Setting The Lord Before Us
As the New Year begins to roll on, can we imagine making it through 366 days on our own? Will we need anyone's guidance, lean on anyone’s strength, depend on anyone's help? We need all the help we can get! It's a long year, the days may go slowly by, but the Scriptures state that we should make the most of our time. (Eph.5:15) Paul says there, we should be careful how we walk, not as unwise men but as wise. We need wisdom to navigate through this journey to Paradise we are on. There is One that we can set continually before us, One that will be strong enough to carry our burdens, One that will be wise enough to counsel us along the way, One to help us fight the good fight to keep us from making shipwreck of the faith. The Psalmist knew of such a One and was determined to accomplish just that. We see it in Psalm 16:8, “I have set the Lord continually before me, because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” And Psalm 16:11, 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.”
The facts he states in verse 8, are the basis of His hope in verse 11. There is one verse that looks at the present, one verse looks toward the future. If He views the Lord being always before Him, he will be steadfast, like being holy as He is Holy, that we increase and abound in love for one another, and One that we can confess our sins to, and He is faithful and just to forgive us of these sins. And secondly, have an everlasting joy, built on the presence of His glory. The Psalmist deliberately places his Lord always close before Him to fix his eyes firmly upon Him to be able to see Him, to be calm, comforted, and blessed. The world and all the things in the world he will simply not gravitate to. As David states in Psalm 16, so Asaph states in 73:25, “Who have I in heaven but You, and besides You, I desire nothing on Earth.” We must not look at the things that are seen and temporal, but at the things which are unseen and eternal. In life our eyes can look toward many people and things, but Psalm 123:2 states,” Our eyes look to the Lord our God.” When we request someone to come stand before us or at our right hand, we desire safety, courage, and confidence from the One who knows the way. He does not come as a spectator on the sideline, but as an ally in warfare.
Commentator Alexander Maclaren states, “Because He is at my right hand I shall-What? Be triumphant? No! Escape sorrows? No! Have my life filled with serenity? No! I shall not be moved. That is the best we can hope for.” We can be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. (Eph.6:10) For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. This life as described by James is but a vapor, to God a thousand years are but a day, we will at the end of our lives enter His glorious presence, 1John 3:2,” We know that when He appears we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” If we see Him with a believing eye here, we will see Him with a glorified eye hereafter. And if we put Him at our right hand here, He will put as at His right-hand hereafter. The sheep will stand where the Great Shepherd is seated at God’s right hand, for He has gone to prepare a place for us so that where He is, we may be also. For in this place, there will be no more death, there will be no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain. (Rev.21:4) A real place where sorrow cannot live, and joy cannot die.
Wisdom and strength God has in infinite supply. He is more than able to allow us to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith. He can do abundantly more than we can ask, think, or even imagine, He is a God of abundance, for He abundantly pardons, (Isa.55:7), He has given us life abundantly, (John 10:10), He has no lack, His presence will not depart from us,” I will never leave you or forsake you.” (Heb.13:5) Commentator G.Campbell Morgan states, ”All we ask is that we may be directed by Thy wisdom, so that we shall be enabled by Thy power. If we can only take up that attitude, how strong and quiet life will be.” There will be many perils, calamities, and struggles that will greet us on our way through life, including death, but we can be confident with the Lord before Us, with Him at our right hand now, fixing our eyes only on Him, we may have confidence in all these challenges in life that He is in control of. Christ has overcome that last enemy, death, as Paul triumphantly states in 1Cor.15:57, “Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Elder Randy Slak