Day 16 (Tuesday Feb 1)
“I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” — Psalm 16:7–9
What did the psalmist do to reach the point where his heart was truly glad? Let’s take a look at each step:
First: “I will bless the Lord who gives me council” — He says that he will acknowledge that God has provided insight when he was clueless. To bless the Lord means to speak well of His greatness and goodness from the depths of your soul. The psalmist is speaking from a sincere place about a concrete memory he has with the Lord. He’s not just drumming up feelings, he’s reflecting on his personal history with God in the private worship of God.
Second: “In the night also my heart instructs me” — He then says that he has another instructor. Every night as he lays down to sleep he goes to night class. His heart begins to lead him. It’s as if he is acknowledging that within his own world there is turmoil over who is leading his emotional state: God, or the night instructor of the heart who most likely keeps him up wondering about life.
Third: “I Have set the Lord always before me” — Here we see a different picture. Picture a long and winding path. The psalmist is in need of guidance. The Lord is like his guide, always in front of him on the path.
The psalmist blesses God, and then places Him before every step he takes. I imagine someone walking down a dark road with a lantern in front of them. Though it is dark, the light is a guide and protection.
It is in light of the psalmist blessing God, acknowledging that there’s competition for the instruction of his heart, and then setting the Lord before him regularly that we see the final product: “my heart is glad.”
Many of us may say that our hearts are glad, but can you say what he says at the end of verse 8, “I will not be shaken”? The original language is hinting at the idea of not slipping, not falling and not staggering. But I can’t help but be struck with how the Old King James Version says it:
“I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
When I played highschool football, I lifted a lot of weights and was always training. You’d always see me in the weightroom. I wanted to be able to hit people hard and make plays. But a moment I’ll never forget happened when we were playing one of our rivals. A guy from the other team caught me off guard because I was looking the other direction. He was running full speed and I was just standing by; the play was almost over. All of sudden I turned my head and this guy is coming at me, and there was nothing I could do. Boom. He smacked into me.
The problem was, I was 6‘2”, 260 pounds. He was about 5’11” and 200 pounds. Even though he did his best to level me, he bounced off of me and fell to the ground. I just stared at him. I wanted to say something really cool like in the movies. (“Nice try,” or “Hard to knock down a mountain”) But I didn’t end up saying anything. I just stared at him. And the silence said everything. He came at me full force while I wasn’t watching, and I WAS NOT MOVED…HE WAS.
What kind of testimony of gladness could you have for your life in 2022?
“I was betrayed by people and they tried to destroy me, but I WAS NOT MOVED…THEY WERE.”
“My marriage was falling apart and it just seemed like we were constantly arguing, but WE WERE NOT MOVED…OUR TRIALS MOVED.”
I love the way the psalmist says that he shall not be moved. If we follow his lead, whatever comes our way, no matter how fast it may come or how intense it may feel…WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED.
Take some time to think about the ways you’ve been blindsided the last few years. The people you couldn’t change and the problems you couldn’t solve. Consider how those trials shaped you. Guess what? In 2022 there will again be problems you can’t solve and people who won’t change, but say it with me: ”I SHALL NOT BE MOVED.”