Reasons to Bless God

Psalm 16

Jesus: Luke 24:27Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44 all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” Next verse is key, too: “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” They had lived in personal space of the fulfillment, yet needed divine help to get it. Must remember this was before they had been fully equipped by Holy Spirit – his ministry includes essential teaching component that believers still experience.

Given this specific description of Jesus teaching between resurrection and ascension, should expect to find examples of what apostles learned displayed in writing and ministry. In fact, we do find them, beginning with Peter’s first public sermon: Acts 2:25-36. Peter quotes from both Psalm 16 and 110, giving interpretation of them consistent with what Jesus had taught in the previous few weeks. Messianic Psalms – 2, 8, 16, 22, 40, 45, 69, 72, 89, 102, 109, 110, 132; quoted/interpreted in NT as referring to / speaking of Christ.

How possible 1000+ years before Incarnation? See 1 Peter 1:10-12. Same Peter tells us OT prophets, among whom he includes David (Acts 2:30), knew they were prophesying of the Messiah (Christ), his suffering, resurrecton and subsequent kingly rule. They didn’t know his name or dates, but did know their prophetic utterances / writings were for benefit of a future generation. Note carefully: was Spirit of Christ in them testifying in advance through them. Peter clarifies in 2 Pet. 1:21 prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” Same Spirit was moving Peter as he wrote 2 epistles, Luke when he wrote historical account in Acts.

Means when we get to places where OT is quoted / interpreted in NT, must take that into consideration. Especially when it’s as plainly explicit as what just read in Acts 2. That means present text is in 2 parts: verses 1-7, verses 8-11. Part 2 must be interpreted as speaking of Christ; Part 1 reads as a prayer of David for his own protection but could easily be prayed by all the godly including Lord Jesus. As complete “package” is an inspired expression of trust and rejoicing in God containing whole series of reasons to bless God.

David begins his prayer-hymn with request for protection and preservation. The balance of the hymn expresses confidence that he will receive an affirmative answer. His confidence extends beyond this life into the next, and is firmly founded on his trust in God’s promise. God had told David that one of his descendants would have an everlasting rule, the Messiah, of course. It is that One in whom David perceived the ultimate answer to his need. It is that One of whom he speaks specifically in Part 2. We know, thanks to progressive revelation, that Lord Jesus, himself being God, is an appropriate one to bless in Part 1: God is my Refuge, Delight, Inheritance, Counselor, Rock, Resurrection, and Life.

A. God is my Refuge v.1

trusts God in present because has trusted God in past with good results

regardless of surroundings / circumstances, God has necessary resources available to protect his children

even though David had easier time trusting God in midst of physical danger, could have done so safely in spiritual danger (a lesson Solomon didn’t learn real well)

given where he ends the psalm, David had in view safety/security in both life and death – to be found only under God’s protection

in first two verses, uses 3 distinct names for God

El – mighty God – one on whom Jesus called when in his deepest distress

Yahweh – covenant God

Adonai – sovereign God

B. God is my Delight v.2-4

David expresses contentment in being under God’s sovereign authority

declares that God is his only source of good, of well-being

David has no greater source of happiness than God, and,… true happiness not to be found anywhere else

finds such delight in God that purposefully seeks out company of God’s people

no hint of “well, he is a Christian but…..” attitude

delights in God by delighting in his true children, his image and love expressed through them

studiously avoids anything to do with idolatry

why chase after other gods if true God satisfies?

recognizes that idolatry can’t satisfy, false gods can’t do anything; to chase emptiness only piles up troubles

out of respect for and obedience to true God, refused to even speak their name (Ex. 23:13)

C. God is my Inheritance v.5-6

another declaration of his contentment with God and his provision

if the Giver is our inheritance, what satisfaction could ever be found only in his gifts?

by taking God as inheritance, means fully relying on God for everything, now and forever

inheritance is like no other

will never depreciate, be damaged or destroyed or taken away

Giver is committed to securing it for recipient

“You will never get rest nor satisfaction, and you will never be able to look to the past with thankfulness, nor into the present with repose, nor into the future with hope, unless you can say, “God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.” But oh! if you do, then you have a goodly heritage, a heritage of quiet repose, a heritage of still satisfaction, a heritage which suits, and gratifies, and expands all the powers of a man’s nature, and makes him ever capable of larger and larger possessions, of a God who ever gives more than we can receive, that the overplus may draw us to further desire, and the further desire may more fully be satisfied.” Alexander MacLaren

D. God is my Counselor v.7

first reference in Psalms to blessing / praising the Lord

contrast here with his predecessor – David consults with true source of wisdom and guidance, not a witch

dual source of counsel for which David can bless the Lord

external – written word, spoken word through priests (Abiathar, Nathan, etc)

internal – work of Holy Spirit (referenced by Peter) by direct communication and through working of conscience

E. God is my Rock v.8-9

David could pen next 4 verses about himself, but…. are true of him only in limited sense; must look to Christ for full realization

as the eternal Son, 2nd person of the Godhead, Father is eternally “in front of” Lord Jesus – in his immediate view, in his mind, in his immediate presence. True even during incarnation, especially before / after: “glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you” John 17:5

as the eternal…., Father is eternally “beside” Lord Jesus – place of honor, position of defender and protector, source of strength. Important particularly during incarnation, time of ministry

Lord Jesus delighted in Father, found strength in Father, had absolute confidence in Father – could not fail in his mission either from his own weakness or external opposition so long as Father is before and beside him. Absolute safety / security for both body and soul.

F. God is my Resurrection v.10

Lord Jesus’ confidence continues (true in very limited sense of David – you will not abandon me to “death”… right now)

will full knowledge of what awaited him – arrest / trial / crucifixion / burial – Christ knew that would not be the end

would not stay in the grave – would indeed be resurrected from the dead, validating his complete satisfaction of Father’s justice and victory over sin. Sin’s penalty could not hold him.

add to that: his very body would not be touched by decay brought on by death introduced by sin. He bore our sin, paid the penalty for our sin, but even in death was impervious to impurity of sin

in work of salvation God “covered all the bases”; nothing in what the Lord Jesus experienced as our redeemer could call into question his fitness or his success

G. God is my Life v.11

even Jesus depended on Father for guidance – consider how much time he spent in prayer

path of life begins with God, is revealed by God, ends in God’s presence

expression here of present faith and future hope: trust in God’s guidance, hope/confidence in future joy

Jesus expected affirmative answer to his “high-priestly” prayer – that what would come after death would count as life

gives no consideration for a third way; it’s either death or life, and true life has certain qualities:

experiencing the Father’s presence – Jesus did not expect to remain on earth indefinitely; was confident of “reunion” with Father

absolute joy – anything short of Father’s immediate presence would diminish joy; God’s presence guarantees joy; nothing that hinders perfect fellowship and enjoyment of God will be tolerated

everlasting pleasure from the place of honor and authority – Jesus is not a scowling sovereign. Rules over his kingdom from place of life, joy, pleasure

was view of all this that kept Jesus going through dark times: “for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” Heb. 12:2

Those in union with Christ by faith have same confidence, with one exception – no guarantee they will escape bodily decay. But,… God has that base covered, too! It’s not all future, begins in some measure with regeneration, reaches fullness in heaven.

“Here is as much said as can be said (but words are too weak to utter it). For quality, there is in heaven joy and pleasures. For quantity, a fulness, a torrent, whereat they drink without let or loathing. For constancy, it is at God’s right hand, who is stronger than all, neither can any take us out of his hand; it is a constant happiness without intermission. And for perpetuity, it is for evermore. Heaven’s joys are without measure, mixture, or end.” Trapp

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