Psalm 16 – For Safe Keeping

Yeah, I would take some of the chocolate biscuits for ‘safe keeping’.

When I was a boy (a younger legit one at home with Mum and Dad that is) I remember the day Mum would go shopping. That was undoubtedly the best day of the week, because often among the essentials that she purchased was a packet of chocolate biscuits.

I grew up with two siblings and the three of us knew very well what would happen the moment the shopping was unpacked. The deal was to get a hold of as many of those biscuits as possible and either scoff them or put them away. They were precious, they were scrumptious, they brought delight and so it was worth nabbing the collection and stashing them in a safe place where no one else could get to them.

I read Psalm 16 a few times and as I read it, that memory came to me. It came to me because the Psalmist, quite clearly to me, saw himself as the pack of chocolate biscuits. As long as he knew he was in God He knew He was safe and secure. His body was secure (verse 9), his lot was secure (verse 5)  there was great security in Him. As if God delighted to have him in His presence and would keep Him away from evil that lurked around. That’s why it was somewhere he could run to and find that degree of safety because of God’s track record of taking His own for sake keeping.

It’s also why it’s so fitting that efforts were made to ensure that the Psalmist was kept on the path to life. That way the Psalmist had a profound understanding of just how precious God was to Him and likewise just how precious He was to God. He and all those who feared the Lord and loved Him.

That degree of reassurance and confidence in the land of the living is rare. So fragile is the state of affairs outside God, so prone to anxiety and stress. So liable to the circumstances that can be ever changing and at times so cruel. This is not a confidence that says bad things will never happen. This is a confidence that says that there is a place and a divine presence that you can resort to in those times. This is a confidence that says that even in the anguish of death there is still a path to life. Where the tears of sorrow in the night can be turned to joy in the morning.

That confidence in God is very much needed in a world of debilitating and unsettling uncertainty. It’s certainly better than the pack of chocolate biscuits.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

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