For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.
(1) a sense of Divine privilege in having God as his chief Good; and
(2) a confiding, hopeful prayer for deliverance from death.
Not, of course, from death altogether; he could not hope to be finally delivered from the grave. The prayer therefore, must have been for deliverance, from impending, danger, from death that was then. threatened at that time, and for being conducted into and preserved in "the path of life." The application which has been made of the ninth and tenth verses to Christ by Peter and Paul has led to a misunderstanding of the original sense. They say that the prayer was fulfilled in Christ, and not in David; that David did see corruption, and that Christ did not. But the best Hebrew scholars say that it is a confident prayer, not to be given over to death, but to be preserved in the way of life. We must understand, of course, death at present; for it could not mean death altogether, nor deliverance from the grave after death. The general subject of these verses, then, is - The confidence of the psalmist's faith in the future, because he had chosen God as his chief Good.
I. THE SENSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE INSPIRES A FEELING OF SAFETY. (Ver. 8.) "Not in the moment of peril only, but at all times has he his eye fixed upon God." "God in David's eyes is no abstraction, but a Person, real, living, and walking at his side," and able to protect him from danger. Have we such a sense of companionship with God? I shall not be moved - neither in character, nor in purpose, nor in work.
II. HE REJOICED IS THE CONFIDENCE THAT GOD WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM TO PERISH. (Vers. 9, 100 "Flesh" here, as always, means the living body - never means a corpse. "Shall rest in hope," equivalent to "shall dwell in safety;" and must be understood of this life. No stress can be laid on the word "leave," which means "give over to." He is expressing the confidence "that God will not leave him to perish, will not give him up to be the prey of the grave, which was the design of his enemies. The lessons for us - that God's time is our time, and that he will not abandon us to our spiritual enemies, but will afford us effectual protection.
III. HE REJOICED THAT GOD WOULD MAKE KNOWN TO HIM THE WAY TO LIFE. (Ver. 11.) Not only preserve him in life, but lead him on to that life whose joy is beholding the Divine face, and partaking of the everlasting pleasures which are at his right hand. The idea of immortality springs out of the sense of his relationship to God; for he could not think that such a relationship could end with death. If we are the sons of God, that is the strongest guarantee that we shall continue to partake of God's life, rich and manifold and everlasting. Christ said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." This passage has its highest fulfilment when applied to the resurrection of Christ. - S.
Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.Job 3:17). But true religion affords virtuous and good men a very different prospect; and teaches them to expect, that if God does not think fit to deliver them out of their troubles here, yet even the grave puts not an end to His power of redeeming them. They may look upon death itself, not barely as a putting an end to their present afflictions, but as a passage to a glorious and immortal state. In its real and most proper sense the text is not applicable to the Psalmist himself, but to Him of whom David was both a prophet and a type. The word "hell" now signifies "the state of the damned," but David was not condemned to that place of torment, nor did Jesus descend there. Hell frequently means "the state of the dead" (Psalm 89; Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:15). In the New Testament it means the same, but at times, also, the place appointed for the punishment of the wicked. But this ambiguity is in our own language only, and not in the original. There the place of torment is always Gehenna. The Scriptures nowhere teach that Christ ever entered the place of the damned. Nor is there any reason why He should. The satisfaction of Christ does not depend on the sameness of His sufferings with ours, but on the good pleasure of God. If He had entered the place of the damned, Christ could not have known the sting of their punishment, the worm that never dies, the endless despair of the favour of God. Some say Christ went there to rescue those who were there. Others say He went in order to triumph over Satan in his own kingdom. But our Lord triumphs over him by converting men from their sins and debaucheries, from their unrighteousness and iniquities, which are the works of the devil; to the practice of virtue, justice, goodness, temperance, charity, and truth, which are the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth. Upon the whole, therefore, there is no sufficient foundation, either in the reason of the thing or in the declarations of Scripture, to suppose that our Lord ever descended at all into the place of torment, into the place appointed for the final punishment of the wicked. But the full meaning of the text is, that our Lord continued in the state of the dead, in the invisible state of departed souls, during the time appointed; but that, it not being possible for Him to be holden of death, He was raised again without seeing corruption.
