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 PSALM 16 (Part 1)













The great 7th verse of Psalm 16 continues with these words:

"My reins also instruct Me in the night seasons."   Psalm 16:7b

I believe these are the word of the Messiah (Jesus).

He is giving us a glimpse into His "devotional" life!

He is revealing to us what He does at night!

Of most men it is said:  "Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."   John 3:19

Of Christ Jesus let it be recorded that He loved darkness for spiritual reasons --- that He might conduct such things as sweet communion with His Father and meditation on the Word of Truth (Scripture)!

The noun "reins" translates a Hebrew noun that means one's "kidneys!"  The word is "kilyah" and is used 31 times in the Bible.  (It is rendered "kidneys" 18 times and "reins" 13 times.)  It speaks of an organ of the body.  It figuratively means one's "inner" self.  One's very heart and mind and emotions!  One's soul!  The first time the word is used in Scripture (Exodus 29:13) the "kidneys" of a little animal are dedicated to the Lord in sacrifice!  He wanted them!  (He still wants them!  Your kidneys!  Your mind!  Your heart!  Your soul!)

The verb for "instruct" is a little unusual here.  The Bible uses some interesting words for "instruct."  Let me show you.  I'll take them in Biblical order.  The first word is "sakal" and means to impart wisdom!  Here it is in Nehemiah 9:20 --- "Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst."

The next word means to teach (actually to prod with a goad) until facts are acquired!  "Lamed" has the idea of repetition as needed.  Teaching is largely a matter of repetition, isn't it!  A philosopher once said:  "Repetition is the mother of all learning."  Bible example:  Song of Solomon 8:2 --- "I would lead thee, and bring thee into my mother's house, who would instruct me: I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate."

The comes "biyn" which means "to give understanding."  (Literally to discern levels of meaning in situations!)  Daniel 11:33 uses this verb:  "And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days."

Then in the New Testament, "sumbibazo" means "to drive or to force together!"  (sun = together and bibazo = to force, to unite)  It is translated "knit together" several times in Scripture!  Example of this verb "instruct:"  1 Corinthians 2:16 --- "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ."


Our word is "yasar" and means "to chasten, discipline, instruct or admonish!"  One source says:  "To chastise, literally with blows!"  It is a strong word!   Its first Bible use is in Leviticus 26:18 where it is translated "punish" --- "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins."  Punishment for sins!

Well, Jesus had no sin or sins!  AND He had a very holy hatred for sin!  You can be sure that He would have violently reacted to any sin approaching His spotless life!  I believe in the impeccability of our dear Lord.  I don't think He could have sinned. He is very God of very God!  But our verse at least shows Him teaching us what OUR ATTITUDE toward sin should be!  We should fear sin!  We should be repulsed by it!  (Read Psalm 101!)

Now if you don't believe that Jesus would do something in His Own life to teach us (or to benefit us) read John 17:19 --- "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."

Notice lastly the precise "time" Jesus mentions here.

"The night seasons!"

Remember Mark 1:35?

"And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, He (Jesus) went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."  That was one of His "night seasons!"

I believe He also allowed His own heart to instruct Him the night of His betrayal! And the night His arrest!  And His Gethsemane prayer! 

And the night the Pharisees accused Him of being illegitimately born!  John 8:41--- "Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication."

And the night Nicodemus came!  (John 3:1-2)

And the night after His Transfiguration!

And the night after His first sermon where the people tried to push him over a cliff (the brow of a hill)!  Luke 4

And ALL His earthly nights!

No ballgames for Jesus!

No late night entertainment of any kind!

He had meat to eat we know not of!  John 4:32 --- "But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of."

He spent His nights ... in communion with His Father (Psalm 16:7a) and with His own wise thoughts --- inspired by His Father and the Word of God!  (Psalm 16:7b)


What a life He lived!

Don't you just love Him today?

I've just got to close this lesson, but read Isaiah 50:4 where Jesus tells us that after those nights of being "instructed" by His Own soul ... His Father woke Him the next morning ... with more instruction!    "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." What a life!

Oh!  To be like Him!

                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 23, 2004 (SUNDAY)

Since we KNOW that part of this Psalm is spoken (prophetically) by Jesus, and since there is no "break" in the Psalm to allow for other speakers ... I am applying it in its entirety to our dear Lord.

You might question my hermeneutics after you see today's verse ... but I'm staying by my conviction here.

"I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel ..."  Psalm 16:7

Jesus here is committed to blessing the Lord (His Father in Heaven).  The verb "to bless" is in Hebrew "barak" and means to fall down before someone in adoration or praise!  It can carry the idea of bragging on someone too.  Once in our King James Bible it is translated "congratulate"  (1 Chronicles 18:10)!  Furthermore the verb here is in the "Piel" stem ... suggesting intensive praise!  Also the "time" sense of the verb is one of on-going action, habitual action! 

One could say that here is the same attitude Jesus displayed when He taught the disciples to pray:  "Our Father Which art in Heaven ... HALLOWED BE THY NAME ...."  He is glorifying His Father.

BUT the part of our verse that may cause some questions is "hath given Me counsel!"  Do we have any Bible record of Jesus receiving any counsel from His Father? 

