A bit more – my way
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. – Psalms 16:11
1 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”
7 I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
John D. Rockefeller was asked, “How much money is enough money?” He replied, “Just a little bit more.” What makes him problematic, and why he continues to inspire ambivalent reactions, is that his good side was every bit as good as his bad side was bad. Seldom has history produced such a contradictory figure.
Rockefeller may ultimately be remembered simply for the raw size of his wealth. In 1902, an audit showed Rockefeller was worth about $200 million – compared to the total national wealth of the United States that year of $101 billion. Rockefeller’s net worth over the last decades of his life would easily place him among the very wealthiest persons in history.
In many ways, Rockefeller echoes the hunger in our own hearts. Whether it’s directed at one thing in particular or just a vague longing for “more.” But in reality “more” is never enough.
There is a more excellent way. King David found it and lived it. He gives us glimpses throughout the Psalms.
Psalm 16 is a very personal hymn of joy that focuses on the goodness of the Lord. David finds his delight only in the Father and confesses that everything good in his life had come from Him. David expresses a combination of joy, praise, humility, and submission to the Father’s will.
David depended upon the Father to for safety and provision. He needed the Father’s constant care and oversight of all the good things that the Father provided. For David, the Father was his highest good and greatest treasure.
After years of walking with the Father David’s entire perspective on life has been transformed. The Father had formed a unique and wonderful bond with David. David has learned to depend upon Him for he knows that the Father alone is always there for him. He essentially says, “having God, in heaven, is all he wants or needs” (UBS). Other translations provide similar sentiments. “Whom do I have in heaven? You alone!” (SPCL). “Who in heaven will come to my help except you?” (FRCL). “You are the only one in heaven who is for me. And since I have you, there is no one else on earth I want” (UBS).
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign LORD my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.
REFLECT & PRAY
Wanting more in and of itself is not a bad thing. Wanting more of the Father is a great and wonderful desire.
Father how I long to have the heart of David. He had such great love for and devotion to You. I know that nothing on this earth will ever satisfy me as You alone can.
Sadly, the longings of our hearts have sent us on desperate futile quests for satisfaction. David shows us a better way to live. Rather than wanting more things, more wealth, more power, more recognition, etc., he found true contentment was not found “out there.” Rather, David learned to enter into and make himself at home in the Father’s presence.
More than that, David truly delighted in just being close to the Father. Being with the Father was the source of his greatest joy and pleasure.
Psalm 16:11 is unsurpassed for the beauty of the prospect it opens up, in words of the utmost simplicity. The path of life is so called, not only because of its goal but because it is a way to live. It leads into God’s presence and into eternity. The joys and pleasures David speaks of are wholly satisfying and endlessly varied. They are found in what the Father is and what the Father gives (Kidner).
The Hebrew word translated, “in your presence,” is literally in your panim, “faces.” The sense is close proximity, companionship, care, or protection.
Isaiah 30:15 In quietness and trust is your strength.
The Hebrew word translated quietness is hasqeṭ. Hasqeṭ means to enjoy peace based on justice. The Hebrew word translated trust is bithah. It signifies reliance on God. Quietness and trust are evidence of strength, not weakness (Friesen).
At this time in history, the people of Israel were doing everything they could to be self-reliant and independent of the Father. It did not work out too well. Isaiah offers them an alternative that will work. Simply recognize their helplessness and turn to the Father for care and comfort.
It should not be surprising to any of us, particularly when we look deep within ourselves, that the children of Israel refused to trust in the Father’s promises. They wanted to be autonomous and have their own way. They dared to bluntly say “No” to the Father. They would have none of what He was suggesting. Instead, they turned to Egypt for help expecting to be rescued by them.
The Father would have none of that. Rather than such an alliance strengthening them, it would instead weaken them.
16 But the only swiftness you are going to see is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
17 One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”
Instead of rushing toward their enemies and overpowering them, they would retreat in panic. They would be chased by an undermanned force until they became like a single, scrawny pole on a hill (MacDonald).