(Samuel Parker, D. D.)
Plain Sermons by Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.Our Lord had not only a human body, but likewise a human soul. His body was laid in the grave, but His soul departed from the body. What is meant by "descending into hell"? Some say "hell" signifies the place of spirits and eternal woe. Others think it does not signify a place of torment, but the place of departed souls; that unseen world into which the spirits of the dead are received when released from the body. Some suppose that there was a great object in the salvation of mankind, which our Lord wrought in going down to hell, or the place of the departed; that He there preached to the dead. And no doubt His soul's departing into hell was for our sakes, to carry even there, also, an atonement for us; to carry with Him some inconceivable blessing and benefit for us into that place also. As everything that our Lord underwent for our sakes appears to have been set forth, and typified beforehand, in His law, so also was this descent into hell. Illustration: Scapegoat of the day of atonement. The departure of the soul from the body into the unknown land of spirits is, of itself, so awful a thought, even to the goodman, that this article of the creed may be a point of great consolation to him. For a Christian to die, even before the day of judgment, is to be with Christ, and to be released from life as from a burden, and to be in joy. It is the great day of judgment which the Bible is ever setting before us. Yet the little that is told us of the state of our souls before the day of judgment, and immediately when they depart from the body, is of itself very deeply affecting, awful, and concerning. It may be profitable to dwell upon these two, what are called intermediate, states: our condition between death and judgment; the states in which our friends are now, and we shall soon be. When work is done, then is the time for contemplation and reflection; and then, when our labours are all over and we are waiting for our judge to pronounce sentence upon them, we shall no doubt form a far more correct judgment of them than now we do. Even if we had been told nothing of the state of the departed, we might have supposed that to be waiting for the judgment, and to be removed from all things here in which the soul can take delight, must be awful beyond all description. We may see how much of mercy and goodness, and how much benefit to us, may be contained in this one article of the creed, that Christ descended into the place of the dead. By going there Himself, after tasting of the bitterness of death, He seems to say to His faithful followers, "Come, My people, enter thou into thy chambers" (Isaiah 26:20, 21). It is good for us that we should think often of the spirits of the dead, of "just men made perfect," of them who are released from the burden of the flesh, and are waiting in awful and blissful silence for the revelation of the great day. By His descent into hell Jesus has sanctified and blessed the place of our souls.
(Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times. ")
Plain Sermons by Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.Stress is laid on the fact that our Lord's blessed body saw no corruption. It lay not long enough in the grave for that change to have taken place in it which we know to be the lot of all human bodies when they have been any while dead. He had not been dead more than thirty-six hours. There seems a special propriety in its being ordered that the only body which was never stained by sin should also be the only one exempt, though not from the pains, yet from the loathsomeness of death. It was a way of giving the whole world, angels and men, clearly to understand that, although God had laid on Him the punishment due to sinful men, yet He never ceased for a moment to be the only beloved of His Father.
1. This text proves the truth of our Saviour's human soul and body; proves that He took on Himself, really and truly, the substance of our nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, and lived and died in all respects a man, sin only and sinful infirmity excepted; so also, in the unseen state, He continued to be a man among men. Here is a token and earnest that our merciful God sympathises with our natural care and anxiety as to what shall become both of our friends and ourselves during that awful interval which is to come between death and resurrection. Souls departed and bodies in the grave are within the merciful care of Him who is both God and man.
2. Observe the difference between the language of the Old Testament, even the most evangelical portions of it, where they speak of the state of the dead, and the language of the blessed Gospel itself relating to the same subject.
3. How happy and comfortable soever the Paradise of the dead may be, it is not a place of final perfection, but a place of waiting for something better; a region not of full enjoyment, but of assured peace and hope. So much is hinted, in that God is thanked and glorified for not leaving our Saviour's soul in that place. Here is something very apt to raise in us high and noble thoughts of that which, in one way or another, we are shamefully used to undervalue — the mortal body of man.