Well, yes, I believe we do.

Listen to Isaiah.  He is giving us Jesus' thoughts.  This is viewed through the eye of Bible prophecy.  Jesus, when on earth, was known to say to His Father:  "The Lord GOD hath given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: He wakeneth morning by morning, He wakeneth Mine ear to hear as the learned."  Isaiah 50:4  This is Jesus gaining His Father's "counsel."

Again, watch the capitalized words in John 8:28 --- "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

Or let Paul show us in Hebrews 5:8 --- "Though He (Jesus) were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered."  Now I do not fully understand that verse!  But I do believe it.  It is Jesus receiving "counsel" from His Father!

If I may say this with reverence.  God the Father was Jesus' "coach" while the Son was on earth!  He particularly gave Him counsel regarding Calvary, the likely context for this whole 16th Psalm. 

Watch Psalm 40:6 where Jesus says to His Father:  "Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required."  Opened ears!  The verbal for opened is "karah" and means to dig or to pierce! 

What a relationship the Son had with His Father!

What fellowship!

What communion!

What oneness!

The verb "given counsel" translates "yaatzs" and means to give advice! 

It is once (Numbers 24:14) translated "advertise."

In 2 Samuel 15:12 it is rendered "counsellor" (as it is 21 other times also)!  God the Father is Counsellor to Jesus the Son while He is on earth to die for our sins!

It is "guide" in Psalm 32:8 where God promises:  "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."

It is "consult" in Psalm 62:4 (as it also is in 8 other places)!  God ran a "Consulting Firm" for Jesus!  It's still open for YOU, dear believing friend!

Now all I know to say is this.  If Jesus ought God's counsel ... what should old ex-sinners like you and me do?

Help!  Lord, we need Thee!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



MAY 22, 2004 (SATURDAY)

In our verse today the Lord Jesus continues to delight in His pleasant circumstances of life. That surely sounds strange to our ears! Jesus, Who has come to die ... is delighted in the life He is to live? Yes, thatís exactly what He says!

What an example of contentment!

"The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage." Psalm 16:6

By "lines" (in Hebrew = "chebel") is meant the boundary or territorial allotments given to a Jew from the time of Joshua. The word can mean a cord or a rope as well as an assigned portion of land. (A measuring line one text says!) But in our King James Bible the word is translated in some different ways: lines (7 times as here in our text), but cords (16 times), coast (4 times), region (3 times), lot (3 times), ropes (3 times) then sorrows (10 times), pangs (2 times) and even pain (1 time)!

If one uses these "lines" as measuring devices, Iíd like to say that any way your measure Jesus He passes every test superbly! Measure His Life! Measure His Death! Measure His present High Priestly Ministry! Hallelujah!

Did Jesus know what He was saying? OF COURSE HE DID! He is the omniscient Son of God! He is pleasantly thanking His Father for the privilege of living on this earth ... in order to redeem lost mankind. And He is fully aware that He must die in order to accomplish that goal! Even the "pains" of Calvary are pleasant in the sense of saving sinners and pleasing the Father in Heaven!  If you donít believe it read Hebrews 12:2 which says: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

The verb "fallen" is "naphal" and means to be cast down or to be divided or (of course) to fall. This verb is used on occasion in the Old Testament to depict death! For example: 2 Samuel 1:12 --- "And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword."

Hereís my point. Because of sin death has "fallen" on us members of the human race. Because of His love for us ... death had to fall upon the Saviour too ... in order to bring about our salvation! Wow!

And the adjective "pleasant" is in Hebrew "naiym." It means delightful, sweet, lovely, agreeable or even beautiful! Itís first use in Scripture is in 2nd Samuel 1:23 where "Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions." (Two friends in communion! As are the Father and the Son Two in communion!) Itís second use is just as good! 2 Samuel 23:1 --- "Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel ..." I believe I know Who the Real "Sweet" Psalmist is!  It is Jesus!

Then the Lord adds these words: "I have a goodly heritage!"

"I have a goodly" translates one Hebrew verb: "shaphar." It means to be pleasing, to be beautiful, to be bright! In Genesis 49:21 it is used of Naphtali. "Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words." In Numbers 33:23 is a mention of a Mount Shapher (same root word). The Mount of "Goodness!" Thatís where Jesus lived! Thatís what Heaven is going to be also!

In fact, I just saw something in that Numbers 33 text. Itís worth stopping to notice too. They (the Israelites) moved from Kehelathah to Mount Shapher then (sadly) ... leaving Shapher they regressed to Haradah. The meanings of those names: Assembly (Kehelathah)! Beauty or goodness (Shapher)! And then Fear (Haradah)! Be careful where you live!

"Heritage" is the Hebrew noun "nachalah." It means possession, property or share. The first use of this term in Scripture (Numbers 16:14) is framed in words of rebellion and doubt and anger. Jesus here uses it in trust and love and respect! (Jesus makes all words do right!)

How could Jesus have said things like this in His short sorrowful life? (Man of Sorrows) Surely He could not have felt this way His Passion week! Or in Gethsemane! Do not underestimate the strength of the darling Son of God, brothers and sisters! He is God in human flesh.

