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Psalm 16:9-11

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
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.

Whenever I see that word “therefore,” I pause for a moment. It comes from several classes and Bible studies where that word was highlighted. I actually double-majored in English and theology in college, and that word is one that gets highlighted whether one is reading scripture or essays or poetry. Why? It is a word that refers back to something previous. Whenever you start reading with the word “therefore,” you know you aren’t at the beginning of a passage. Two of the biggest “therefores” in Scripture are found in Romans 12:1 and Hebrews 12:1.

Romans:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

Hebrews:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

In the first passage from Romans, the reference is to everything written in the book before – all eleven chapters that talk about the grace of God being a free gift. In Hebrews, we can look to the previous “by faith” chapter 11, where the writer, inspired by God, lists all of the heroes of old who lived by faith.

So here we are in the Psalms, stumbling onto a “therefore” with a couple of joy verses. In this case, the best bet is to examine the rest of the Psalm. Go ahead, click over and read it. I’ll wait.

Mostly, it’s about God’s protection, isn’t it? Because God is watching over us, we can rejoice. We can celebrate. We know we are safe in His hands.

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