The Psalm of the Precious Secret | by John Rogers

Psalm 16, or the Psalm of the Precious Secret as some have called it is a song about Jesus. This truth is made plain to us by the Spirit of truth divinely speaking through both the apostles, Peter and Paul.

Peter, in Acts 2, tells us that in this Psalm, David is actually speaking not of himself, but Jesus when he says:

[8] I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
[9] Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
[10] For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
[11] You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)

Peter tells us that David was a prophet and “knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ (Jesus) that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus,” Peter says, “God raised up” (See Acts 2:30-32).

Paul, in Acts 13, also testified that this Psalm of David is really about Jesus. When speaking of how “God raised Jesus from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who (like Peter) had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem” (see Acts 13:30-31), Paul says that by raising Jesus, God fulfilled the second, and what we now know as the sixteenth Psalm.

Both Peter and Paul’s purpose in appealing to this Psalm is to let us in on a precious secret: That Jesus of Nazareth, although killed by the hands of lawless men, was raised. As promised in Psalm 16, He was raised by God and has now been made Lord and Christ. Because of this, the forgiveness of sins is now proclaimed in his name. And to everyone who believes in him, God grants freedom from corruption and salvation from this crooked generation (See Acts 13:38-39 and Acts 2:36-40).

So as we pray the Psalms today, as exiles in this land ladened with corruption, let us remember that the only hope for us and this hell-bent generation is the subject of Psalm 16, Jesus Christ. It is only Jesus who sets people free from corruption’s oppression. And it is only in Jesus that we obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God (see Romans 8:21).

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