Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. – Psa. 16:4 KJV
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The scripture for today’s devotional is the sixteenth chapter of the book of psalms, the authorship of which Bible historians have credited to King David. It was believed to have been written by him as part of his experience when he was running away from King Saul. He had wondered why King Saul still haboured so much anger against him despite his loyalty to him and reverence for him, both of which he demonstrated on two occasions he had the opportunity to terminate his life but did not do so – 1Sam. 24:1-22; 26:1-25. The psalm carries the caption “the Michtam (Miktam) of David”. Bible scholars are not in agreement on what this caption means as some describe it as a musical term used in the Davidic period whilst others claim it means “secret” or “gold”. To this latter group, they relate the name with the psalm as the attempt of David to reveal the golden secret behind his contentment, comportment and great gladness in the middle of trials and tribulations some of which manifested in his decision not to terminate the life of King Saul on those occasions that he was so opportunes.
Knowing the story of the events that preceded the enthronement of David as king, one is drawn into believing the interpretation of this latter group. For someone who was the last born of his father and a herdsman to become a special assistant to a great king will in no doubt be considered a major step to achieving success in life, and appreciation and gratitude will naturally want to make such a person almost turn the tool of the upliftment, which in this case is the king himself, into a demi-god.
The case of David was not different as he not only expressed appreciation and gratitude to King Saul but began to see him as infallible. As far as David was concerned, King Saul could never be wrong as he rated him to be a saint or how else will one describe a situation where there were obvious attempts to kill him by this same king and all he did was to shrug it off and remain in the service until wisdom took charge of his life and he fled the palace – 1Sam. 18:10-30; 19:1-24; 20:1-42.
Despite all the respect and gratitude shown to King Saul by David, he still found himself in a situation he described as hell due to the negative activities of King Saul, and had to pray that the Almighty God whom he will continue to worship will not allow his soul to be destroyed – Psa. 16:10. In that situation, all he could do was to plead with the Lord to preserve his life as he puts his entire trust in him – Psa. 16:1. Trust, respect and adoration for man had failed him. Although he had never stopped worshipping the Almighty God, his appreciation for King Saul was becoming more like a worship of him, a conduct that was deemed as an act of idolatry by the Almighty God. There was no doubt about the revered position that David placed the Lord but his goodness and delight was reserved for an ordinary human being like King Saul whom he had come to regard and treat as a saint – Psa. 16:2-3. Of course it all ended in multiple sorrows for him as he himself was to testify – Psa. 16:4a.
With his personal experience of sorrow even after all he did to appreciate man, He decided to have only the Lord as the portion of his inheritance in the land of the living, acknowledging that;
1. It was the Almighty God that regularly maintained His cup and has never failed him – Psa. 16:5b.
2. That the same Lord dropped the lines for him in pleasant places to enable him have victory in difficult situations – Psa. 16:6a.
3. And by these actions of support from the Lord, he has indeed received a goodly inheritance – Psa. 16:6b.
He thus resolved to bless the Lord always as He it is that counselled him during his dark periods which he described as night time and so will always ensure that the Lord is at his right hand and that remains his assurance that he will not be moved by any situation no matter how adverse it may be – Psa. 16:7-8. More so, there is fullness of joy in God’s presence just as his right hand has everlasting pleasures – Psa. 16:11.
There are many Christians today who like David, before his experience with King Saul, are yet to realise that there should be a limit to how much they express gratitude to men for favours received. There is no doubt that the Almighty God expects men to show gratitude and the one who does not appreciate men cannot claim to appreciate God for favours received, but such expressions should never be allowed to get to the point where what should go to the Almighty God is shared with, or given entirely to man. Just as the decision of David to appreciate King Saul in a manner that bordered on worship of the personality of King Saul, did not stop Saul from witch haunting him, such should not be surprised if the one that they have chosen to perpetually venerate for received favours become their arch enemy.
No matter the support that the Christian or anyone for that matter may receive from man, he/she should never forget that every favour received from men is from God with such a person being a channel of disbursing the favour by the Almighty God. Appreciate God’s tool used to bring favour to your life but avoid acts that allocate glory for such favours to such as All the Glory must return to the Almighty God. May God teach us show to appreciate in order to avoid incurring His wrath in Jesus name. Amen.