By Brooke Holt
“Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.” - Psalm 16:1-4
David begins writing this psalm with the acknowledgement that the world is not as it should be. Troubles must abound or David would not need to find refuge. There are the saints, and then there are those who run after other gods. Yet, David reigns and abides in the nation of Israel, the very people that God has chosen and called to be his people, his holy and set apart nation. Why would God’s holy and set apart people live in turmoil? Even more importantly, why would God’s holy and set apart people run after another god?
While David acknowledges the turmoil, he also reaffirms his trust in the one true God. In God alone will David take refuge. And not only does David take refuge in God, he also affirms that all good things come from God. Those who recognize God as sovereign, as good, and as the provider are the ones in whom David delights. In other words, David delights in the ones in whom God delights.
Just as blessings come to those who love and trust in the Lord, so do sorrows come upon those who look to another god. Whereas God’s people were commanded to love the Lord their God and to worship him alone, fickle hearts are easily led astray. Instead of obeying these commandments, these people began to look for love, security, provision, and purpose in another god. Instead of taking responsibility for these people, the king of Israel entrusts them to the Lord. He will not offer blood offerings on behalf of their sins. They have turned from the Lord, and they must see the futility of their ways, turn back, and take responsibility for their sin.
David knows that while good things come from the hand of the Lord for those who love him and obey him, sorrows come to those who turn away to pursue another god. David sings these truths as a song, a psalm, one that we are called to sing and remember today. These songs are recorded in God’s holy Scripture because we, too, have fickle hearts. We, too, are prone to wander and to run after another god or gods.
The Lord would have us consider today in whom or what are we taking refuge? This world is still not right. We are plagued by pandemics, death, warfare, divisions, and far too many hostilities. In the chaos, there is only one true refuge and that is the same God, the one true God, in whom David trusted. Are we following his example and turning to the Lord for our strength, hope, and security or are we looking to things within this world—broken people, broken institutions, or money that will one day fade away?
May today be the day that we find refuge in the Lord with the words of David flowing from our hearts and lips, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you” (v. 2).
What does it mean for you to take refuge in God? Spend some time meditating on the strength, hope, and security that is found in the Lord. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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