Of course we need to keep in mind that spiritually His "heritage" in reference to Calvary consists of the souls saved by means of His shed Blood! It well may be that He is calling them pleasant and goodly here! In the Old Testament He once called them His jewels! (Malachi 3:17) And in the New Testament we are His Body and His Bride! (Sounds lovely to me!)

What "insight" we are being given here into Jesusí very inner life! What a Man of God He was! Make that ... is!

Praise His dear Name.

What golden thoughts to ponder this Saturday, May 22, 2004!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 21, 2004 (FRIDAY)

Jesus' level of contentment is amazing in this Psalm!  Some of the older preachers believed the Lord prayed these words during or near His Gethsemane ordeal.  (I think the reference here to the "cup" may lead them to so believe.)  And they well may have a good point!

Here's today's verse:

"The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot."   Psalm 16:5

The noun "portion" is in Hebrew "manah" and means something weighed out or allotted to a person.  It is particularly used of food portions in Scripture ... but may apply to any area of life.  Using our very word, look at the "portions" of the wicked: "Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."  Psalm 11:6  Jesus is here saying to His Father:  I am satisfied exceedingly with Thy blessings in My life!

BUT He is also saying more than that.  Our Lord Jesus is declaring that His FATHER Himself IS Jesus' blessing, portion, allowance, provision!  It's not:  "Father, thank you for what you gave Me!"  It is rather:  "Father, YOU are the Gift!  YOU are the PORTION!"  Glory to God!

Perhaps when Jesus said to the devil:  "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," He really literally meant it!  (Matthew 4:4 and Luke 4:4) 

The noun "inheritance" is (in Hebrew = cheleq) a word meaning:  share, part or territory.  (It comes from a word that means "smooth!"  It is thought to be a reference to the large smooth stones and rocks that were used to mark property lines in ancient days!)  Jesus here declares to His Father perfect satisfaction with His possessions! 

The word "cup" carries the same idea.  "Kos" in Hebrew obviously means "cup" ... but it is derived from a verb meaning "to hold together!"  Maybe it is what happens when all the plans come together in one great point of culmination!  (You know. Like "all things work together!") 

Wait a minute!  Jesus owned nothing.  He had no home.  He possessed no land.  He was a poor man.  BUT HERE HE TALKS LIKE HE IS WEALTHY!  He has the Lord God Almighty as a Father and Protector!  He is actually counting the God above as His Possession and is happy about the whole matter!  The LORD is my portion He announces gloriously! That is WEALTH!

By using such similar words (portion ... inheritance ... cup) the Hebrew mind is building a "superlative" word picture.  Jesus is saying that He would rather have His Father than anything or anybody else!  His Father's is ALL He needs!  (Wow!)  We sing:  "I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold ..."  And Jesus just said:  "I'd rather have My Father than silver or gold or anything else!"

When Jesus needed a "drink" (the "cup" again) ... He goes to His Father!  Jesus must believe that the Father is some Kind of Living Water or Something!  Read John 4! Do you remember Psalm 42:1?  "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God."  Glory to God!  I read that the "hart" (little deer) is thirstiest of all  just after it has killed a snake!  Snakes and deer are enemies!  Jesus longed for the Father as he defeated that old serpent Satan (on Calvary)!  And according to Psalm 22 the Father ultimately HELPED His Son!  (I guess so!  He raised Him from the dead!)

Next Jesus says to His Father:  "Thou maintainest My lot."

Maintainest is "tamak" in Hebrew and means "to grasp, hold or support!  (To sustain, to hold up)  It is a Qal (simple verb in the active voice) participle.  That means that the "action" is constant and on-going.  The Father held Jesus up day by day!  Jesus maintains the whole universe!  The Father maintains Jesus!  See Colossians 1:17 (speaking of Jesus):  "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (hold together)! 

All that happens to Jesus comes through the Father's Hands and the Father's will and Christ is quite content with that relationship!  Talk about trust and faith!

"Lot" translates "goral," a Hebrew noun meaning a stone used for casting "lots." (The verb behind our term means "to be rough!"  It is a picture of the rough little pebbles used to draw lots and see how a situation will develop!)   Jesus accepts the fact that everything that comes His way is of His Father's doing!  It is His "lot" in life.  It is as if He wrote Romans 8:28!  (He did really!)  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Now we have seen things "rough" and things "smooth" come against Jesus!  He took them all with contented trust that His Father was in control!  What a way to live!

Also the word for "lot" has historical reference to the time when the 12 Tribes of Israel got their land allotments in the new land of Canaan.  Some got rocky land ... others smooth land.  Some land was more fertile than others.  Some was seashore property and some mountain property!  Jesus says:  "Whatever!  I am satisfied if it has flowed from My Father's Hand!"

Jesus' inheritance of course was not real estate.  He owned none.  (Or should I say He owned it all?)  He staked His inheritance in His Father!  He had nothing "small" or "narrow" or "insufficient" because of that decision alone!  Whatever came was acceptable.  Look at Psalm 119:96 --- "I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad."  God can make little places big!  Also watch Psalm 4:1 --- "Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer." 

