“O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance. I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope” (Psalm 16:5-9).
The opening verses above penned by King David describe a person whose heart is at peace. He is at peace with what is happening in the present as he says the Lord has maintained his lot by providing for all of his needs. He is also at peace with regard to his future as he knows that even in death his flesh will “rest in hope”. In fact, he trusts in God to raise him from the dead: “You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10). This verse was quoted by Peter as being fulfilled when Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 2:25-28). I believe they both apply to Jesus’ being raised from the dead and also the hope the child of God (like David) has in being raised from the dead. When the body of a child of God is buried in the grave, their flesh will “rest in hope” as it looks forward to the day when it will be reunited with the spirit of the saint to go on to be with the Lord in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17).
If you are like me you want to have the kind of peace David had in his life as he wrote these words. The question I have to ask myself is: “Do I have this kind of peace? If not, why not?”
In this psalm, we find some reasons why David enjoyed this kind of peace in his life. First, he put his trust in God: “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust” (Psalm 16:1). He looked wholly to the Lord for his care and preservation and did not trust in himself or in his own goodness: “O my soul, you have said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You’” (Psalm 16:2). Furthermore, he had determined to follow God’s paths and listen to God’s guidance: “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (Psalm 16:7-8). Rather than resist God’s direction in His life, David embraced it: “You will show me the path of life” (Psalm 16:11). In addition, David welcomed the friendship of the saints and resisted the companionship of the world: “As for the saints who are on the earth, ‘they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.’ Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names on my lips” (Psalm 16:3-4). David understood it is difficult to find true peace if one hangs around with people who are at war with God!
David experienced great peace even though he faced many tribulations in his life such as fleeing for his life from King Saul or even having to face the possibility of death from his own son Absalom. My soul longs to enjoy the peace which David had. I want to be at peace in the present as I look to God as I take each step of today and say “the lines to fall to me in pleasant places”. I will face my future with a peaceful disposition because I know whatever happens to me my “flesh will rest in hope” (Psalm 16:6, 9). Today, like David, I will trust in God’s care, let Him direct my paths, and spend time with fellow saints who are likeminded so that I may enjoy the “peace which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)