, great joy, and gladness (Psalm 21:1-7).
  • Hide in God's presence. It is a place of shelter and safety (Psalm 31:20)."
- Leslyn Musch, "Truth-In-Action Through Psalms" - New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 719.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for making the round trip from heaven to earth. Help me to absorb all that Your resurrection means and avail myself of eternal life's delights by intentionally and consistently living in Your presence now. Amen.

MORE: Handel's Messiah Alert
Words from Psalm 16:10 are the lyrics of Chorus 32 of Handel's Messiah. Bogdan Mihai  is the soloist in this live performance from the Bucharest National Radio Hall.

"But Thou Didst Not Leave His Soul in Hell"

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