Also that word "cup" was used in ancient days of describing one's manner of death! They often practiced capital punishment by forcing the criminal to drink poison out of his "cup!"  Jesus well may be here alluding to His coming death on the Cross! Father, I accept Calvary as the only possible way to redeem sinners!  It is My lot and My cup and I shall handle it to Thy Glory!  (Amazing!)

By the way, if we are on "Calvary" ground here, I know what Jesus' inheritance was!  Souls!  Souls saved via the Blood shed on the Cross!  Seed raised up to Jesus! Look at Isaiah 53:10 --- "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand." Again I say, Praise the Lord!

I am now wondering if Jesus' lot in a redemption context could be the exact number of souls who will finally be saved!  If so ... He WILL BE SATISFIED! 

We've been is somewhat "deep" waters today.  But I have enjoyed the swim!

What a marvelous Saviour we have!


                                                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 20, 2004 (THURSDAY)

Jesus has just told us of His deep love for the "saints."  (He did that just AFTER He spoke of His deep love for His Father!)

He then immediately turned His holy meditations toward the ungodly!  He noted how their sorrows would be "multiplied" because they loved other gods.

Then He determines:

" ... Their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips."  Psalm 16:4b

This seems to be a difficult clause to interpret.

The term "drink offerings" translates one Hebrew noun, "nesek."  It comes from a verb that means "to pour out."  It can refer to one of several things.  First it might mean the "blood" that was poured and sprinkled around the Brass altar at the Temple when a worshipper offered sacrifice (a little lamb for example).  If that's the case Jesus plainly says that He will NOT be the High Priest for one who still worships false gods!

Secondly it can mean the "drink offering" of wine that was poured out on certain sacrifices.  That would have represented joy and thanksgiving for atonement made by blood.  Again Jesus refuses to have a part in "right" worship by the "wrong" people!  He will participate in no joy or thanksgiving from unbelieving lips!  (The word "offer" is just a second rendering of our word "nesek" here, except in verb form. Also it is in a "Hiphil" stem ... indicative "causative" action.  There are causes behind Jesus' refusal here!)

The way this clause is worded it just HAS to be spoken by a Priest!  King David was NOT  a priest!  Only Jesus could have fully spoken these words with all the truth they imply!

I think the spirit of this verse is captured and repeated in John 17 (Jesus' High Priestly Prayer) where He plainly says:  "I pray for them (the saints): I pray not for the world (the wicked), but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine." To me that says it all.

Or these words may just tell us that these wicked god (and goddess) lovers worship their idols in ways similar to our true worship of God!  (By offering sacrifices)  If so, how grieved Jesus must be to hear folks attributing thanks to pieces of metal or stone or to false philosophies for all their blessings of life!  An evolutionist (if he thanks anyone at all) must thank fate or blind chance (or the big bang) for any good things that come his way!  There certainly is no God to thank in his estimation.  If that's the meaning here ... Jesus still says He will have no part in it at all.  All His love and adoration and will go to His Father!

Their evil names will NOT be on Jesus' lips!  I can tell you what was on His lips!  It is of Jesus that Psalm 45:2 speaks:  "Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever."  (I can also tell you what is supposed to be on our lips as Christians:  "By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." (Hebrews 13:15)  Jesus will not contaminate His lips with their vile names! 

This is as strong a verse on "separation" from sin as you will ever find in the Bible.

How holy is our dear Lord Jesus!  Sinless!

Praise Him forever!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 19, 2004 (WEDNESDAY)

Today we begin to study verse 4 of this great 16th Psalm.

"Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god."

These are the words of our Saviour (according to Peter and Paul) as He communes with His Father in Heaven!  He here reflects upon the wicked, those who seek other gods. 

He notices that they have sorrows!  The word in Hebrew is spelled "atzsebeth" and means a pain or a wound!  It comes from a verb that means to cut or to carve!  I can only find the word 5 times in the whole Bible!  In Psalm 147:3 it is translated "wounds:"  "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." 

Hear me today.  Sin cuts and pierces and wounds!  And listen to what Jesus did for us on the Cross!  Isaiah 53:4 tells us.  "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows."  He took the "sorrows" sin produces ... and suffered for them on Calvary.  (Different Hebrew words ... but the same thought)  He was cut and wounded for our sins and the sorrows they produced!

But those who reject the Lord not only have sorrows ... they have many sorrows! The word "multiplied" translates "rabah" in Hebrew and means "to become great or many or much or numerous."  In examining the Bible use of our word, I notice that often God multiplies days (adds to one's life) ... but sin multiplies sorrows!  I guess that in a way we should thank God for the wounds and sorrows sin produces in our lives.  Otherwise we might less often turn from sin ... and to the Lord!  (God Himself can multiply sorrows too!  Notice Genesis 3:16 --- "Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children.")  By the way, this is an "imperfect" Hebrew verb suggesting that the "multiplying" goes on and on.  It is continual.)

But what have these people here done that's so bad?  They have "hastened after another god!"

