So, what is the application in this psalm – what are we left with when we’ve studied these eleven verses? For me, I see this psalm as a prayer of David that I too can and should say from time to time – these attitudes should be mine. This psalm, taken as a whole, sounds to me sort of like David’s answer to someone saying, “Teach us to pray”.
We find in verses 1 and 2 the proper priority of worship and praise and utter dependence on the Lord.
Verses 3 and 4 speak of our right relationships with the people who surround us – love towards those who love the Lord and disdain for those who don’t. (It always seems a little odd to say something like that – the idea that we are to disdain someone. Didn’t Jesus teach us to love our enemies? Yes, but we cannot become partakers of their sin by silent approval. We are to be unyoked from them! And, in the end, what fellowship can there be between the righteous and the unrighteous?)
Verses 5 and 6 teach us the proper attitude toward all the “things” we have accumulated in this world – or those we yet still long to acquire! We are to be grateful and content with whatever we have. The Lord is our great Shepherd and we shall not want! It is at this point of our prayer that we should check on our attitudes and confess any sin of covetousness or idolatry. Things, people, prestige, wealth, or health – all of it is to be as dung compared to the rich glory of fellowship with our Creator.
Verses 7 and 8 speak of our right relationship to the Word of God. Have it so hidden in your heart that you can learn from it by meditation on your pillow at night. Let it so guide your every footstep that nothing – no peril of any sort – can cause you to be shaken and stumble away from that righteous narrow path.
Verses 9 and 10 speak of our sound hope that the Lord who has dealt with us so graciously in this life, will also deal graciously with us in our death. Though this wretched body will decay in the ground – to be food to the maggots and worms – the redeemed of the Lord knows of a new body to be received on the other side – a glorious body that can never see decay of any sort.
Verse 11 promises us a sure answer when we find ourselves needing direction. At any fork in the road of life, our heavenly Father is there with loving words to guide us. And in all of this, there is the immeasurable joy that comes from such a blessed relationship. As Job’s world crumbled around him, he cried out, “Blessed be the Lord!” He knew the transitory nature of this life.
Joy and pleasures forever await us in heaven. We are promised trials and tribulations while on earth – don’t be so surprised when your life seems to crumble. Look to heaven, keep your priorities straight, and know that God will one day set everything right. REJOICE!