“Keep me safe”Psalm 16:1
We end this Psalm as we began with the opening verse of David’s prayer “keep me safe”. Can you think of a better statement than this one in our present crisis?
What is the most valuable thing you have lost and found?
Following an exhilarating performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall, celebrated classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma went home, slept, and awoke the next day exhausted. He called for a cab to take him to a hotel on the other side of Manhattan and placed his cello, hand-crafted in Vienna in 1733 and valued at $2.5 million in the boot of the taxi. When he reached his destination, he paid the driver but forgot to take his cello.
After the cab had disappeared, Ma realised what he had done. He began a desperate search for the missing instrument. Fortunately, he had the receipt with the cab driver’s ID number. Before the day ended the taxi was located in a garage in Queens with the priceless cello still in the trunk. Ma’s smile could not be contained as he spoke to reporters, and his performance in Brooklyn went on as planned later that evening. The cello was valued at $2.5 million.
Yo-Yo must have thought he would never see that cello again, going over and over in his thought I hope that cello, wherever it is, is safe. Let me tell you you are worth more than the cello. You see if you have heard someone say about you you do not amount to anything they are wrong. God says you are more valuable than anything. Your life means something. David knew that therefore David naturally would ask God to keep him safe. The reason:
David’s life was mostly a battle filled with danger. Whether it was encountering a lion, bear, running from a king or defeating Goliath, David’s life was filled with danger. The Bible, in fact, tells us that “In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war” therefore David would keep asking to keep me safe. When he faced Goliath he told the king the same God who rescued me from the lion and the bear can do so again and with that confidence, David went off to deafest Goliath. If we turn to the very next Psalm (17) this is what David says “Protect me, Lord, as someone You care about, keep me safe from those who seek to destroy me and turn my life upside-down.
I am sure you have had your life turned upside-down in these last few months facing your Goliaths (they will be different from David’s but nevertheless real).
For Yo-Yo Ma losing his cello was as bad as it could get, and I guess that cello was kept safe after that.
The whole point of this Psalm is that God wants to protect, provide, give you a portion and give you prospects way above what you think you could ever have or achieve and wants to keep you safe.
Jesus Christ years later told a story of how a Father lost not a cello but a son and how daily he would look out for that son’s return. When the son came home the father celebrated, “this my son was lost but now is found”. He threw a party and restored the son back into the family.
The point of Jesus’s story is that there is is a Heavenly Father who wants to do for you what He has done for David and is doing for billions of people throughout the world. No matter what you have done, wherever you are, you are only a cry away from a father who wants to keep you safe. David, a mighty warrior, thought it not weak or less macho, but imperative to ask God for safety, Can we do any less?
Protect me, Lord, as someone You care about, keep me safe from those who seek to destroy me.