4. What does the prophet teach concerning our Saviour's body? Our Saviour's Person was holy because of His most high Godhead. And the same name, "Holy One," is ascribed to His sacred body as it lay in the grave, three days and three nights, separate from His soul. It was still holy, still united in a mysterious but real manner to the Eternal Word.
5. Seeing that, even in the grave, the Godhead of the Lord Christ still abode with His blessed body, seeing that body was still God's Holy One, it could not be suffered to see corruption. And to whomsoever He has given power to become adopted sons of God He gives something glorious and immortal, a seed of a heavenly life which can never decay. Living or dying, nothing shall separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, nothing but their own wilful unworthiness.
(Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times. ")
I. PREMISE SOME THINGS.
1. That our Lord Jesus Christ not only endured, in His last passion, most painful sufferings in His body, but also most grievous torments immediately in His soul. Many great divines understand by the words, "He descended into hell," these soul sufferings of Jesus.
2. The Son of God willingly laid down His life; yielded to the power of death.
3. Though death made a separation of HIS soul from His body, yet His soul and body retained their union with the Divine nature, subsisting in the Person of the son of God.
II. HOW JESUS WAS HUMBLED BY BEING IN THE STATE OF THE DEAD FOR A TIME. Death exercised its dominion over Him, as far as it could in law.
1. Death continued its power and dominion over Him for a time.
2. While in the state of the dead He was cut off from the comforts of this life.
3. Men took occasion to give Him over for lost, and to judge Him as one totally vanquished by death, and without any help or hope.
4. He was further humbled by His soul entering into heaven as the soul of a dead man.
5. In regard that His blessed body was buried and laid in the grave.
6. In regard that His dead body was in the power of His enemies for a time.
III. HOW LONG DID OUR SAVIOUR CONTINUE IN THE STATE OF THE DEAD? Three incomplete days and nights in the territories of death, and land of darkness and forgetfulness.
IV. WHY DID THE LORD JESUS CONTINUE IN THE STATE OF THE DEAD FOR A TIME? That He might conquer death and the grave in their own territories. Use for consolation. Against all challenges for guilt from the law and justice of God, from Satan, or your own consciences. Use for exhortation. Labour to have an interest in the death of Christ.
(James Robe, M. A.)
Neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.I. THE GROUND OF THIS TRIUMPHANT CONFIDENCE. The text begins with a "therefore," and that sends us back to what has preceded. The realisation by faith of the presence of God, and of the calm blessedness and stability of continual communion with Him. The religious experiences of the devout life are of such a nature as to bring with them the calm, sweet assurance of their own immortality. The capacity for communion with God surely bears witness that the man who has it is not born for death. Though we have the objective proof of a future life, in the fact of the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, and though that historical fact is the illuminating fact which brings life and immortality to light, there is needed for the conversion of intellectual belief into living confidence the witness of our own personal enjoyment of God and His sweetness, here and now, which will bring to us, as nothing else will, the calm assurance wherein our hearts may be glad, our spirits may rejoice, and our very flesh may rest safely. If you would be sure of a blessed future, make sure of a God-filled present.
II. THE CONTENTS OF THE PSALMIST'S TRIUMPHANT CONFIDENCE. The expression "leave in" should be "leave to"; it does not express the notion of a permission to descend for a time into Sheol, then to be recalled thence, but it expresses the idea of not being delivered at all to the power of that dark world. The Psalmist is not thinking about any resurrection of the body, but is thinking that for him, by reason of his communion with God, death has really been abolished and become non-existent. The threatening shadow is swept clean out of his path. Could any man, knowing the facts of human life, ever cherish such an expectation as that? The answer is to be found in distinguishing between essence and form. The essence of the Psalmist's conviction was, that his communion with God was unbroken and unbreakable, and in the light of that great hope the grim figure that stood before him thinned itself away to a film, through which the hope shone like a star through the cloud. Whatsoever may have been the obscurity that lay over his conceptions of his own future, this was clear to him, — and this was the all-sufficient thing, — that the content, the stability, the immobility which he enjoyed in his communion with God had nothing in them that death could touch, and would run on unbroken for evermore. The text does not contemplate resurrection as an article of belief, but resurrection is a logical result of the Psalmist's way of thinking. For, says he, "My flesh also shall rest secure." The over-strained spiritualism which pays no attention to the body, except as the clog and prison house of the soul, has no footing in Scripture representations. The perfection of humanity is to be found in the rising up of a perfected spirit, and the investing of it with a body of glory, — its fitting instrument, its joyous friend. Turn to the positive side of this triumphant confidence. "Thou wilt show me the path of life." That means a road which is life all the way along, and leads to a more perfect and ultimate form thereof. The Psalmist is sure that when the path dips down into any valley of the shadow of death it is still a path to life. Mark the other portions of this triumphant positive confidence. Communion of earth, imperfect as it is, yields analogies, by the heightening and purifying of which we may construct for ourselves some dim, indeed, but reliable, visions of the blessedness of heaven. The enlargement and perfecting of this earthly experience is to be looked for in two directions. "The fulness of joy" is "in Thy presence." And "at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."
