Psalm 16: All In…or Nothing At All

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First Off…read Psalm 16!

Can you be “safe” hiding behind a rock all while leaving a part of you exposed – even just a little part showing?

We’re unclear exactly what is happening in Psalm 16 – but verse 1 is really the summary of the whole 11 verses. David seeks refuge in God. David declares that it is only in Yahweh that safety is not only granted but given and carried out. And while most of this psalm speaks of that safety – we do get a few verses of what David sees happening around him.

There are those that are running around looking for safety in other gods…but they only suffer. They go around making sacrifices and doing more and more…and yet nothing but hurt and sorrow come upon them. David is so convinced of the scope and magnitude of this harm that he won’t even utter the names of other gods. It’s such a toxic scene and such a septic thing to be a part of that even having the names of these gods or speaking of them will never come across his lips. It’s not that he doesn’t want to chance it – it’s just he knows that one simply cannot.

This kind of made me wonder: How bad could something as simple as “speaking” cause us? I mean we talk about how people have “sold their selves to the devil” – but is even uttering a name as bad and as drastic as David makes it seem?

David, as well as the rest of the faithful Israelites, knew and understood that it was either God or not. They have a whole history of bringing “false” gods into their homes. In fact, our whole history as a people goes back to this consistent acquiring of more and more “house” gods and other little gods that we picked up as we migrated through life – hoping one or two of them will do this or that for us. This is actually what made Yahweh so different than all the other gods. God was setting them apart to be HIS people and He THEIR God. Nothing else. Nothing more. And so we must understand that for a faithful follower of Yahweh there was no swaying back and forth. And to be honest – this is the same thing we get in the New Testament. In John’s revelation (Rev 3:15-16) we actually get God’s words saying that we must be either FOR him (“hot”) or against him (“cold”). “Hot” meaning you are all in and God is happy and all is good. “Cold” meaning that you aren’t for him at all – but at least that gives God something to work into. But this middle ground… neither hot nor cold? Yeah – not good.

And today is no different. You are either for God or against him. You are either a follower of Jesus Christ or you are not. And honestly, I think that’s part of the problem we have today. We are losing our commitment to God in many ways. We want to only take “this” and not “that” when it comes to scripture. We want to speak of God’s loving grace and forgiveness and yet we don’t want to hold to his commandments to love others above ourselves (Phil 2:3). We know what God desires of us to do and be and know that we can come to him seeking restoration and forgiveness…but then we begin to live lives that are opposite of what Scripture says – doing things against God all the while knowing and declaring that we can simply come to God later on and ask for forgiveness in prayer.

It doesn’t work that way. It does – God grants his forgiveness – but we are called to be more than that. Live better than that. To be “alive in Christ” (Ephesians 2) means that what we WERE is no more…because what we ARE is something new, good, beautiful, and complete. We are to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11) And to be truly “alive” in Christ means that we have to truly BE for Christ.

Trusting God means you simply trust him. You obey him. You seek him and nothing else. This is the 1st and greatest Commandment. And it’s something that we all struggle with each and every day. We worry, we get anxious, we try to do things our own way. We know what we should do and yet we do something completely different. All of these things do nothing but harm us. All of these things tell God, and others, that we “trust” God but don’t fully “trust” God. And in the end, all of these things begin to harm us and chip away at our faith. Faith isn’t faith only when it’s easy and convenient.

Paul writes in Col 3:17 that in all we do, whether word or deed – we are to do in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. WHICH MEANS that all our eggs need to be in the same basket – the one marked “Faith in God”. Always. Every time. And if you think about it…how can God keep you safe if you don’t actually allow him to be your refuge? If you don’t allow him to protect and lead and guide you in all circumstances?

Don’t leave part of yourself exposed behind the Rock of Salvation. It’s all in or nothing.

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