As we continue our study of the Psalms, Please read Acts 2:29-31 (Yes, you read that right!).
Isn’t it wonderful when the New Testament saints help us to understand the meaning of the Old Testament saints?! In Peter’s beautiful sermon at Pentecost, he points out that David wrote Psalm 16 as a prophecy of Jesus Christ. With that in mind, please now read Psalm 16.
After understanding that Jesus is speaking through David in this Psalm, we now have a better understanding of its meaning. Jesus Himself took refuge in God (v.1). This is why Jesus regularly retreated into private times of prayer in which God the Father ‘preserved’ the Son (v.1). This word is used of bodyguards surrounding a king or shepherds protecting their flocks. While Jesus was fully God, He was never without the rest of the Godhead surrounding Him, filling Him, and working through Him.
This is why the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His baptism, why God the Father declared from Heaven, ‘this is my beloved son,’ and why Jesus proclaimed that He only says and does that which the Father tells Him to do and say. God the Father is a refuge for God the Son, and Jesus could do no good apart from the work of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit (v.2).
As Jesus is doing the work of His Father, He takes delight in the saints (v.3). We are reminded of the joy Jesus shared with His disciples during the many meals they enjoyed together. We are reminded also that Jesus was fully human and came “eating and drinking” with such joy that people called him “a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Matthew 11:19). But these tax collectors and sinners trusted in Christ and so brought Him joy.
Meanwhile, the pharisees and religious leaders worshipped a ‘god’ of their own making through their rituals and sacrifices, which are rejected by the same Christ whose presence they rejected (v.4).
While being rejected by His people, Jesus took solace in God the Father, and allowed Him to be His ‘chosen portion and my cup’ (v.5). While praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus knew the suffering that He would have to endure on the cross, but He also knew the joy that was set before Him, so He was willing to endure it (v.6; Hebrews 12:2).
Even as Jesus perished on the cross, He did not turn away from God. He did not curse God, but blessed the Lord (v.7), crying out “my God, my God,” indicating His utter dependency on the Father, and setting that ever before Him (v.8). As the Father gave Him strength, Jesus could endure even the full wrath of God on our behalf!
Yet, this wrath, though dreadful, was temporary. God would not abandon Jesus to Sheol; God would not allow Jesus’ body to see corruption or decay (v.10). Three days after Jesus died, God raised Him up from the grave, brought Him back to ‘the path of life,’ and gave ‘fullness of joy’ in Christ’s victory over sin and death. Now, Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father, where there “are pleasures forevermore” (v.11).
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices” (v.9). These may be the words of Jesus, but these are also our words today: thank God for all that He has done through Jesus Christ His Son!
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