Our Beautiful Inheritance
By Lee Jones
It’s an indisputable fact that God has richly blessed His children, and we should be aware of that every day of our lives. Often we are not, and the Psalms are a great place to return for a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us.
Psalm 16 gives us examples of what God is to His people, and what He gives them: refuge, community, a beautiful inheritance, counsel, and joy. That’s a lot, but I want to highlight just a couple of those.
So while we await His return, let’s rejoice and recount the manifold blessings that are ours in Christ. Bask in the measure of joy we are given here, and the refreshment we receive when we worship the Thrice Holy God, and remember just how small death is.
David uses the metaphor of property to describe YHWH’s gifts to him. One of the most important parts of an inheritance in ancient times, as well as in ours, is property and acreage. This inheritance motif takes on incredible importance here, as well as in other places in scripture, because it demonstrates how YHWH views his covenant people: as children and heirs.
That fact is clearly seen in the New Testament where the church is described as co-heirs with Christ. Jesus Himself promised that after His ascension He was going to prepare a place for His people. Another possible connection could also be the allocation of land to the Levites in Numbers 18.
Our inheritance is also bolstered by divine counsel, even in the night we receive grace from God, and His presence with us (at my right hand, David says) brings us comfort and security. I will not be shaken. He will not abandon His children to the grave, and He did not let his Holy One, Jesus Christ, see decay. Instead, Jesus willingly gave His life and took it up again promising that we would be resurrected to, if we believe in Him.
I would be remiss if I didn’t include David’s contrast with the wicked. Their sorrows multiply, he writes, because of their pursuit of false gods. They make blood sacrifices, perhaps human blood, which is detestable to God. David won’t even utter the names of the dark forces they represent.
Rather, David blesses YHWH and also delights to gather with His people. While the wicked turn to sorrow after sorrow, David feasts on divine delights.
All of this leads to the grand finale of the psalm…”You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forever” (Verse 11).
God’s revelation wasn’t complete at the time David was writing. Though He is the Lamb slaughtered from the foundation of the world, Jesus had not yet come in the flesh in the Incarnation to fulfill all righteousness. In Him is the path of life, and David was saved through Him, but did not understand that at the time. But he knows Him face to face now.
There David now has, in fulfillment of the promise here, fullness of joy. We have it in some measure now, but we await our glorification to receive true fullness of joy. At YHWH’s right hand are all godly pleasures, bought and given by Christ alone. We receive these in part by the ordinary means of grace (prayer, reading the Word and hearing it preached, corporate singing of psalms/hymns/spiritual songs, The Lord’s supper, baptism) but there is so much more to look forward to in the New Jerusalem.
So while we await His return, let’s rejoice and recount the manifold blessings that are ours in Christ. Bask in the measure of joy we are given here, and the refreshment we receive when we worship the Thrice Holy God, and remember just how small death is. Christ has conquered, the sting of death is alleviated, and we are preserved by the promised Holy Spirit for an eternity of delight with our Redeemer.
Glory to God alone.