READ: Psalm 16

BACKGROUND: By Verse
1 – “From the LORD comes the reply of the tongue” means that no matter what plans we make, God has to give the permission for us to carry them out. He is in control.
2 – It’s easy for us to always think we’re right and selfless. We are not always right or selfless. 🙂
6 – When people repent and turn to God he forgives.
9 – See note on verse 1. Same idea.
11 – Without modern technology, merchants carried different sized stones to balance out weight. Some of them used stones that were too light or too heavy in order to cheat customers.
15 – A rain cloud in spring is a sign of good things to come (cause crops need water).
25 – Even our best plans ultimately lead to failure and death because of the brokenness and corruption of sin in our lives.
33 – Yet another reminder (as in verses 1 & 9) that though we may plan out our lives (whether by logical thinking or casting lots – i.e. throwing dice/asking a magic 8-ball) God is in control.

THINK: The United States Declaration of Independence says that one of our unalienable rights is “the pursuit of happiness.” I think we would all agree that pleasure, the agreeable reaction of our senses to some stimulus, is a king-size ingredient of happiness. Most people spend much of their leisure time pursuing pleasure in the hope of finding happiness.

Scripture doesn’t say that we shouldn’t enjoy life. Indeed, Paul affirmed that God has given us “richly all things to enjoy”—like food and drink and the ability to sing, laugh, and make music (1 Timothy 6:17).

Paul also warned us that excessive indulgence in God’s good gifts may have a killing effect on our enjoyment of the supremely good. “[The widow] who lives in pleasure,” he wrote, “is dead while she lives” (5:6). And the writer of Ecclesiastes learned that pleasure cannot satisfy (Ecclesiastes 2:1).

Anyone who makes pleasure the main goal of life becomes desensitized to earth’s greatest delight—fellowship with God—which is also the abiding joy of heaven. As David wrote in Psalm 16:11, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” No pleasure can rival that of fellowship with God—a pleasure that is a foretaste of heaven.

Written By: Vernon C. Grounds in Our Daily Bread, August 4, 2000

ASK: What is the main goal of my life? What steps do I need to take in order to make fellowship with God a bigger priority in my life?

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