>Comfort Scripture

>For meal time devotions, we recently finished reading Revelation and would have continued our regular practice of reading straight through the Bible by beginning again in Genesis. But, much as I love the story of creation, I just didn’t want to confront the fall of mankind during the gray days of winter.

I felt that, just as certain times in life seem to call for comfort food, the gray days of winter call for comfort scripture.

And the Psalms certainly qualify as comfort scripture. We decided to take a side trip through the Psalms this winter.

We are trying to ingrain the Psalms more into our minds so that we can pray their words back to God now (when we don’t have a Bible with us and in the dark watches of the night) and later (when we are old and may not be able to read a Bible).

I’ve been going over the words of Psalm 16 this week.

It begins with a beautiful prayer:
“Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust” (verse 1).

In light of the recent media hype about the financial crisis, the center section seems particularly appropriate:
“O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (verses 5-8).

Verse 10 is obviously a prophetic reference to Christ:
“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.”

Matthew Henry reminds me that Peter quotes verses 8-11 from this Psalm in his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:25-31). Henry also notes how believers share in some aspects of this Messianic prophecy: “And Christ being the Head of the body, the church, these verses may be applied to all Christians, guided and animated by the Spirit of Christ; and we may hence learn, that it is our wisdom and duty to set the Lord always before us…. Christ’s resurrection is an earnest of the believer’s resurrection. In this world sorrow is our lot, but in heaven there is joy, a fulness of joy; our pleasures here are for a moment, but those at God’s right hand are pleasures for evermore.”

And so I pray:
“You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (verse 11).

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