Maybe not the best word to use to describe the dynamic, but I do feel a little schizophrenic reading Psalm 16 this morning. I read it as a song of David and I enter into the songwriter’s world. But then, because I recognize parts of this psalm as being quoted in Acts (2:25-33) referring to Jesus, I know that this is a Messianic psalm . . . a prophetic song concerning the Lord. And that causes me to read the psalm a little differently . . . the application taking on different meaning and nuance . . . providing insight into thoughts and experiences of the Savior. And so, as I read and re-read the song, I’m flopping back and forth. What’s the primary meaning of this verse? . . . what’s the secondary meaning? . . . can that apply to me? . . . does that only apply to Christ? Hence, the “schizophrenia” I’m referring to. But what a blessed schizophrenia!
You read Psalm 16 and you get twice the bang for your buck. On the one hand, it is my story as one who has known the God who preserves me, the One in whom I take refuge (v.1). I too bless the Lord who gives me counsel through His inspired word (v.7) . . . I also, by His grace, know what it is to purpose to set Him before me and know the stability of God being so close that it’s like He’s at my right hand (v.8). And, therefore, I know too the gladness of heart from being in Him who alone is my security (v.9). I can also anticipate the final destination of the path of life He has set before me . . . the fullness of joy that will be known in His presence . . . the pleasures evermore that are my inheritance at His right hand (v.11).
On the other hand, I imagine Jesus singing this song . . . that He is the One doing the application . . . and I’m moved with awe, wonder, and gratitude for the depths to which the Creator entered His creation’s world. That He is the One looking to the Father in absolute trust . . . the Son finding in the Father the refuge that would be necessary to whether the storm of Gethsemane. That He would bless the Father for the counsel provided through the Spirit that He might fulfill His desire to come and do the Father’s will. I hear the thoughts of Jesus He hangs on the cross . . . feeling the ebb of life flowing out of Him . . . knowing that He will shortly give up His life . . . assured that His Father would not abandon His soul to Sheol or let His Holy One see corruption (v.10). Imagining that, even as He cries, “It is finished” from the cross, that He knows deep within, “I’ll be back!”
And so it goes . . . back and forth . . . forth and back . . . I see me then I see Him . . . I see Him then I see me. But perhaps the most blessed of meditations comes as I hover over verse 6 . . .
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. (Psalm 16:6 ESV)
A beautiful inheritance. True for me . . . true for the Savior.
The place where I am, whatever that place, can be a pleasant place because of that which is to come. Whatever my situation I can be content because He is sufficient and because that which lies before, my inheritance, is beautiful. O, to pause and consider the glory that is promised the child of God. Heaven awaits. I have a beautiful inheritance!
But Jesus also has a beautiful inheritance. And because of it, He could endure the shame of the cross for the joy that lay before Him (Heb. 12:2). Though His “lines” would pass through the barrenness of being forsaken of God, He would see it as a “pleasant place” because of the inheritance awaiting Him . . . His beautiful, blood bought bride . . . the church. He would foresees the day when He presents her to Himself “in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). And, through saving grace, I’m part of that blessed bride of Christ.
A beautiful inheritance. Is it that which awaits me? Or, is it that which awaits Christ . . . of which I am part? It’s both! . . . I’m kind of liking this kind of schizophrenia.
To Him be all glory and praise . . .