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Devotion for November 27, 2008

Devotions

When we recall that Peter was a fisherman without an advanced theological degree, it’s amazing to see the depth of insight into God’s Word that the Spirit gave to him. Consider, for example, his understanding of Jesus’ death and resurrection in light of the Old Testament. Standing in Jerusalem on Pentecost, Peter quoted Psalm 16:8–11 and Psalm 110:1 to show from the Scripture that Jesus, whom some in the crowd no doubt had seen crucified, was no longer dead, but had been raised from the dead and sits at God’s right hand (see Acts 2:22–36).

Yesterday we looked at Psalm 110 and its importance for New Testament writers. Today we’ll see that Psalm 16 was also an important psalm in this regard.

In Psalm 16, another Davidic psalm, we see the same deep confidence in the Lord that characterized David’s life. We also see David’s consistent recognition of his dependence upon the Lord, apart from whom no good thing is possible. At the same time, however, David also recognized the importance of the community of the faithful. The connection between verses 3 and 4 suggests that those who delight in the fellowship of God’s people should not be those who “run after other gods.”

The contrast between idolatry and faithful worship is also seen in David’s praise for the portion that the Lord had given to him. David had learned that being satisfied with God’s provision was an essential part of contentment in life. This resolve to make the Lord his sole focus also resulted in emotional stability and confidence in the future. Specifically, David’s unshakable confidence in the Lord also gave him assurances about life after the grave. The greatest refuge in life is the knowledge of spending eternity in God’s presence.

Apply the Word

Thanksgiving Day is a good time to count the blessings that are ours in Jesus Christ. Psalm 16 is a helpful way to begin. First, consider our refuge in Christ, who offers a peace that surpasses understanding (Phil. 4:7). This is especially poignant when we consider the sorrows of those who try to find comfort elsewhere (Ps. 16:4). Now consider the eternal inheritance that is ours in Christ (1 Peter 1:3–5). Finally, rejoice in the knowledge of “eternal pleasures” at God’s right hand that awaits us (Ps. 16:11). Praise the Lord!

BY Dana M. Harris

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