Posted by: arieliondotcom | August 7, 2013

The Loving Cup (Psalm 16)

The Loving Cup (Psalm 16)

The Loving Cup is a cup-shaped trophy won in a competition. Today’s psalm from David is about a competition. It’s about either serving GOD or what GOD is not, which is idol worship. And it’s full of symbolism about sacrifices and choosing, cups and love.

Remember that this was written for singing during worship, so David is simultaneously saying “This is what my soul says” (or what I say to my soul) as well as the choir singing to everyone in the worship “This is what you should be saying to GOD.”

The psalm begins praising GOD and David immediately says that he has chosen to worship the only true GOD of Israel. And he acknowledges that GOD doesn’t owe him anything. And David knows he could never repay GOD for His goodness. Instead David says he will share the love and grace GOD has given him with other Believers. For the sake of gratitude to GOD, for the sake of Believers who have died before him, for the sake of Believers who still live, David will show goodness to others that GOD showed to him.

The reference to the holy people on earth is a pun for those in the earth (buried) as well as the living. The dead Believers are those who make up the great cloud of witnesses mentioned in Hebrews. Believers who have gone on before are watching how we as Believers in their tracks are competing to do good in their place.

David then mentions competition for GOD’s affections. He says he won’t offer cups of blood as sacrifices to false gods. We don’t think that applies today except to pagan animal sacrifice. But it also applies to the blood of babies murdered in abortion to worship ourselves and our lifestyle. It includes anyone who gives their blood, sweat and tears to anyone and anything but GOD.

David contrasts this with true worship, sacrificing to GOD. When he mentions the cup of sacrifice to GOD David again uses a double meaning. The cup means offering drink offerings in worship to GOD. But he also puts it in terms of sharing a cup of wine as GOD’s son. David likens the blessings from GOD to being a son who inherits good things, the best land, a great inheritance. Out of gratitude he will now be good to others to honor the Father’s goodness to him.

David says he will bless GOD for GOD’s wisdom and guidance as well. David recognizes that if he makes a habit out of what GOD says to do in Scripture it will become a habit. Whether he’s making decisions during the day or thinking about something overnight, David trusts the guidance he has been given.

Like the son who got the great inheritance, David (and all Believers) share what they have been blessed with in honor of the One who blessed them.

David says that the LORD is on his right hand or side. In middle eastern countries the right-hand or right side is the place of honor. Since most people are right-handed it is also the hand or side of strength. David is saying that GOD is his Strength. What’s more, in the New Testament, the apostle Paul will say that Jesus Christ sits at the right hand of GOD the Father.

And at this point we actually transition to speaking not only of David but David as a representative of Christ. The words David speaks in the Psalm are quoted in the New Testament as referring to Jesus Himself as well. David says that because he trusts in the LORD, the LORD will not let him remain in the grave. He will have the joy of GOD’s Presence and guidance in this life and, though his body may be in the grave a short time, his soul will not. And he and his body will be reunited, uncorrupted on the other side of the grave. This faith in GOD is in the Messiah we now know is JESUS, GOD in Flesh. The Holy Spirit spoke through David that the hope David had in life after death would be because JESUS trusted the Father not to leave Him in the grave. He rose from the dead in an incorruptible Body as we all will through faith that His death and resurrection are for us.

And David is not alone. Daniel and Job will express this same faith that, because their Redeemer lives, they would pass through death like a walk through a dark room to eternal life in a new body on the other side. But while they lived they would walk in the wisdom of GOD and bless others in His Name.

JESUS Christ provided the truly loving cup of His own suffering, His Blood, His very life for us. He symbolized it with a cup of wine that He described as His Blood. All that choose to share that cup with Him in faith have eternal Life. Those who’d rather drink the cup of their own choices filled with demons and desires are drinking poison for their souls. They choose death.

The irony is that this is not Dualism. This is not a choice between two equally powerful options. Then we might have an excuse. But there is no equal or anything close to GOD. Even contrasting an ant to all of the universe is not enough contrast. The proof of our spiritual stupidity is that we choose the enemy of our soul rather than GOD when he is no real challenge to GOD and can’t be compared to Him. Yet Christ calls us still to drink deeply of His Life.

So in the closing verses of David’s psalm we hear not only the voice of David but the voices of Daniel, Job, and JESUS Himself. We hear Paul and the apostles and the voice of every Believer in Christ. And we are invited to join that chorus. Because of JESUS we can drink deeply of the cup of eternal life. We share in the victory of His loving cup. We can walk in joyful victory with Him throughout this life and rise from death in eternal joy.


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