I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. ~Psalm 16:8
In all matters of competition, there is no position more coveted than that of first place. First place means you are number one. It indicates being superior to all others. It has the idea that all the other competition is defeated. It implies dominance, authority, and command. This morning, we are considering the inescapable question: does the Lord have first place in your life?
We see a difficult HARDSHIP.
Ps. 16 is a Psalm of David written when he was in exile. It is a Michtam Psalm. The word “Michtam” means “engraven.” It is also a Messianic Psalm that prophesies of the resurrection of our Lord in vs. 10. Peter quotes Ps. 16:8-11 in Acts 2:25-28. Paul quotes Ps. 16:10 in Acts 13:35. David is going through difficult hardships while he is in exile. He foresees our Lord Jesus in His hardship of having to be crucified on the cross and die for the sins of the world. When we are going through difficult hardships, how strong will our faith be? Will we be faithful or will we falter? Will we be stalwart or will we quit? Will we triumph in our hardship or will the hardship triumph over us? When the pressure and pain has beaten us down, what kind of Christian will we really demonstrate?
We see a devoted HEART.
David, like the Lord Jesus, demonstrates for us real steadfast devotion. “I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” His heart and mind are made up: the Lord has first place no matter what! My circumstances, suffering, and setbacks are not going to redefine that the Lord is always before me. When the Lord is in first place, He is always in the right place. This decision is bolstering his determination and confidence. “Because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” David is maintaining resoluteness that his trial will not pressure him to change his heart and relegate the Lord to an inferior place. When we have given the Lord first place, we can delight ourselves to do His will without hesitation.
We see a dependent HOPE.
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.” David knows that God has his situation under control and the end result will all be good. It gives him peace and assurance while under pressure. He does not fret and lose sleep. He can praise the Lord for every step in this journey. It is a good thing to put our trust in the Lord. No wonder David could say in another Psalm, “Trust in him at all times ye people; pour out your heart before him.” Whatever problem you give to the Lord, you can rest assured He will take better care of you then you can for yourself.
We see a destined HAPPINESS.
“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” David is able to see how things would work out. He sees what is happening to him as part of God’s way of conforming David into His likeness. The path of life is God using circumstances and events to shape and mold us for His glory. The trial is forcing him to draw closer to the Lord, and in so doing, God’s presence gave him fullness of joy. He realizes he is the recipient of God’s favor and that the dark clouds in his life have God’s silver lining in them. “Pleasures forevermore” means things just keep getting better.
It takes character, faith, and resoluteness to have God in first place in our lives. David shows us the importance of God first in all things. Decide today that having God in first place is the best thing for you and that all other competition for this priority is a defeated competition.
Have a faithful God Morning!