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The Fleeting Pleasures of Sin and the Increasing Joy of Christ

December 28, 2009

Psalm 16 is a cherished psalm among Christians.  It promises joy and pleasure in the presence of Christ forevermore.  In reading the passage, again, I reflected upon the sharp contrast that David makes in this passage.  Look at Psalm 16:4:

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The sorrows of those who give their affection and allegiance to another god will multiply. Hebrews 11:25 comments that the pleasures of sin are “fleeting,” but Psalm 16:4 is much stronger.  Not only are the pleasures of sin temporary, but they increase our sorrow.  The fleeting pleasures entice a person’s heart, while they are completely blinded as to the reason why their sorrows increase.

Yet, David contrasts this life of sorrow with his (16:7-11):

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

As Christians, we serve the only God who promises joy and pleasure, not in completing good works, gathering material goods, or in a fulfilled life, but in himself. Happy is the heart that resists the fleeting pleasures of sin, in order to to enjoy the increasing joy of Christ.

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