III. THE FULFILMENT OF THIS TRIUMPHANT CONFIDENCE. The Psalmist died. The essence of his hope was fulfilled; the form was not. The words point to an ideal which the Psalmist strained after, and did not realist. In Christ alone was realised, in its completeness, that life of communion which delivers from,, death. Though there still remains the physical fact, all that makes it "death" is gone for him who trusts in Jesus Christ.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Plain Sermons by Contributors to, Tracts for the Times.We are warranted in taking this Psalm to ourselves, inasmuch as the first verses of it plainly belong to David as well as to Christ. Every part of the Psalm may be applied to David in some sense, except that one clause m which our Lord only can be meant, "Thou wilt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption." See what consolation devout persons had, even under the Old Testament: they did, as it were, keep a kind of Easter beforehand. Observe what use the man after God's own heart made of his nightly pain and sickness. As he lay awake he practised himself in heavenly contemplations. In what he says he could not mean less than this: that he had a fair and reasonable hope of being somehow delivered from the power of death, and made partaker of heavenly joys in the more immediate presence of God. Yet even the greatest of the old fathers only saw through a glass darkly the things which Christians see face to face. Such as desire to offer to God thanksgivings worthy of His Gospel will find it no small help to know that their unworthy thanksgivings are very far from being single and alone. The saints before Christ partake of our devout joy and hope of immortality.
1. See what kind of persons may reasonably hope to persevere in well-doing and in God's favour; namely, those who make it a rule to live always as in God's especial presence. If you want to have a cheerful and rational dependence on your continuance in well-doing, this one thing you must do, you must set God always before you. You must never act as if you were alone in the world. This is the only "assurance" of salvation that can be reasonably depended on by any man in his own case; namely, the sober yet cheerful hope which arises from a pure conscience, from long-continued habits of real piety and goodness. All assurance besides this is more or less fanciful and dangerous. If a man is endeavouring to keep on this safe ground of assurance he may, without presumption, look for the other comforts mentioned in the Psalm. He may indulge in a calm and reverential joy of heart. The Psalmist notices, as another, the greatest of all fruits of holy trust in the Almighty, that it causes our very "flesh," that is, our mortal body, to "rest in hope"; it makes sleep quiet and secure, and it takes out the sting of death. The chiefest of all privileges is to have hope in the grave; hope that through Him, to whom alone these sacred promises belong of right, our souls shall not be left in hell, — in that dark, unknown condition to which, before the coming of Christ, the name of Hell was usually given. There need not now to be anything forlorn or desolate in our meditations on our departed friends, or on the condition to which we are ourselves approaching. The unseen region where the soul is to lodge is the place where once the Spirit of our Saviour abode, and is therefore under His especial protection, even more than any church or place that is most sacred on earth.
(Plain Sermons by Contributors to "Tracts for the Times.)
I. THE TITLE HE APPLIES TO HIMSELF.
1. He calls Himself God's "Holy One." It tells how eminently, conspicuously holy He was.
2. His application of this title to Himself shows us that He deemed it an honourable title. He delights in it, more than in anything besides.
II. HIS PROSPECT OF HIS RESURRECTION. We learn —
1. That our holy Lord was, as we are, made up of both body and soul. He speaks of both: "My soul," and of His body in referring to the "corruption," which it should not see.
