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  • Writer's pictureWayne Shelton

Messianic Psalms - Psalm 16: A Psalm of Hope

Psalm 16

Real confidence is in rare supply. Playing it cool is one thing. It’s easy to straighten your shoulders, arch your back, stick out your chest, and talk tough. But genuine emotional confidence and security of soul is hard to find.

And it should not surprise us. After all, we are sinners, surrounded by other sinners, in a fallen and fragile world. How can any of us truly experience the deep peace and joy of authentic confidence in a world awash with facades of security?

In Psalm 16, we walk with King David the short but significant path from fear to confidence, from instability to security, from anxiety to authentic, lasting joy. He begins, in distress, with the plea, “Preserve me, O God” (Psalm 16:1). Then, amazingly, by verse 8, he declares with confidence, “I shall not be shaken.”

“There is no safer place to hide than in the arms of the omnipotent God.”

How does such a change of heart happen? Theology. Rehearsing who God is for us can transform everything. Far from detached thought-experiments and popular speculations, what we believe about God can be life and death for us today. It will make all the difference if we, like David, know God to be our reliable Savior, our sovereign Lord, and our greatest Treasure.

Then, David closes his song of growing assurance with the high note. Having begun with the plea for God to preserve him, he finishes in confidence and hope. He has moved from anxiety to awe, from pleading to praising, from bemoaning his troubles to basking in the glory of God (see Psalm 16:9-11).

As firm as David’s confidence is, ours can be even more solid today. For, even though it was king David saying these things, the voice speaking more deeply in Psalm 16, according to Peter, is the voice of Christ (see Acts 2:22-32).

As David prayed Psalm 16, in persona Christi, looking forward to the one who was to come, so do Christians when we pray this psalm. That is, we identify ourselves in hope with the risen Christ, for we too will rise with Him. “He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus” (2 Cor. 4:14).

I hope you can join us as we continue our summer series: A Journey to Christ in the Psalms. In this series we are forming a basic theology of the person and work of Christ as seen in the Messianic Psalms. This week we come to a high point as we look at a psalm of resurrection. See you on the Lord’s Day.

Because He Lives,

Pastor Wayne



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