We know it’s a Messianic psalm, a song about the Christ. Though words were put to music by David at a certain time for a specific reason, God breathed out the lyrics, conceived before the foundation of the earth, through the moving of the Spirit so that He might point to the Son. The psalmist becoming a prophet.
We know it because Peter says so when he quotes from the song in Acts 2 (Acts 2:25-31). So, to read Psalm 16 as the words of Jesus is appropriate. And a blessing. The mind of Christ in the words of this ancient song.
But it’s not just a song for the blessed Son of God, it is a song also sung by the perfect Son of Man, thus, by extension, for all the sons, and daughters, of men who would seek to follow in His footsteps. Messiah’s experience a model for those who would aspire to His example of how to walk on earth while a citizen of heaven. And what captures my thoughts this morning is the “right hand.”
I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. . . .
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:8, 11 ESV)
My take away? Doing life here is only possible now as He is at my right hand. Entering into fullness of life there will be my reality then because I will be at His right hand.
I’m pretty familiar with the concept of His right hand. It is the place of glory, honor and power. The place where the Lord Jesus, even now, is seated (Heb. 1:3, 10:12, 12:2). Seated at “the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb. 8:1) until that time when God makes all His enemies His footstool (Heb. 1:13). And from this morning’s reading, His right hand is also the destination for the path of life the Father has made known to me. The way of the cross that leads into His very presence. The road of redemption bringing me one day before His throne. At His right hand, the place where I will experience pleasures forevermore.
But dare I think that now He would condescend to be at my right hand? Not that it’s a place of honor and glory — far from it. But that my right hand is a place of need and dependence. A place requiring the enabling power and steadfast strength of Another. Just as the Son experienced when He faced the cross, calling upon the Father to be His refuge (Ps. 16:1). Just as the Christ, knowing that God held His lot (Ps. 16:5b), sought counsel from above and submitted to heavenly instruction (Ps. 16:7). Knowing the hostility of earth, even Jesus set Himself before the LORD of heaven. Thus, unshakeable. Confident His God would not leave Him or forsake Him. And that, because “He is at my right hand.” Yeah, I dare to think.
As I head out today I set the LORD before me. Confident He is at my right hand, strong in the power of His might. Not because of who I am, but because of who He is.
But one day, I will be at His right hand. In that place where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. Not because of what I’ve done, but because of what He’s promised to do.
All by His grace. Only for His glory.