Before you start reading this devotional, take a moment to stop what you’re doing, slow down and focus on Jesus.
Pray and ask him to open your eyes to see as you read the scriptures, and to open your ears to hear as you wait on the leading of the Spirit.
1 “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
3 As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
4 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.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
A lot has been going on in our world these last few weeks. And for us as South Africans, last night’s announcement by the President let us know that we are heading into 3 weeks of lock down starting later this week, like many of our brothers and sisters around the world.
How does this Psalm say that we should respond to a moment like this?
Psalm 16v8: “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.”
To set the Lord always before us is an intentional choice. To “set” is to adjust and put in the right place. Just like we might set a piece of furniture in the place that we want it in our home. Or, like we might set a watch, or a clock, to the right time. Or, like we set up a new laptop or phone, and customise it to our ‘settings’.
For the Psalmist, he has intentionally set his life behind God, always following Him and trusting His leading. (And he lets us know in v4, that choosing to follow other things will produce sorrow, and not satisfaction, because they are not leading us where we truly want to go.)
But following God is what the people of God have always done, and have always been called to do.
At this time I have felt reminded of the Israelites, being lead out of Egypt by God, walking with Him by faith for years through the Desert. Following the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Learning to walk a new way, along uncertain paths, knowing that He would lead them to the promised land.
And at this time of uncertainty, the unknown and the uncontrollable, God calls us to follow Him by faith, as He leads us. Who else would you follow?
We must set the Lord before us at this time. And be sensitive to the leadings of the Spirit. Spending time seeking His will in prayer, and trusting Him even when we feel the natural shakings of fear and anxiety.
By setting the Lord in front of us, and following Him, the Psalmist promises that he will not be shaken.
Now, this doesn’t mean that he won’t go through periods of shaking, or experience things that shake him. What he is saying is that he knows that God is in control and rules and reigns over all things. Even the things that would shake Him.
And that means that even if something comes along that shakes his life; that He can be still, at peace, secure, and sure in God.
Why? Because God has lead Him to this place, and God is with him, at his right hand.
Keller writes: “To be at someone’s right hand is to be their advocate in court or support in battle or companion for a journey.”
Jesus is all of these things for us. Our lawyer, our warrior and our friend. So we can know, that even in the midst of the shakings of life: A Global Pandemic, social distancing and lock downs. Even when the future is unclear, and we might feel like we have many uncertainties. Even when we have been forced to be separated from people who have been our support system before.
We have no reason to fear, for He is with us. And He will lead us.
Have you set the Lord in front of you?
Are you following and trusting in Him?
Respond to God in prayer by speaking to Him about what stood out to your from this passage this morning.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you this morning?
What are you going to do in response to what God is saying to you from the text and by the Spirit?