Reflection on Psalm 16
By Emily Gwaltney
As we get closer to Christmas, I am thankful for the many ways the Lord has blessed me this year. For me, this year has held trying experiences like working from home for months at a time, job uncertainty, atypical celebrations, and social distancing at times from loved ones. Reflecting back, in each circumstance I see God working throughout the hardships. There are special relationships that were tended this year and new opportunities that arose. Time with out-of-town loved ones also is noticeably more precious. This has been an exceptionally trying year. And yet, I hope that Psalm 16 is a comfort to our church family this season as it has been to me.
Psalm 16 is so full of peace it is challenging to put words to it. I often find it peaceful to read the Psalm through in its entirety with prayer time and silence in between each reading. I read the words "The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot" and feel at ease. "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you" puts God at the forefront of my desires. Towards the end of the passage, "My whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul" reminds me of God's powerful sovereignty and faithfulness.
As I reflect at the end of this year, I have a deep sense of peace that God is setting the boundary lines; the Lord is the good shepherd who tends to our needs even in the midst of this year. I hope Psalm 16 gives you a similar peace as you read through and meditate on this passage and may you dwell in the Lord's peace and joy this Christmas season.
Psalm 16 - You Will Not Abandon My Soul
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 who are 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.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. 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 whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.