“I will bless the LORD Who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. I have set the LORD continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever” (Psalm 16:7-11).
Quoted by Peter in Acts 2:25-28. Just before this, the apostle preached of Jesus, “delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power” (2:23,24). The God Who planned His death was the Source of His counsel, instruction, gladness, glory, life, joy, and unending pleasure. Even in the grave (“Sheol”) He is able to say “my flesh also will dwell securely.” Let us consider three more examples of this kind of faith in the face of death:
- Just yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite Fernando Ortega songs, “I Will Wait for My Change” (on “This Bright Hour,” Sony 1998), from Job 14, where he says, “oh that You would hide me in Sheol. If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my struggle I will wait until my change comes. You will call, and I will answer You; You will long for the work of Your hands” (vss. 13-15). The righteous man of suffering is stretched in his faith and faithfulness to God to the place of the grave.
- “The LORD is my shepherd...even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:1,4). The Shepherd Who leads is the One Who guides into the valley and is with the sheep who sings this Psalm (king David).
- After Job and David, we return to our Lord: “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety....fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, Who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 5:7; 12:2). He prayed to “the One [Who was] able to save Him from death, and He was heard,” even though He died. Looking at His own death, He saw beyond it and saw the “joy” in the Presence “of the throne of God,” even the God Who willed His death.
The God Who knows our moments and days unto the end of them in this earthly life is the God Who, through Christ, is the Source of our counsel, instruction, gladness, glory, life, joy, and unending pleasure.