The verb "hasten" (in Hebrew = "mahar") means to be hurried or to do quickly!  It comes from a "root" word that originally meant "to flow as a liquid."  Wouldn't it be a shame if the "lost" hastened to serve their false gods and we true "Believers" did not hasten to serve the real God?  Lord, let it not be so.  The first time we see the word in Scripture Abraham is hastening into his tent to ask Sarah to prepare a meal for the Lord and two angels!  (Genesis 18:6 --- "And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.")  Hastening to serve the Lord (literally)!  Also let me tell you that this word is closely aligned to the word "mohar" which is used when one is getting a wife!  (The "dowry" paid for a wife in Old Testament days!)  To obtain or acquire by paying a purchase price!  Several older commentators I studied say the word means "to woo!"  This is a love affair with a false god!  See Exodus 22:15 for an example.

The expression "another god" translates from Hebrew "acher," an adjective meaning different, strange or alien!  A god very unlike our GOD!  It also implies that even more are yet coming!  If one is polytheistic (many gods) he or she will go from one idol to another habitually!

In this part of our verse Jesus had pledged Himself to not associate with these who so worship false gods!  The rest of the verse (tomorrow, Lord willing) will further illustrate what I mean.

Talk about "separation!"

Talk about "lifestyle!"

What a verse!

                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 18, 2004  (TUESDAY) 

In verse 3 of Psalm 16 Jesus tells us another source that brings Him delight. The "saints" do!

 "But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight."  Psalm 16:3

The noun "saints" translates he Hebrew word "qadosh" and means "holy ones." (It actually comes from a root verb that means "to be clean.") In this precise form it is first used in Leviticus 11:44 --- "For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy."   Its first use in any form is found in Exodus 19:6 --- "And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

The word for earth (Hebrew = "eretzs") ususlly means the whole earth ... not just a part of it! God has children everywhere! (At least everywhere the Gospel has gone!)

The word "delight" translates "chephetzs" and means pleasure or desire or longing! It is only used 39 times in the whole Bible. The first use of this word is found in Genesis 34:19 where a young man has loving desires toward a young lady! The second use is in Numbers 14:8 where the Lord has a desire to bring Israel into a land flowing with "milk and honey." The real word picture behind the stem word here is "to be bent toward" or "to be inclined toward" something or someone! Look at something in which God has no delight (pleasure): Psalm 5:4 --- "For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee." And get this verse: Psalm 18:19 --- "He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me." I have found once where our word (when used as a verb) is rendered "wish." Psalm 40:14 speaks of some who "wish" certain things for others! The Lord then wishes for us particular things (like godliness and maturity and fruitfulness)! And Psalm 73:25 teaches us that His desire for us should lead to our desire for Him! "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee."

The adjective "all" translates a little Hebrew rod "kol" which means the whole or the entirety of any thing.

Our verse actually says that God the Son has placed all His delight in His saints on the earth! No wonder He prays for us (John 17) as He does! No wonder He is coming back to get His Bride! No wonder He thinks of us so much! (Psalm 40:5)

Lastly who are the "excellent" in this verse?

"Addiyr" (excellent) means wide, large or powerful. It comes from a root verb which means "to expand!" It is used 27 times in the Old Testament and is rendered (in the King James Version) noble (or nobles), excellent, mighty, principal, famous, gallant, glorious, lordly or worthy (worthies)! I believe it is just another reference for Jesusí Father in Heaven (and ours), Jehovah God. Others believe the word is a synonym for the saints. (Either way, what God is ... we are becoming through the transforming power of the precious Holy Spirit!)  I am NOT saying we are becoming God ... I am saying we are becoming more like our Lord in character and temperament ... in the fruit of the Spirit!

If Jesus loved the saints THAT much ... how should we feel toward one another?

John 13:35 --- "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."

Oh!  To learn to "delight" in the very things that delight God!  Now that is a sure prescription for happiness!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



MAY 16, 2004 (SUNDAY)

We have been studying verse by verse through "the Psalm of the Resurrection." (That's what the "old-timers" called Psalm 16.)

There's one place there where Jesus says to His Father:


It's one of the hardest statements in the whole Passage to understand.

What does it mean?

The noun "goodness" in Hebrew is spelled "tob" and has a vast field of meanings! For example in  the King James Bible it carries the idea of gladness twice!  And beauty several times!  As well as preciousness!  And even wealth! 

Jesus here seems to be associating His very life (in all its meaning) to the Father! 

I believe this statement is similar to Paul's declaration in Philippians 1:21 --- "For to me to live is Christ."  Or like his statement to the Colossians:  "When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."  (Colossians 3:4)

And our little word "not" ("bal" in Hebrew) is often translated "nothing" in our King James Bibles. (As in Psalm 17:3 where it is said "Thou hast tried me, and shall find NOTHING."

And the little preposition "to" is regularly (in the King James Bible) rendered as "above."  (It contains the idea: "beyond" or "over" or "besides")

And as you can see, the honest King James translators placed the word "extendeth" in italics!  That means they have added the word to complete the sense of the meaning. 

Now let's put it all together.

Jesus says to His Father:  My Goodness ... nothing above Thee!  Or My Goodness nothing beyond Thee!  Or even My Goodness nothing besides Thee!


Nothing ever satisfied Jesus outside of the perimeter of His Father's Being!

Once the Psalmist said this to the Lord:  "All my springs are in thee."  (Psalm 87:7) That's the idea Jesus is advancing here I believe.

