In their song, “This Is Not the End,” the Christian band Gungor proclaims that there’s more to life than this life: “This is not the end, this is not the end of this/ We will open our eyes wide, wider/ This is not our last, this is not our last breath / We will open our mouths wide, wider . . . / This is not the end, this is not the end of us / We will shine like the stars bright, brighter.”
Indeed, both on earth and in eternity, we have the joy of delighting ourselves in God’s faithful love. In today’s reading, the opening prayer sets the tone: “Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge” (vv. 1–2). David worshiped the one true God, who is the source of all good things (v. 2). To delight in God is not an abstraction, for it also requires us to delight in God’s people (v. 3). The well-known rhyme is misguided: “To be above, with saints we love, oh that will be glory. But to be below, with saints we know, is quite a different story!” False worship or idolatry is the opposite of delighting in God, and has opposite results (v. 4).
Though David was a king, he acknowledged God as his King (vv. 5–6). Any success or pleasure he enjoyed was not to his credit or glory but to the Lord’s. To this humility, the psalm then adds praise, trust or dependence (in receiving God’s counsel and instruction), and rock-solid faith (vv. 7–8). The psalmist rejoices that his hope and delight are in God. Best of all, this life is not all there is (vv. 9–11). That’s why Peter quoted verse 10 in his Pentecost sermon as an Old Testament verse that had foreshadowed Christ’s resurrection (Acts 2:25–32).
Apply the Word
It vexes sinful human nature to acknowledge that God controls events and is the source of all good things in our lives. We prefer to think that we earned and deserve it all. We act as if we’re masters of our own destiny and all we need to succeed are skills and self-confidence. This is one reason why delighting oneself in the Lord is countercultural!