Celebrate Joy (Psalm 16)

Psalm 16

A miktam of David.

16 Protect me, God, because I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord.
    Apart from you, I have nothing good.”
Now as for the “holy ones” in the land,
    the “magnificent ones” that I was so happy about;
    let their suffering increase because
        they hurried after a different god.
I won’t participate in their blood offerings;
    I won’t let their names cross my lips.
You, Lord, are my portion, my cup;
    you control my destiny.
The property lines have fallen beautifully for me;
    yes, I have a lovely home.

I will bless the Lord who advises me;
    even at night I am instructed
    in the depths of my mind.
I always put the Lord in front of me;
    I will not stumble because he is on my right side.
That’s why my heart celebrates and my mood is joyous;
    yes, my whole body will rest in safety
10     because you won’t abandon my life to the grave;
    you won’t let your faithful follower see the pit.

11 You teach me the way of life.
    In your presence is total celebration.
Beautiful things are always in your right hand. (Psalm 16, Common English Bible)

I love this psalm. I love the images of celebration. I love the psalmist’s joyous mood. It is a psalm that points to God’s protection and provision.

But then, there those two verses that are just not very joyous. There is nothing there to celebrate. I feel pretty empty when I read them set among all these other verses. Nine verses of joy and two verses that don’t seem to fit. Let’s read them again. “Now as for the “holy ones” in the land, the “magnificent ones” that I was so happy about; let their suffering increase because they hurried after a different god. I won’t participate in their blood offerings; I won’t let their names cross my lips (vv. 3-4).

It is obvious when I read verses three and four that David cared about these he calls “holy ones” and “magnificent ones.” I do get it, they messed up. They messed up and consequences will follow. They turned their backs on God and arguably God’s wrath might be on their horizon. But then again, God is also known for giving out abundant grace.

I have had people disappoint me both within the faith family and beyond. It has upset me. In some cases it has shaken me. In other cases I have gotten angry. Most of us have known of times like these. But do we ask God to increase their suffering? Perhaps we do during our time of greatest anger, but cooler heads usually prevail in the end.

I would like to think that when in a similar situation and a brother or sister experienced a faith crisis and started to question God, or even ran from God, that I would pray, but instead of praying for God’s wrath, I would pray that God gave me the right words that they might see their way back into God’s presence.

It seems to me, if that wavering brother or sister managed to find their way home to God, because of God’s work in me or in spite of me, joy would abound and we would have great reason to celebrate. We would be celebrating joy.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission given for the non-commercial use of this post

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Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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