“Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble, in whom is all my delight.” (Psalm 16:1 – 3)
I am weary, beloved reader, but it is a good weary. I have been doing a lot of “kitchening” which what I call being in the kitchen preparing food and cleaning up after my food preparations and others who have been in the kitchen. I did some preparatory work for supper tomorrow night and made a large bowl of pasta salad which will feed both of my daughters for several days.
What, you may ask, does that have to do with this passage from Psalm? It occurred to me (as I gratefully sat down) it is easy to praise the Lord when you have done good work for yourself and your family with the provisions that you have been able to get. I do not want to say that the Lord God has “blessed” me/us in that way . . . . because it makes it sound as if we have deserved special privilege that others have not. It is more accurate to say happenstance has conformed itself in a way “pleasing” to our existence. All people are deserving and worthy of what we have been able to afford. But not everyone is able to. I feel it is wrong to assume that it is me/my family’s due. And that is not the basis that I bless the Lord God. It is that I have been able to make the preparations and make plans for my family. I praise the Lord God because my strength, endurance, and skill in the kitchen has made it possible. Yes I am tired, but it is a good tired that was gained on behalf of my family.
And I like to think that the “holy ones in the land” work on behalf of others, be it family or strangers. In fact the greater work is to work on behalf of strangers, those who you owe not apparent due or allegiance to.
“Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names upon my lips.” (Verse 4)
I do not what sort of people the psalmist had in mind when he talks of “Those who choose another god.” Typically in biblical times the “heathen” were not seen a generous or working on behalf of others who were less fortunate and/or without resources. On the other hand, many of the prophets lambaste the called and chosen people of God for not providing for the poor, orphans, widows, and strangers in the land. I would hope the psalmist includes/excludes on that basis also.
“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.” (Verse 5)
Simple statement – anything and everything I am able and willing to do that is good and noble in my life . . . I owe to the influence and calling of the Lord God the Divine.
“The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage. I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure.” (Verses 6 – 9)
Ordinary Time. It was an ordinary day today; granted, I accomplished more than I thought it would. In several weeks from now I probably won’t remember the day as anything more than any other day. But today – in this moment – I stop and praise the Lord God for what I was able to do.
“For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Verses 10 – 11)
And, I praise the Lord God that there will other ordinary but worthwhile days to come! Selah!