Think of the love and honor and dedication and consecration that one statement involves! 

Here it is again:

"Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee."

BUT with us it's different, isn't it?

Part of our delight is in:   __________________________________.   (Dozens if not hundreds of things go in that blank as far as most "church-members" are concerned today!)

God is seldom the ultimate end or chief delight of professing Christians anymore ... and you KNOW that as well as I do.


Father ... My Goodness, My Gladness (has) nothing besides (outside of) Thee!


What faithful, loyal love!

What an example for us too!

This is the same Jesus Who said: 

Matthew 22:37 --- "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

Mark 12:30 --- "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength."

(This list grew from Matthew to Mark!  An "expanding " love!)

Talk about one-ness and fellowship and communion and dependency!

Think about that today!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 15, 2004 (SATURDAY)

Psalm 16 continues with its great second verse!  Next Jesus says to His Father:

"Thou art my Lord."  Psalm 16:2b

He just called His Father His Lord!

The Name Lord here translates the Hebrew noun "Adonai."  It is used 434 times in the Old Testament, being translated Lord (as deity) 431 times and lord (of men) 2 times and God 1 time. 

It is derived from a basic word meaning "to rule or to control."  To be the sovereign! It literally suggests one's boss! 

Now in two verses of Psalm 16 we have seen 3 Names of God used:  Elohim, Jehovah and Adonai!  (Elohim = God!  Jehovah = LORD! And Adonai = Lord.  Even the way a word is spelled or punctuated in the King James Version has vast significance!  Thank God for our old Bible!)

This Name Adonai pictures much of what could be called a Master/servant relationship!  (Master ... slave even!)  Of course this is NOT a popular Name to emphasize in our day and time.

Still ... that's exactly what Jesus here called His Father ... Adonai Lord. 

Now if Jesus is really here the servant of the Lord ... we should be able to find that relationship in Scripture!

Keep in mind however that Jesus is also THE SON OF GOD.  HE IS VERY GOD!  HE IS GOD!

First I am thinking of the writings of the Prophet Isaiah.  Several times he calls Jesus (the Messiah) the Servant of the Lord! 

See Isaiah 42:1.  "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles."

Isaiah 49:5 --- "And now, saith the LORD that formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall I be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and my God shall be my strength."

Again in Isaiah 50:10 read:  "Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God."

And Isaiah 52:13 thunders:  "Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high."

And the grand finale of Isaiah 53:11.  "He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities."

Jesus truly meant it when He called His Father His Lord or Master!

Even in the New Testament we see this picture clearly drawn.

John 5:19 --- "Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise."

John 5:30 --- "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me."

John 8:28 --- "Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things."

John 14:28 --- "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."

This is Jesus in His capacity as Servant of the Lord God Almighty!

Yet please understand me today.  I am not here teaching that the Godhead is layered in ranks or levels of power.

The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are eternally co-equal!  Elsewhere Jesus says:  "I and my Father are one."  John 10:30   Or "Philip, he that hath seen me hath seen the Father."  John 14:9

Jesus voluntarily stepped down from His position (NOT AS GOD!  HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE GOD! BUT ...) of authority and became a man like unto you and me!  (Jesus, The God-man!) 

This is what I mean:  "Christ Jesus ... Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."  (Philippians 2:5-8)

Paul says in Hebrews 2:9 --- "But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man."

BUT, glory to God!  AFTER His death, burial and resurrection (and following ascension) ... "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  (Philippians 2:9-11)

But while on earth, Jesus, the ever lowly Servant of Jehovah, sought only to please His Father!  What divine submission!  What miracle of miracles!  What awesomeness!  Proof?  Jesus Himself said it in John 8:29 --- "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

Back to our Psalm 16 text where Jesus prophetically says:  "Thou (Father) art My Lord (Boss, Ruler, Dictator)!

I would think that if Jesus made His Father LORD during His early ministry ... we certainly should have no trouble doing so!

(This is why Jesus could say ... when speaking of the Second Coming ... "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36  Jesus willingly limited His Omniscience here.  He was the obedient Servant to His Father's will!   That's also why Scripture sometimes pictures Jesus as learning from His Father!  In Isaiah 50:4 Jesus the Messiah says:  "The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.")

I am awed by the very thought:  "Thou art My Lord!"

Let's worship Him today!

                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell




MAY 14, 2004 (FRIDAY)

Today we shall look at just the first part of the second verse of Psalm 16.  It's just too important to hurriedly cover!

 "O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD ..."  Psalm 16:2

Now what we are seeing here is unusual.  If Psalm 16 is truly Messianic (and I sure believe it is) ... this is Jesus speaking to His Father!

Never mind right now what He says ... that will be tomorrow's lesson, Lord willing. Just notice that Jesus is in communion with His Father!

I suggest to you that the Son and the Father have always been in communion!  (As has the Holy Spirit been in eternal communion with the Godhead!)  This is a very integral part of the essence of the Trinity ... fellowship, communion, oneness!

I believe that even in the Old Testament we occasionally see the Son and the Father in communion.  Here's the first example I know.  It's in Genesis 1:26 --- "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness."  Notice the plurals!  Let US make man in OUR image!  That's the divine Trinity in communication and intimate fellowship!

