Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Pleasures forevermore


Psalm 16:5-11 (RSV):
The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; Thou holdest my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also dwells secure.
For Thou dost not give me up to Sheol, or let Thy godly one see the Pit.
Thou dost show me the path of life;
In Thy presence there is fulness of joy,
In Thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.
Jonathan Edwards thought of God the way David thought of God in this psalm. It was for "sweet delight in God" that he gave himself to God. He wrote,
The first instance I remember of that sort of inward, sweet delight in God and in divine things, that I have lived much in since, was on reading these words, 1 Timothy 1:17: "Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen." As I read the words, there came into my soul, and was as it were, diffused through it, a sense of the glory of the Divine Being; a new sense, quite different from anything I ever experienced before. Never any words of Scripture seemed to me as these did. I thought with myself, how excellent a Being that was, and how happy I should be, if l might enjoy that God, and be rapt up to Him in Heaven, and be, as it were, swallowed up in Him forever.
Edwards's words are a variation on the theme of verse 11: "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever."
Ben Patterson, God's Prayer Book, Tyndale, 2008, p.67.