Read Psalm 16
Suggested by a Reading of Psalm 16
Part of the Poetry Project
Nobody knows what Miktam means. It only occurs in six places (Psalm 16, 56-60). One interesting note is that each of the psalms it appears in breathe an atmosphere of lamentation or urgent supplication. The psalmist is in pain and emotionally distraught. He is in agony because of the sin that he sees around him. And out of that profound agony, he cries out to God for relief. This particular psalm is a messianic psalm. Below I have re-cast its words as if Christ Himself is praying the psalm.
Christ knew He was to die for the sins of men. He mourned and cried out to the Father in the midst of His agony in the garden. But He knew also that He would rise. These mysteries are great and yet He is also our model.
We have much to lament, much to mourn in our age. But we don’t hear much lamentation in the church. We should.
On our watch,
- abortion on demand became the law of the land
- abortion has ended the lives of 57 million children
- the corruption of our political system took place
- divorce has become commonplace
- marriage has been dishonored
- marriage has been redefined
- college students can’t tell you who we fought in the revolutionary war
- college students can’t tell you who George Washington was
- or what the civil war was fought over
- sexuality has been redefined
- Jesus and his word are dishonored
- Church attendance is at its lowest point in the last 80 years
- Christian giving averages only 2.5% of income
- and younger generations replacing the old give even less
- TV sells alternative lifestyles as normal in nearly every program
- and with all of this, God’s people seem to have little interest in prayer
In short, there is much that we should be crying out to God about. And that is what lament is all about. Psalm 16 is a good place to begin.
Hope from Agony
1 I am a refugee seeking protection.
2 Declaring, “The LORD is My shepherd;
. and all My wants are satisfied in You.”
3 All those invited to Your banquet hall
. are My delightful friends.
4 The sorrows of those who turn their back on You shall increase;
. But You are My guide, I will not follow their example
. or proclaim their passions as My own;
5 You are the one who fills My cup
. and holds My future in Your hands.
6 It may not look like it now;
. but My inheritance is a promised and beautiful thing.
7 My heart will delight in Your counsel;
. and the sleep I lose will be spent in Your presence.
8 You will be before Me in every scary moment;
. so nothing will shake Me.
9 My heart has risen from the depths and My whole being rejoices;
. because I dwell in security.
10 For there is no way that You will abandon Me.
. You won’t let Your Son end in the grave.
11 You make the path of life crystal clear;
. and in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
. at Your right hand pleasures never end.
Go to Psalm 17