for the soul
by Edward E. Thomason
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)
The "crust" of the matter:
The "MICHTAM of David" (See title in the KJV) is a transliterated Hebrew word that has lost its meaning. It may
have been a musical term once used by the Psalmist. There is some speculation that it might mean: "THE GOLDEN PSALM" or "THE PSALM OF THE
PRECIOUS SECRET." (This is an entertaining idea because this Psalm contains a reference to the resurrection of the Lord himself which was not understood
until it occurred. Cf., Acts 2:22-23 and Psm 16:10.)
Ingredients this serving:
Ps 16:1-4 Marks of a believer
Ps 16:5-7 Blessings of a believer
Ps 16:8-11 Hope of a believer
Marks of a believer
Lesson: The identifying marks of a believer can be seen in four areas of his life according to these four verses: (1)
His trust in God. (2) His personal and close association with God. (3) His fellowship and delight in his fellow saints. (4) His refusal to engage in false
Ps 16:1-4 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou
art my Lord: my
goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be
multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
Comments to munch on:
The Psalmist desired Godís mercy and providence until and in the end of life (v-1,11). His profession of faith (v-1,2) was not just with
the lips but from his soul (inner self). The Psalmist statement "My goodness extendeth not to thee (God) but to the saints. . ." is saying that manís
well doing and imperfect goodness cannot repay God for his goodness nor add anything to Godís divinity. God owes us nothing but we owe him everything. But we
serve not to make him happy nor to repay him, but to make us happy as we obey and serve our heavenly master and do good to our fellow man. From experience the
Psalmist had come to the realization that the apostate (v-4) will have sorrows multiplied.
1. Why, in times of peril or as people face the prospect of death, do they seek Godís preservation? What does this indicate about what people know and
believe about God?
2. How long has it been since you have said to yourself from the depth of your soul, "The Lord is my Lord?" When you say or sing these words do they
come from deep within your heart or are they only shallow words that cross your lips?
3. Where does David say the saints are that he has reference to? What does this say about the doctrine that a "saint" is someone who is dead and in
heaven? Why should Saints (Christians) be objects of our delight? How can we make our fellowship more delightful?
Blessings of a believer
Lesson: While the Blessings of a believer are many, the Psalmist lists three specific blessings for
which he was grateful: (5) A satisfied heart. (6) A good heritage. (7) Access to Godís counsel
and instruction as he faces lifeís hardships.
Ps 16:5-7 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou
maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins
also instruct me in the night seasons.
Comments to munch on:
Davidís crown and Kingdom was not the greatest jewel in his cabinet. The Lord was his portion and his cup. It
was this that he boasted of, not his crown or royal jewels.
1. In a world where ambition and acquisition seems to offer the most satisfaction to the appetites of men, the believer can find true and lasting
satisfaction in the Lord. How can one taste the joy of forgiveness and be discontent? Could the problem of discontentment be a major destructive force to oneís
soul today? Why? Discuss the role that discontentment plays in temptation.
Hopes of a believer
2. A believerís "lot" in life and the "lines" or boundaries of his inheritance are not things that can be seen with the eye or touched by
the hand. It often may appear that he has little, yet he knows his life is full of abundance and he is satisfied that he has a good heritage. Discuss the
heritage of a believer that he enjoys daily and can pass on to his children.
3. The believer has Godís counsel and instruction to guide him through life. The "night seasons" could be a reference to night time when sinful men
do sinful things or be a reference to the difficult times in life. Either way, his meditation on Godís counsel and his making Godís instructions a part of
his inner self ("reins" or conscience) guided and instructed him during the night seasons of life. Discuss some of the night seasons of life where Godís
counsel is helpful. Discuss how "our reins" (or gut feelings, intuitions, conscience) can instruct us today. How can we assure that these things are a
reliable source of instruction?
The hopes of a believer can be summed up by the simple words: "Eternal
life." The Psalmist rejoiced in the hope that: (8) He had security and protection from God who also stands beside him as a
friend. (9-10) Death is not
final. (11) The Path of life that God reveals leads to complete joy and endless bliss.
Ps 16:8-11 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and
my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. 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 fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Comments to munch on:
Davidís eye was upon the Lord. He chose to walk "behind" him as a sheep would follow his Shepherd and protector. He
also chose to walk "beside" him as his friend who takes his stand along side another friend in battle who would never retreat
nor be moved. David possessed a sense of stability and security as he faced life and death. (v-8.) Because of his hope, David knew his soul would not be left in
"Hell." ("Hell" is a reference to Sheol or Hades and signifies the invisible place where the soul goes after it departs from the body at
death.) This is the hope that all believers possess and was verified when our Lord was resurrected in fulfillment of this "golden prophecy."
1. William Gurnall wrote: "If a Jew pawned his bed-clothes, God provided mercifully that it should be restored before night:
"For," saith he, "that is his covering: wherein shall he sleep?" Ex 22:27. Truly, hope is the saint's covering, wherein he wraps himself,
when he lays his body down to sleep in the grave." (v-9) Discuss the joy that comes from knowing oneís flesh shall rest in hope.