Psalm 16: Spoiler Alert
A miktam of David.
Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
I like movies. Well, I like some movies. Not all movies but there are many movies I like. Movies are a great way to tell a story. I especially like movies that subvert your expectations. You think one thing is going to happen but something completely different happens instead. Which means that I HATE spoilers. Spoilers are literally the worst.
But sometimes there are movies where you wish you just had the spoilers. I've seen movies where you know in the end the "good guys" will win, but during the movie you aren't quite as convinced. It can look pretty bleak for the heroes. I remember watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in the theaters thinking, "I know the good guys have to win in the end, but I have no idea how because this looks SO bleak." If you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I felt like for a lot of Infinity War and Endgame that it seemed impossible for the heroes to win...but they have to right? They have to beat Thanos in the end...but how?
This Psalm is one of the more positive and uplifting Psalms we've read so far. The Psalmist David is putting all of their trust and reliance in God. He acknowledge the ways God has blessed him. He claims his loyalty to the One True God. He puts his faith in God's eternal pleasures. He says that he will focus their eyes on God and that God is the best thing in his life.
But before all that, in verse 1, the writer says, "Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge." We don't know the circumstances of when this was written, but I personally think based off the first verse that it was in a time of trouble. David needed God to "show up" and keep him safe. He needed refuge.
The book of Psalms were compiled into what we have today likely during the Babylonian exile. Many of the first people to read, pray, and sing this psalm were people whose lives were falling apart. They were taken from their homes. They were removed from their families. They now lived in a culture that they didn't know. This culture spoke a language they didn't understand. This culture also worshipped gods that were not real. Yet they prayed this Psalm saying "you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay."
Maybe you feel like your life is falling apart around you. Maybe this year isn't quite turning out how you had planned. Regardless of how you are feeling right now, we should have the faith of David. David knew the ending of the story. He already read the spoilers. He knew the good guys win in the end. Jesus is making all things new. What we can do is recognize how amazing God is. When everything else in our life fails us, God never does. With God on our side, even when we lose battles, we will never lose the war. David concludes saying "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Jesus is the path of life. Let's follow Him together.
Because SPOILER ALERT: God defeats evil in the end.
Challenge: Has there been a time for you where you thought there was no way out? Have you ever thought a happy ending wasn't possible? What are the storms around you right now? Write down a list of things you feel like are falling apart. Then write a list of all the things God is. You can have all the good things in the world, but without God, those things are meaningless. Give your fears to God and pray for the faith to always remember God's eternal happy ending.