Psalm 16 and 17 … Consider Him, Our Only Good

Originally posted: 9/30/2020

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good besides You,”

Side by side, Psalm 16 and Psalm 17, both written by David, offer a sweeping view of the believer’s existence on earth.

Psalm 16 includes bold declarations of confident faith, the blessing of His provisions and appointments for this life, the immovable security of His protection, His endowment of wisdom allotted, and the joys and pleasures of His presence.

On the other hand, Psalm 17 is a cry for justice against violence, a pleading to be heard, an appeal to His lovingkindness to be kept in His love and care, the reality of fear and anxiety when seemingly outnumbered by a dangerous and destructive enemy, and finally a profession of hope for the new day.

Obviously, the life of faith does not exclude us from dangers and pitfalls. David begins his prayer of faith and praise in Psalm 16, demonstrating his awareness of this reality. The first utterance from his heart and lips, before he expounds in praise for the blessings and joys of being in fellowship with his God, is a cry for help and an affirmation of his faith.

Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You, (16:1).

Because in reality the two go hand-in-hand, need and reliance. So, both of today’s Psalms, one in its bold confidence and the other in its desperate pleas for help, depict the life of faith.

But it is in what David places his faith that is his buttress, or more precisely in Whom.

“It is not the strength of your faith but the object of your faith that actually saves you. Strong faith in a weak branch is fatally inferior to weak faith in a strong branch.” Timothy Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism

Our Psalms today depict the Object of our faith; Him, Our Only Good.

Consider Him, Our Only Good

  • He is Our Only Good; every need is fulfilled in Him.
    • Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
      I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
      I have no good besides You,”
  • He is Our Only Good; His boundaries and our heritage are beautiful.
    • The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
      You support my lot.
      The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
      Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me,
  • He is Our Only Good; His instructions are trustworthy.
    • I will bless the Lord who has counseled me;
      Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night,
  • He is Our Only Good; He preserves us on the path to life.
    • For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;
      Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

      11 You will make known to me the path of life…
  • He is Our Only Good; His presence is pure pleasure.
    • …In Your presence is fullness of joy;
      In Your right hand there are pleasures forever,
  • He is Our Only Good; He inclines His ear to answer.
    • I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God;
      Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech,
  • He is Our Only Good; He wondrously shows His lovingkindness.
    • Wondrously show Your lovingkindness,
      O Savior of those who take refuge at Your right hand
      From those who rise up against them,
  • He is Our Only Good; He keeps and protects us.
    • Keep me as the apple of the eye;
      Hide me in the shadow of Your wings,
  • He is Our Only Good; He delivers us from the wicked.
    • Arise, O Lord, confront him, bring him low;
      Deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword,
  • He is Our Only Good; He satisfies us with His favor.
    • As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness;
      I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake,

How do we respond to Him, Our Only Good?

As David begins Psalm 16, he professes his faith that is proven in his surrender, “Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You, You are my Lord.”

That is also where we must begin, with proven faith. God, I’m trusting in You, for I cannot save myself. “Lord, You are my Lord;” not, I paid You lip service by uttering the sinner’s prayer and now I continue in my own way; but, “Lord, You are my Lord.” Lord, You and You alone, are the master and ruler and the authority over all of my life.

When we relinquish control over ourselves and entrust all that we are to Him, we are in the place to receive all He has to fulfill our every need. And in that place, we will also be fully persuaded in our affirmation that we “have no good besides You.”

Because He Is Good, we know when we make Him our refuge, we can trust Him to provide our needs in a way that works everything together for Our Good.

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, (Romans 8:28).

We must have faith in Him, Our Only Good, Who is always working toward the greater Good; He will do whatever is needed to support His assigned lot for our life.

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me,

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified, (Romans 8:29-30).

Let us ask Him to grow us in the image of His Son, and in our faith, that we would truly believe He is Our Only Good. And when we walk in that truth, that He is our Lord and that we have no good besides Him, we will have His assurance:

  • that our protection and needs are fully found in Him (16:1);
  • that His will for our life is satisfying and pleasant (16:5-6);
  • that His instruction and counsel are always Good (16:7);
  • that our eternal destiny is secure (16:10-11);
  • that our joy will be full in His presence (16:11);
  • that our prayers will be heard and answered (17:6);
  • that our refuge is always available in His wondrous lovingkindness (17:7);
  • that our protection is sure under the shadow of His wings (17:8);
  • that our deliverance from evil will come (17:13);
  • and that each new day is our opportunity to see His face and to grow and become more like Him, Our Only Good, until the day we awake for all eternity, satisfied with His likeness (17:15).

Because the absolute truth is, when He is our Lord, we know that we have no good besides Him, Our Only Good. Oh, let us choose to live like it!

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure, (1 John 3:2-3).

Let’s Grow Together!

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