Psalm 16:2, 4-6 - I say to the LORD, "You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you. ... The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips. The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."
I was curious the other day, wondering how non-Christians related to their gods in worship and prayer. I knew about the Greek gods already -- that they were basically human beings blown up larger, with the same flaws and evils, only more so. But I wondered about other religions. So I went on the internet and looked up the first poet we know of, a woman called Enhedduanna. She was a princess and priestess of Ur (Abraham's original home!), and she had a special devotion to the goddess Inanna. She wrote 42 hymns and poems we know of.
But as I read her poems, I felt deeply uneasy. Enhedduanna spends all her time praising her goddess for being great and awesome. Okay, I can understand that, but then we get lines like these: "You are known by Your destruction of rebel-lands, You are known by Your massacring of their people, You are known by Your devouring their dead like a dog, You are known by Your fierce countenance." Are these things to be proud of? Are these things to honor in a god? Sounds more like a devil to me!
It is with great relief I turn to Psalm 16 which celebrates the true God: the One of whom the psalmist writes elsewhere, "To You the helpless commits himself; You have been the helper of the fatherless" (Psalm 10:14).
In Psalm 16 David praises God this way: "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. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let Your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:7-11).
This is the kind of God we have -- not a murderer or a devourer of people; rather, One who counsels and protects us, even from the power of death. We have a God who loved us so much that He came into this world as a human being, Jesus Christ. He came to suffer and die so that He could break the power of death over us and give us a share in His own resurrection. Everyone who trusts in Jesus has the real God to take refuge in -- a God who is both good and loving, and who is our fortress.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You that You are our God, and that You are gracious, good, and compassionate. Draw me closer to You. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
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