The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.
~Psalm 16:4, NIV [1973 edition]
The future is your friend when Jesus is your LORD.
Psalm 16 is a miktam of David. No one is sure of the meaning of the word “miktam” but in Hebrew it literally means engraving. Some suggest that it is something written down and in this case a poem. It follows the same theme as Psalm 15 which emphases God’s presence with us: here David alludes to the pleasure of being in His presence. Note the last verse…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. As I studied the Psalm, I noticed the contrast between verse 4 and verse 11:
- Verse 4–The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods.
- Verse 11–You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The PATH OF LIFE in verse 11 is Jesus–The Way, the Truth and the Life. The contrast is simple: those who reject Christ and pursue other gods will see their sorrow increase with time. In other words, it is as good as its going to get for them. Yes, they may pursue hedonistic pleasures and they may enjoy sin for a season but their pleasure will be short lived–it will not last. As they move toward eternity, their pleasures will decrease and their sorrows will increase. There will be an infinite increase in their sorrow when they die and face eternity. The very opposite is true for believers. Our sorrows may out weigh our pleasures right now but our sorrow will decrease and our pleasures increase.
The bible does not deny that there is pleasure in sin…By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. [Heb. 11:24-25] Moses understood there was pleasure in sin but he also understood it would not last. The devil cannot make good on his promises; he cannot make you happy. He nor sin can bring fulfillment to your life. The devil did not create pleasure; he simple takes good things and perverts them so that they offer temporary pleasure but lead to a destructive end. I love to eat; it brings me great pleasure but the consequences of over eating are not good. I have to hold my breath to tie my shoes which is why I wear slip on boots. Eating in itself is not wrong: God created us to eat but when eating becomes our god, when our appetite controls us, eating becomes gluttony and that is sinful and destructive.
Now in contrast, think about ETERNAL PLEASURES. What are eternal pleasures? They are pleasures that you and I cannot wrap our tiny brain around–we cannot fathom eternal pleasures. Eternal pleasures are INFINITE PLEASURES. You have heard me say this many times but I am going to share with you what Dr. Wiersbe wrote in his commentary on Psalms…“The pleasures of heaven will be far beyond any pleasure we have known [or missed] here on earth; and as we enjoy the LORD and serve HIM, we will not be restricted or encumbered by time, physical weakness or the consequences of sin.” This is why so many have a moral blow out during their middle years: the devil is able to convince them that life is passing them by and they are missing out on pleasures which soon will be impossible due to age and impotency. This is why prodigals, once they repent and settle down, do better than elder brothers. Prodigals are not tempted to go back to the far country…they have been there, done that and have the T-shirt but elder brothers have no idea what it’s like to live on the wild side and the devil uses this against them– “Look what you are missing. You better do something soon, time is running out.”
Use your head: you don’t have to drink to know that alcohol is destructive, just look at what it is doing to others. I know, you are a social drinker and you always do it in moderation. Well, that may be true but your children may become alcoholics because of your drinking habits. Do the math, find out what kind of destruction alcohol brings. Men, before you begin blow drying your chest hair, driving a convertible, working out at the gym and chasing women: find you a case study or two and see what happens to men who jump the nest for a younger model. If you want real pleasure: stick with Jesus. If you want your sorrows to increase, divorce the mother of your children and embrace another woman. It may be fun for a while but it is not going to last. Before it’s over, you will be in a living hell. Your sorrows are sure to increase when you get off of the PATH. Don’t let the devil who-do you.
- They keep changing the weather forecast: now they say warmer weather is coming soon. It is supposed to freeze again tonight and then six straight nights above freezing. It is good news to me.
- Joe Fitz sent me a text and if I understand correctly, Marla got good news and is better. Joe David and I started to Vanderbilt and had a blow out at Athens. We had to turn around and come home.
- I heard something on talk radio that astounded me: A man said that there were 7 million people in the greater Atlanta area. All I could find was stats on metro-Atlanta and is is 5.7 million. I thought it was around 4 million. Several sources agree that there are 5.7 million is the Atlanta area which ranks ninth among US cities.