Everyone wants a life worth living. That’s what David found, despite all his troubles, and in this psalm he shows us how to find the path to life.
In short, the path to life is not primarily a way of living. It’s a person. And so David sang,
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing. (2)
There is an utter joy in these words. “You are my Lord.”
Some people think that joy comes from ruling yourself. But true joy comes from submitting ourselves to God, and making him from our king. Why? Because as David recognized, apart from God there is no good thing. He is the author of all that is good.
James agrees, saying,
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights. (James 1:17)
As such, there can be no joy apart from Him who is the source of joy.
Yet many people seek just that, joy apart from God. They seek it in the gods of this world: money, possessions, and pleasure among others. These are not bad things, but apart from God, they prove to be empty in the end to those who pursue them.
And so David says, “I don’t idolize these kinds of people, no matter how successful they may seem, because in the end, they find only sorrow and suffering. Rather, I delight in those who follow after you.”
He then turns his face up to God and sings,
“Lord, you are what I seek more than anything else. You are my inheritance. The thing I receive from you and treasure more than anything else is my relationship with you. That’s what makes this life worth living.”
Sometimes people look at the commands of God as burdensome, but David didn’t see it that way. Rather, he said,
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. (６)
Because of his relationship with God, it was a joy to obey him. And he saw that these commands were not meant to take away joy, but to give him joy. To show him how to live the way God intended life to be lived.
As a result, he was glad to hear what God had to say. He listened to his counsel and with God by his side, he could never be shaken despite his circumstances.
Not only that, he had hope beyond the grave. He wrote,
You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your Holy one see decay. (10)
Of course, this was fulfilled in Jesus’ resurrection, but Jesus promised that because he lives, we will live also. (John 14:19)
David sums this all up by singing,
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. (11)
Do you want to know the path of life? It’s not found in keeping a bunch of religious rules or by following a number of religious practices. Rather, it’s found in the person of Jesus Christ. And when we find him and make him our Lord, that’s when we find a life worth living.
As Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the life.” (John 14:6)