David, the great ancient King of Israel was far from perfect. The pages of Scripture are lined with his successes and failures. Like the rest of us, he was fully human and his emotions, passions, and pride often got the best of him. However, he also knew how to humble himself in repentance and pursue after the presence of God. In fact, God Himself said of David that he was a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). I’m so grateful that God looks upon our heart, not just our failures, and offers grace to all who pursue after Him.
Looking at Psalm 16, written by David, let’s examine 5 blessings that David declares are found in the presence of God.
Blessing #1: PROTECTION
Psalm 16: 1-2, 5, 8 (NIV) – Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”
Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
From the lonely Judean fields as a young Shepherd boy watching over his father’s sheep to leading the nation of Israel, David learned where his help came from. In the very first verse, he declares both his need and his faith. He starts with a prayer and ends in a declaration! David’s prayer, “Keep me safe…” David’s declaration, “in you I take refuse….you make my lot secure…I will not be shaken.”
In pursuing the presence of God we are to call out to Him for protection. In teaching His disciples to pray, Jesus taught, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6: 13, NIV). We are to ask, but we are to ask in faith. David started out with a request but then turned his focus on the confidence he had in God.
Wherever you are today, call out to God with your need, then begin to praise Him for who you know He is. He is your security, your portion, your king and mighty warrior. With your eyes on Him, you can declare like David, “I will not be shaken!”
Blessing #2 – PROVISION
Psalm 16:6 (NIV) The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
With his confidence in the LORD, David’s heart was encouraged as he remembered the inheritance he had in God’s kingdom. Looking back to the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). God is ready to provide for you as you call to Him. James, the half-brother of Jesus, wrote in his letter, “you do not have because you do not ask God” (James 4:2, NIV).
When we surrender our lives to Christ and trust Him alone for our eternal redemption, we are adopted into the family of God. Paul, the Apostle, wrote, “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ” (Romans 8: 15-17, CSB). You have an incredible inheritance so start praying!
Blessing #3 – DIRECTED PATH
Psalm 16: 7 & 11 (NIV) I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Now David reveals the secret to wisdom, it’s in surrendering to the Lord and allowing Him to instruct our heart. When we pursue the presence of God through prayer and the study of the Scriptures, we open ourselves to His instruction. David’s son Solomon would write, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7, NIV). Then in chapter 3 of the same letter, he would declare that if we trust the Lord and listen to Him above our own reasoning that God Himself would direct our path. What a great encouragement!
Blessing #4 – PEACE and REST
Psalm 16: 9 (NIV) Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
How beautiful is this verse? I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t long for the peace and rest of both soul and body that David is speaking of here in verse 9. Where did he find it? The same place you and I can find it, in the presence of God. Begin today to meditate upon the Scriptures and allow the Holy Spirit to bring you comfort and peace that the world cannot take away!
Blessing #5 – PERSISTENT JOY
Psalm 16: 11 (NIV) You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Dr. Adrian Rogers once said, “Happiness is like the thermometer, it tells you the temperature in the room, but Joy is the thermostat.” Happiness is a fleeting emotion that comes and goes, but true joy is a gift from God that sets the temperature down deep in our soul.
Early in our marriage when material possessions were few and hard to come by, Lisa and I would remind ourselves where our joy could be found. We would quote Nehemiah 8:10, “…for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” I challenge you to take a few minutes right now to consider the blessings God has reserved for you in His presence. Seek Him and you will find Him. Find Him and you will experience that in His wonderful presence there is protection, provision, direction for your path, peace and persistent joy!