Please Help Me Choose Today’s Devotional
A Devotional Thought from Psalm 16
Michtam of David.
1 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord:
My goodness extendeth not to thee;
3 But to the saints that are in the earth,
And to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4 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.
I was surprised at the difficulty I had in preparing a devotional on these simple four verses. It was not a struggle to find something to say, but weeding out some things I do want to say. That is a typical Baptist preacher problem I suppose. Someone said I am “verbose”, and I said “thanks” before I looked it up.
Let me quickly give you my choices of possible thoughts and perhaps you can understand and help with my dilemma.
The first thought was in the title. It says a “Michtam of David”. A “Michtam” was a Hebrew musical term that is used in Psalm 56-60 and here, but nobody seems to have confidence in the definition. Some say it means “golden” while other say that it means “covered” or “concealed”. Perhaps it is both. Like a miner who digs for gold in the earth this Psalm contains nuggets of gold revealed by a little focused attention. The Bible is that way for me all the time. I feel like I am a miner digging for treasure every day. It seems like every day I want to holler out “eureka” at some new discovery.
The second thought I had for a devotional was how that in the first couple of verses David acknowledged the Lord as his hope and object of his trust but then said something fairly hard to understand, “My goodness extendeth not to thee”.
I found quite a few interpretations, but my favorite was the explanation of Martin Luther who phrased it this way, ‘I have not been good unto thee.’
I believe he nailed it. David was acknowledging that the Lord was his hope and his trust but not because David deserved God’s grace. God’s goodness is not a reward for our good behavior as if we could do anything so great as to help him in Heaven. Our goodness can’t extend all the way up to Heaven.
Even though our goodness doesn’t extend that far, our Lord extends his goodness all the way down to us.
I think of those wonderful words of Squire Parson's song that says “When I could not come to where He was, He came to me” Eureka!
The third thought I had for our devotional this morning was how David said in verse 3 that the saints here on earth were his delight and he even called them excellent.
I hear many people bash Christians. I have even heard negative things from folks in church and have to admit much of the criticism is deserved, but I would like to testify that my life has been blessed by God through his excellent saints in too many ways to count. It was one of his saints that invited me as a little boy to VBS so long ago. That invite started me on my path toward my savior. Thanks Donna Carter, thanks for caring about a little boy’s soul.
There were a handful of teachers and preachers who patiently taught me the Scriptures.
Who could count the hours of study and prayer or the tears shed on my behalf?
I have been encouraged by saints and thankfully on occasion corrected by them. They have taken their time to pray with me (and for me) when they could have found more fun things to do. So many blessed Saints came to mind as I read those words of David, I had to say Eureka!
The last option for our devotional is about how in verse 4 David says those that run after false gods actually increase their sorrow.
If you put something or someone above God in your life that is idolatry.
David warns that not only do those god substitutes not satisfy they actually bring additional sorrows and disappointments.
So, which one of these options should I do the devotional on? Just kidding, I’m done being verbose.