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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, June 27, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 16

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
  I have no good apart from you.”

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
   in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
   their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
   or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
   you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
   in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
   because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
   my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
   or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
   In your presence there is fullness of joy;
   in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NRSV)

Reflection
Ah, that we could always share the confidence in God as expressed by the psalmist! He gives us hints as to how he comes by this faith. The psalmist recognizes that the good things in his life are God-given. He “delights” in communion with the saints, the living ones in particular, and refuses to be swayed by idolatrous digressions. The psalmist accepts his place in life, the boundaries that keep him in “pleasant places” (presumably, as opposed to unsafe or unquestionable ones) and rests comfortably at night, confident that God not only is watching over him but also is giving him counsel.

The psalmist feels secure that God is guiding him through life, that God is the source of joy. Perhaps we who are troubled, puzzled, or disheartened might find solace and strength—even joy—in the psalmist’s assertions of belief and confidence.

Prayer
Dear Lord, I ask and pray for perspective on my daily life, for your help in changing my wariness to confidence in you, in changing my view of the “portion” or “cup” you have given me to one of being half-full, not half-empty, and in resting more easily at night, knowing you are instructing me. Amen.

Written by Rebecca Dixon, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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