2. At His crucifixion these two parts of Him were separated. A real dissolution took place. The flesh and the spirit were rent now comes something peculiar to Him.
3. His human frame was saved from corruption. The least taint never touched it. We are familiar with death, and there. fore the corruption of death does not make us shudder. But if we saw it for the first time we should abhor it, we should look on it as a token of God's disgust with us, a fixed purpose on His part to degrade and punish us to the utmost for our transgressions.
4. The resurrection of Christ consisted mainly in a reunion of His body and soul. It is implied in the words, "Thou wilt show me the path of life." And here comes out that wonderful truth, the eternal manhood of the Divine Saviour. Death made no essential change in Him. He is not a stranger to us. "He is not ashamed to call us brethren." Wonderful condescension!
III. THE VIEW HE HAD OF HIS HEAVENLY BLESSEDNESS. Heaven is meant, we cannot doubt, in the last verse of this Psalm. And we observe —
1. How our Lord tells of nothing in it peculiar to Himself. He places Himself on a level with His people.
2. See the nature of this blessedness. It is "joy," and not one only, but "pleasures."
3. And perfect, for it is "fulness of joy."
4. And permanent, "for evermore."
5. And the source of it — God. It is at God's right hand. St. Peter, quotes the passage thus: "Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance."
6. We and our blessed Lord shall be sharers together in the same happiness in His kingdom.
IV. THE EFFECTS WHICH HIS ANTICIPATION OF THIS BLESSEDNESS PRODUCED IN HIM.
1. Joy, gladness of heart. True, He was the Man of sorrows, but they were not unmingled. Many a gleam of light pierced through the darkness. And His joy burst forth in exultation and praise. Luke (chap. 10) tells us how "He rejoiced in spirit." And He left the world with something like a conqueror's shout.
2. Hope. It reconciled Him to death. It was but as a sleep to Him.
1. All the holiness of God is in Him.
2. In the special peculiar relation in which He stands to God.
3. He has more of the holiness of God communicated to Him than all other creatures.
4. The holiness of God is more manifested in and by Him than in any other way.
5. He is set apart in a peculiar manner for the bringing about God's great design of glorifying Himself, in putting an end to sin, and malting an elect world of mankind sinners holy.
(James Robe, M. A.)
TopicsAbandon, Allow, Corruption, Death, Decay, Givest, Godly, Grave, Hell, Holy, Leave, Loved, Nether-world, Pit, Prisoned, Saintly, Sheol, Soul, Suffer, Undergo, Underworld, Wilt
Outline1. David, in distrust of merits, and hatred of idolatry
5. He shows the hope of his calling, of the resurrection, and life everlasting
Dictionary of Bible ThemesPsalm 16:10
LibraryMan's True Treasure in God
'The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.'--PSALM xvi. 5, 6. We read, in the law which created the priesthood in Israel, that 'the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them. I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel' (Numbers xvii. 20). Now there is an evident allusion to that remarkable …
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God with Us, and we with God
Messiah Rising from the Dead
Smith -- Assurance in God
India as Carey Found It
Source of My Life's Refreshing Springs,
Though Some Good Things of Lower Worth
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity. In Thy Presence is Fulness of Joy; at Thy Right Hand There are Pleasures for Evermore.
But Whilst the King Has not that Most Blessed Light...
Israel the Beloved
One Saying from Three Men
The Psalmist --Setting the Lord
The Joy of the Lord.
But Concerning True Patience, Worthy of the Name of this virtue...
The Joint Heirs and their Divine Portion
Period iv. The Age of the Consolidation of the Church: 200 to 324 A. D.
The Wrath of God
The Early Life of Malachy. Having Been Admitted to Holy Orders He Associates with Malchus
Notes on the First Century:
Out of the Deep of Suffering and Sorrow.
Angels Announce the Resurrection to Certain Women. Peter and John Enter The
Malachy's Pity for his Deceased Sister. He Restores the Monastery of Bangor. His First Miracles.
Religion Pleasant to the Religious.
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