August 12

Today's Bible Reading
            I Samuel 2
            Romans 2
            Jeremiah 40
            Psalms 15, 16
“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
(Psalms 16:10-11)
            In Psalms 16, David has been reviewing the blessings of God. He has reviewed who God is, rehearsed what God does, and now he brings Psalms 16 to a joyful and victorious conclusion by rejoicing at what God is going to do.  Now we find David gazing into the future, through the eyes of faith, and seeing things he has no right to see.  He is able to comprehend things that have never been communicated to him except by the Holy Spirit. 
            David rejoices in his own resurrection.  He says, ''for You will not leave my soul in Sheol." That is an ancient Hebrew word speaking of the abode of the dead, of the grave itself. David's view into the world of eternity is a startling one - it surpasses even the prophets.  For example, David knew that even though the child of he and Bathsheba had died, that he would see him again someday. David said, ''the child shall not return to me, but I can go to the child." (II Samuel 12:22-23) David knew there would be a resurrection of the dead, and that he and his child would be a part of that.
            But he had also foreseen the resurrection of the Messiah. He said, in verse 10, ''Nor will You allow your Holy One to see corruption.'' David would never refer to himself as the Holy One.  This means that David knew that the Messiah would come, and that He would rise again from the dead.  Peter quoted these words in Acts 2, proving to us that they were about the resurrection. They were also quoted by the Apostle Paul in Acts 13, giving us further confirmation.
            Praise God, we need never endure the corruption of the grave. Christ has written the last word. He has saved us from eternal death. David also is rejoicing in the Rapture. We come to a beautiful ending for our Psalm. Try to imagine a more powerfully positive - and positively powerful -bottom line than this one, ''You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness is joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
            Once again, David is seeing into the future to a time where there will be the possibility of a perfectly intimate relationship with our Lord. What an incredible statement. David knew that someday he would be in a place where fullness of joy and complete pleasure would be found at God's right hand.
            There are only two ways to enter that presence. The first is through death.  Paul said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21) The other way is to be here for the Rapture of the church. That is my desire. Paul tells us I Thessalonians 4: 16-17, “Christ will appear from Heaven with a shout.”  I wouldn't mind being around to witness that event.
            So it is by biological death or by rapture, but we will travel to His side by land or by air. Death or life? I agree with Paul - it's a win/win proposition -wouldn't you agree? I agree with David as well, as I realize the fullness of these things and begin to sing God's praises. I have so much to be thankful for. God is everything for me, as I hope He is for you - counselor, friend, provider, and loving father. He has prepared a mansion for all of us … an appointed room for you and one for me. We are going to know joy as it is meant to be known, and pleasure as we have never known it. The best is, indeed, yet to come.
            Today, focus your prayers on a special people group in Afghanistan, the Pashtun. Approximately half of the Afghan population, and politically dominant, the Pashtuns on both sides of the Afghan/Pakistani border comprise what has been called the ''largest Muslim tribal society'' in the world, approximately 27 million people in over 30 major sub-tribes. There are very few Christians among them, though urban educated Pashtun's in exile have shown responsiveness. Pray that multitudes of them might be released from the strongholds of Islam, fear, prejudice, and pride in Pashtunwali which is their tribal code of honor. With no churches in Afghanistan and the country still torn apart by the recent wars, a modern mission’s miracle is needed there.