Proverbs describes such communion during creation week also!  Here's one example:  Proverbs 8:30 --- "Then I (Wisdom, that's JESUS) was by him (the Creator Father), as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."  The Son and the Father delighted in each other as creation unfolded!

And here is Jesus telling us (by means of Bible prophecy) how He will commune with His Father while on earth to die as the Saviour!  Isaiah 50:4 --- "The Lord GOD hath given me (Jesus) the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he (the Father) wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear (Jesus' ear) to hear as the learned."  Jesus here just said that every morning His Father woke Him with precious communion and instruction and fellowship!

And listen to the Father talk to the Son (after His death burial and resurrection and ascension):  "The LORD (Father) said unto my Lord (Jesus), Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool."  Psalm 110:1  Wow!

Their communion even comes up again in this precious 16th Psalm.  In the 7th verse Jesus says:  "I will bless the Lord (the Father), Who hath given Me counsel!"  That's fellowship!  Further He says in verse 8:  "I have set the Lord (the Father) ALWAYS before Me!"

And in the New Testament the same Truth prevails.  Mark describes what seems to have become a "habit" of Jesus.  "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."   Mark 1:35 Again, that's communion!

Listen to this one in John 10:30 --- "I and my Father are one."  That's a communion/fellowship so deep that it just can't be understood in human terms!

John 8:29 also gives a pretty good example.  Jesus said:  "And he that sent me (the Father) is with me: the Father hath not left me alone (sounds like communion to me); for I do always those things that please him (the result of constant communion)."  Amazing!

Then little wonder that Jesus was so alarmed when He cried from the Cross: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"   Mark 15:34  He had NEVER before in all eternity been out of fellowship with His Father!  And never has it happened since!  Nor will it ever happen again in all eternity future!

Then WHY did it happen during those terrible hours on Calvary?  One word ... SIN! Make that two words:  OUR SIN!

Oh, how we should love Him today!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

P. S. --- By the way, the Lord's goal for us Believers is that we might share the same fellowship with each other ... and with Him ... that He enjoys with His Father!  This even applies to a husband and his wife!  Proof?  In John 17:21 Jesus prays to His Father:  "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."  I "rest" my case.  Well, maybe just this extra bit:  "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them."  John 17:26  Read in closing 1st John verse 3 where the Apostle declares: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ."



 MAY 13, 2004 (THURSDAY)

"Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust."  Psalm 16:1

Believing these words to be those of our dear Lord Jesus, I approach them carefully and reverently. 

He asks His Father to "preserve" Him! 

Now if Jesus is asking God the Father to keep Him from death, his prayer was not answered.  He died!

BUT I do not believe that's what Jesus desires here. 

The first Bible use of our verb "preserve" (in Hebrew = "shamar") is in Genesis 2:15. Let me show you the complete verse.  I will capitalize the word "shamar" as it is translated.  "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it." Genesis 2:15  The verb does not just mean to keep from harm!  It means to tend, to watch, to bring to the fruit-bearing stage!  In this sense to "keep" a garden is to do everything necessary to make it a success and to please its owner!  (In this "first mention" sense then ... Jesus is asking to die that we might be saved!  That Cross is the only way to bring sinners to glory!  We are His little flock ... or His little "garden!")

Now for those of you who do not believe that He wanted to die on that Cross ... read Luke 12:50 where Jesus said:  "But I have a baptism to be baptized with (the Cross); and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!"  He could hardly wait to fulfill His Father's Will!  Constantly through the Gospel of John Jesus spoke again and again of HIS HOUR being not yet come ... or being near ... or having arrived!  That's why He came!  See John 12:27 --- "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour."  At His very trial this incident was reported by John: "Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."  John 18:37

The Name for God here is "el."  It is His Name that means POWER!  Only God has the power of life and death!  Only God controlled the events in the drama of Redemption!  Only God is the Almighty Ruler of the universe! 

"Put my trust" translates a Hebrew verb "chasah," meaning "to confide in!"  The word picture is "fleeing for safety" to some special place of protection!  (Now remember, Jesus' fear was NOT death!  He came to die!  His fear was NOT FULFILLING HIS FATHER'S WILL!  He came to obey His Father!  In fact once He even said:  "And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."  John 8:29 I believe Jesus' greatest delight was pleasing His Father!)  The verb is a Qal perfect.  ("Qal" is just a Hebrew verb stem that means the word has "simple active" properties.)  "Perfect" relates to the verb's sense of "time."  It here suggests completed action!  Jesus, while on earth, perfectly placed His trust in the Father!

This exact verb is used 8 times in the Old Testament ... all with reference to putting trust in God!  Here are the references.  They are all in the Psalms!  Psalms 7:2 and 11:1 and 16:1 and 25:20 and 31:2 and 71:1 and 141:8 and 144:2.

