Meditations on the Psalms #33

Day 33

Psalm 16 part 2 

The effort of faith is the life of devotion. God is only ours in reality when we are conscious of His nearness, and it is a strange faith that is content to pass days without coming into His presence. 

David continued to describe the benefits of his decision to set the LORD always before him (v8). This decision brought gladness and glory to his life. 

Another benefit he described (V10-11) was the confidence in God’s care and blessing in the life beyond. David had the settled ‘hope’ (confidence), that God would not leave his ‘soul’ (life) in the grave (Sheol.) This statement is a wonderful declaration of trust in some sort of resurrection and afterlife.  

In v10 Wonderfully (and unknowingly), David spoke beyond himself. In one sense David was indeed the Holy One of God, whose soul would not be left in the grave. Yet in a greater and more literal sense, only Jesus Christ fulfils this in His resurrection. 

Peter on the Day of Pentecost said that these words went beyond David, who was obviously dead, buried in a grave, and whose body had long ago decayed into dust (Acts2:25-31). Acts2:34 adds that David had not yet ascended to heaven. (Paul also alludes to this passage in Acts13:36-37.) Therefore, in quoting and applying this passage from Psalm 16 to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, both Peter and Paul showed a remarkably sophisticated understanding of the work of Jesus on the cross. They understood that because Jesus bore our sin without becoming a sinner, He remained the ‘Holy One,’ even in His death. Since it is incomprehensible that God’s Holy One should be bound by death, the resurrection was absolutely inevitable, (Acts2:24). 

The fact that Jesus remained God’s ‘Holy One’ despite the ordeal of the cross demonstrates that Jesus bore the penalty of human sin without becoming ‘corrupted’ (decay NASB) himself. It also shows that this payment of sins was perfect and complete, the only type of payment a Holy One could make. In these ways (as Peter & Paul understood), the resurrection proves the perfection of Jesus’ work on the cross.

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