November 10, 2014
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
The Contented Man – Content with God’s Person
“O My soul, Thou hast said unto the Lord,
‘I have no good apart from Thee.'” (RSV)
The title to Psalm 16 has been variously translated as “golden” or “secret.” The contentment of which it speaks is, indeed, gold of the purest nature and highest value. It is also the secret to a life that pleases God, rising above the cries for more and the covetous spirit of the age.
Here was a Man Who found everything in God! There are many different translations of this verse. One that appeals to me is the one given above. Even if not the correct one, its truth is nevertheless unquestioned. There was only one Man Who walked our earth that found everything in God.
Isaiah spoke of Him as “a root out of a dry ground,” suggesting that He was life amidst death. He found nothing here to sustain Him. The Psalmist adds to Isaiah’s imagery by telling us that the Lord Jesus could find nothing that was good apart from God. All that attracted men was of no importance to Him. He alone could say, without any limitations, “All My springs are in Thee” (Ps 87:7).
Centuries earlier, God had looked on His creation and proclaimed it as “good.” It was good because it conformed to His will and fulfilled His Word. The only “good” is that which expresses the mind and will of God. As a Man here on earth, the Lord Jesus found good in that which likewise conformed to God’s mind and will.
He came to speak the words His Father had given Him to speak. He came to do the works that no other man did. He came to fulfill the Father’s will. He came and found only good in that which brought pleasure to the heart of God.
We label as “good” that which pleases us; we label as good that which advances our interests and promotes our names. We may, at times, label as good that which benefits others. He, however, knew only what pleased His God as “good” and what furthered the will of God. Nothing which did not conform to God’s will, fulfill His Word, or accomplish His work was deemed good by this contented Man.
His eye looked heavenward and found good only in God. But linked with that was a look earthward to see the saints – those who belonged to God. “In them is all My delight.” The One who found all His good in God, saw God’s people as the object of His delight.
A delight in what belonged to God on earth and a delight in all that was in God brought Him to the altar of Calvary. His deep devotion to God was coupled with His delight in the people of God.
- Compare some of the other translations of verse 1. All suggest that He found everything in His God.
- “The excellent” can mean the noble, the mighty, or the glorious. To make us “noble” He had to become a worm. Think of other contrasts this word suggests.