A miktam of David.
1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Have you ever experienced a case of mistaken identity? You think you’ve spotted a friend approaching you in the shopping centre. You raise your hand in a wave. The person draws closer. It’s not your friend at all. You try to turn the wave into a stretch. Cases of mistaken identity can be embarrassing.
When Peter preaches at Pentecost in Acts 2 he points out the worst case of mistaken identity there has ever been. It’s worse than embarrassing. It’s horrific.
Psalm 16 says that the ultimate defining mark of God’s king is that he will live forever. Who is this eternal king? The superscription of the Psalm, “of David” is significant. Unlike most of the headings in our English Bibles, these little subtitles of the Psalms are part of the original text. But is this Psalm really “of David”? Is it really about David?
Peter declares in Acts 2 that this Psalm is really about Jesus. David is dead and buried. But Jesus is dead and… risen! Talk about the ultimate case of mistaken identity: people murdered Jesus as a criminal, but he is God’s long promised king. David himself knew that God’s promises were bigger than him. Better than him. Peter says that Jesus fulfils verse 10 of our Psalm: Jesus didn’t stay dead (Acts 2:31). And Jesus fulfils verse 11 of our Psalm: Jesus now rules at God’s right hand (Acts 2:33).
The call of the gospel is a call to break out of this terrible case of mistaken identity and recognise Jesus as he really is: “Lord and Messiah.” (Acts 2:36). It dawns on Peter’s hearers that they’ve indeed made an awful mistake. They are cut to the heart. They ask “what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). The simple, critical answer is given: “Repent!” (Acts 2:38). Turn and recognise Jesus as he is. Turn and receive forgiveness of your sins. Turn and receive the Holy Spirit. Have you turned to recognise your King?
Head: What have you learnt about Jesus from Psalm 16? What have you learnt about yourself?
Heart: How does it make you feel that he wasn’t recognised by those who murdered him?
Hands: After Peter’s hearers turned to Jesus, they then “devoted themselves to the apostle’s teaching” (Acts 2:42). What might it look like in your life to devote yourself to the truth about Jesus?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that you fulfilled your promise of a king who would defeat death by raising Jesus from the dead. Thanks that he is exalted to your right hand and rules. Help me to devote myself to reading your Word to learn more about living under the rule of Jesus. Please help me to live this day with his rule evident in my words and actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.