May 12 – safe refuge!

May 12, 2020 Randy Bushey

~by Randy Bushey

Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

We are living in uncertain times. And for many of us, uncertainty breeds anxiety.
Consequently, all over the globe, Christ-followers are doing what the Lord’s people have done for 3000 years: reach for the Psalms.

The Psalter is both a worship manual and prayer-book.

And it is – and has always been – a source of encouragement, truth, and reassurance to those who trust in the God of Israel.

The psalms appear to have been collected over 500+ years, from the time of the Davidic Kingdom through until the era of Ezra and Nehemiah and the returning exiles.

Psalm 16 is attributed to David, a man who knew something of fear, particularly during seasons when he was experiencing unrelenting attack accompanied by wavering loyalties and the ever-present threat of internal upheaval .

At significant points in his life, David’s future appeared to any objective observer to be, at best, murky and precarious.

But he affirmed for himself – and by extension for us – that our Sovereign Lord remains in control.

Therein lies our confidence, echoing that of David in Psalm 16.

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I said to the LORD, You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing (v.1,2).

David reminds us that every blessing comes to us from the hand of our unchanging God. One thousand years later, the half-brother of David’s Greater Son would say, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (James 1:19).

LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance (v.5,6)

What did you or I ever do to live in this place and at this time? David reminds us to frequently and regularly recognize the blessings we already have – and thank God for them.

I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure (v.8,9).

David exudes confidence, but not in his immense personal ability and natural gifts as one of the world’s greatest polymaths. His sense of dignity, purpose and security resulted from his relationship with God.

Takeaway: You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (v.11).

And David clung tenaciously onto the truth – sometimes through gritted teeth – that His Lord was sovereign. The shepherd-king knew – and has reminded God’s people in every generation for 3 millennia – that for those who pursue His righteousness, the very best is yet to come!

~graphic by Angelo Manzano Jr,