The first time the verb is used in any form is in Deuteronomy where God Himself asks of Israel:  "Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted?" Deuteronomy 32:37

I also have found our word for "trust" (Hebrew = "chasah") as a proper noun!  (This is also it's second Bible occurrence.) It's in Joshua 19:29 where Asher's territory is being described:  "And then the coast turneth to Ramah, and to the strong city Tyre; and the coast turneth to HOSAH; and the outgoings thereof are at the sea from the coast to Achzib."  "Hosah" means a place of "refuge!"  A place of "trust!"  (And it's in the land of Asher, which means happiness or blessedness!)  Oh! To live in Hosah!

The third Bible event for this verb is in Judges 9:15 where the briar bush invites the trees of the forest to come put their TRUST under its shadow!  Judges 9:15  I just believe I'll put my trust under Another Shadow!  Psalm 63:7 --- "Because thou (Lord) hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice."

I believe we today get some idea of the level of trust (toward His Father) and determination to obey (the Father) that our Lord Jesus really possessed!  It is literally awesome!  We should be astonished!  In Mark 1:22 we are told:  "And they were astonished at his (Jesus') doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes."  That Greek verb for "astonished" is ekplesso and means ("ek" = out of ... and "plesso" = to strike or hit) to knock one out of his senses! 

I stand amazed!

                                                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



 MAY 12, 2004 (WEDNESDAY)

Psalm 16 {Michtam of David.}

The "superscript" to Psalm 16 just says "Michtam of David."  In a Bible Psalm the "superscript" is the expression or term written above the first verse.  All the Psalms do not have them, but many do.

The word "Michtam" is to be studied.  Modern lexicons often say the meaning is uncertain or even unknown.  BUT the old timers (from Spurgeon all the way back to the Puritans and before) say that it means "golden!"  Could it be that in God's eyes this Psalm is PURE GOLD?  (I sure think so!)  Some preachers of the past have even nicknamed it "David's little jewel!"  One writer said the term means "precious." 

And one of the best known Hebrew scholars of the last generation says the name "Michtam" comes from a little word that means "to hide."  He affirms that hidden by the Holy Spirit deep with these Michtam passages are golden nuggets of truth ... just waiting to be mined and enjoyed by the diligent student of Scripture!

I even found one scholar who taught that "Michtam" means "to engrave!"  He implied that Psalms so labeled were to be "written" on one's heart, memorized and pondered throughout the day!  There must be something "special" about them!

I have noticed this too.  The term "Michtam" is used 6 times in the Bible ... all in superscripts to Psalms (Psalms 16, 56,57,58,59 and 60)!  In each case the Psalm involved reveals great TRUST in the Lord!  Almost as if the subject of the passage just "breezes through" trial after trial ... motivated and impelled by his trust in Jehovah God!  Surely such trust is golden (precious) to the Lord!  Maybe that's even why the death of a saint is precious to the Lord!  (Such trust!)  Psalm 116:15 declares: "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."

I will take the approach that (these things being true) we are entering onto Holy Ground!  A golden chapter!  Precious Truth (even for the dear Word of God)!  Hidden Manna (Revelation 2:17)!

I am of the opinion that the Psalm is speaking of Jesus ... all the way through!  We KNOW it is in "places" ... (based on the inspired writings of Peter in Acts 2 and Paul in Acts 13).  And if in "places" ... I see no "break" in the Psalm where the Speaker changes!  It's Jesus in His Trust of His Father in Heaven!  (This makes it even more precious!) 

We shall get further into verse 1 tomorrow, Lord willing.

You little "jewels" of the Lord will enjoy this "golden" setting.  I guarantee you that! Now why did I call you Christians "jewels?"  Malachi did!  (I really should say the LORD did in Malachi!)  "And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."   Malachi 3:17

Come every day now ... with a Bible in your hand!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



MAY 11, 2004 (TUESDAY)

Today we begin an exciting journey!

Psalm 16 is a classic portion of Scripture!

We absolutely KNOW that is is talking about Jesus!

In fact, let me re-phrase that last statement.

We absolutely know that JESUS IS THE ONE TALKING in Psalm 16!

We can be so sure on the basis of two New Testament passages!

In Acts 2 25-28 Peter is preaching on the Day of Pentecost.  Of course his Subject is Jesus!  (Listen to his words:  "For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope: Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance."  The part of Peter's sermon that is capitalized is a direct quote from Psalm 16!  And according to Peter these are the very words of Jesus!

Now compare these words with Psalm 16.  "I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.  Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy."

Pretty close, isn't it?

Close enough to KNOW that Psalm 16 prefigures the very words of Jesus while on earth and particularly while nearing His death on the Cross!

Now let's look at Paul's use of our Psalm.

He is preaching in the synagogue in Antioch of Pisidia on his first missionary journey.  He (again) is preaching about Jesus ... particularly His resurrection. Listen:  "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."  Acts 13:32-35  Again, the words of Jesus are quoted from Psalm 16!

Thus we KNOW that we are beginning the study of a MESSIANIC Psalm.  A Psalm that is identified with the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

And just let me make one more point today.

I do not see a break in the whole 16th Psalm where another Person starts speaking. A strong case can be made that's it is Jesus (via the miracle of Bible prophecy and the fact of God's omniscience) talking all the way through the whole Psalm!

That is what I believe!

We shall begin verse 1 tomorrow, Lord willing!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell



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