“I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.” Psalm 16:8 (NKJ)
Dr. Henry Cloud in his book, The Secret Things of God, shares this thought on happiness: “A good life doesn’t depend on good circumstances.” Dr. Cloud’s statement finds agreement with the Apostle Paul who wrote to the church at Philippi, “I have learned to be satisfied regardless of my circumstances” (Phil. 4:11-13). His contentment was based on his knowledge and relationship with The Source of all circumstances. Those times when circumstances are “not good” provide believers the opportunity to hold firm to the reality of God. The psalmist captured this reality in the 16th Psalm as he writes of the faithfulness and assurance that can only be found in God.
I have set the LORD always before me. The focus of the psalmist is Jehovah God—the Existing One—who is the source of his confidence. Jehovah has always been and will always be. As Alpha and Omega, God operates as Divine Integrity—true and faithful. “To set” (shavah) means “to put”. Oh that we would stop in the midst of our challenges and put our focus on God. We need not fear the paths that are set before us. God’s paths are those experiences He sovereignly allowed in our lives—success or sickness, excess or lack, solitude or inclusion—they all flow from His hand of grace. God is our present realty.
Because He is at my right hand. The psalmist expresses His special relationship with Jehovah as he describes God positioned at his “right hand”. The “right hand” is the preferred one in patriarchal blessings (Gen. 48:17-20). Solemn oaths are made via the uplifted right hand (Is. 62:8). The right hand is used figuratively to emphasize God’s person and actions. God’s right hand is said to be filled with righteousness (Ps. 48:10) and might (Ps. 80:15-16). Like the psalmist, believers can find God positioned “at their right hand”, ready to provide help, strength, and security. God is our unfailing reality.
I shall not be moved. To be “moved” in this text means to totter or shake. It is used of the foundations of the earth (Ps. 82:5) and almost always negatively. “I shall not totter” (mowt), in contrast, is used of an intrepid unwavering person (Ps. 10:6). As we listen to the news or read the various publications on our IPhones, it is easy “to totter”. As we attempt to manage diminishing resources in the midst of escalating costs, we can be “shaken”. As we respond to physicians who “practice medicine”, we are “moved”. Christians are to be “non-totters”. We are to hold fast to the reality of God who “neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Ps. 121:4) and call to our remembrance His love for us as evidenced in His protection and provision for us (Ps. 16:5-6). God is our unmovable reality.
Are you experiencing the reality of God in your life? Lent is the perfect time to evaluate the maturity of our faith walk and reignite our zeal for Christ. What a perfect time to demonstrate and proclaim to an unbelieving world the reality of God. (Heb. 10:23).
Prayer: Eternal God, you are greater than any circumstance we may face. You are the Creator and Sustainer of our life, ever present and always acting on our behalf. Let us continually set You before us. You are our present, unfailing, and unmovable reality. In Your presence we can live confidently and with joy (Ps. 16:11).