This is the 2nd part of “2017 Questions” series, where I plan to detail the things I learned from memorable questions I was asked this year. You can read the first installment of this series here.
When we started to take over a certain activity in our local church, we granted the attendants the permission to ask us one question per volunteer to allow them to get to know more about us. When my turn came, one of the participants asked me the question “What is your favorite bible verse?”. I had a list of verses in my head (e.g., Romans 5:8, 6:23, 8:28, 32; John 3:30, 10:10, 14:6; Philippians 3:8-9,4:6-7) But then I realized, the verse I frequently refer to is this:
“You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11
Yet for some reason, at the time, I wasn’t able to recall it in verbatim. Oh well, bygones be bygones. But to end with the question “what…?” leaves to a surface-level understanding. One must be compelled to follow the Golden Circle to ask “How…? Why…?”
HOW do I see my favorite bible verse?
“You make known to me the path of life” – Referring to Means. The world would offer us different paths, some leading to earthly success, some leading to failure, some leading to earthly security, others leading to danger, some leading to earthly happiness, others to despair. In this part of the verse, the psalmist suggests that his God, since He is the One being referred to in “You” (see Psalm 16:1), is the One who makes known to him the path of life, not “a path” which would suggest there is other, and most definitely not one that leads to destruction. The Unique Path that He has set for His people which in “Itself” is life.
“In Your presence there is fullness of joy” – Referring to Level. The world would again and again offer us a certain amount of joy, may it be from material blessings, lifetime achievements, or relational bliss. The psalmist, who is known as King David, has had much experience on all aspects yet finds his fullness of joy only in the presence of his Maker.
“At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” – Referring to Time. The world can only offer temporal happiness from itself, for it in itself is fleeting. An example could be that one relationship you once dreamed of, you once rejoiced in having, which you now take for granted. On the contrary, time and time again, David, who was once a young shepherd boy, have proven in every season of his life that his Creator is the Source of everlasting pleasure.
WHY is it my favorite bible verse?
It is evident in man that he longs to satisfy himself, that he pursues joy, and I being one of the populus, am too long for such. But to put up a cause for the cause’s sake is incomplete. And incomplete suggests a missing piece. Though I’ve addressed it in part, the Golden Circle lacks in it’s core the most important specific question to ask.
WHO is my favorite bible verse about?
There are two (2) individuals identified in the verse namely “You/r” and “me” which is respectively, God and David. To put it in our context, it’s God and the individual (i.e., you, me, him, or her). In this verse, the purpose of man is put succinctly by Westminster Shorter Catechism:
Q: What is the chief end of man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
And John Piper’s Christian Hedonism statement:
“God Is Most Glorified in Us When We Are Most Satisfied in Him”
Yet in the hindsight, if we’ll assess briefly, none of the “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore” phrases will apply if we simply don’t know “what is the Means”, or more appropriately have a biblically founded relationship with “who is the Means”. And in the same Bible lies the undeniably consistent truth it professes:
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
“For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus” – 1 Timothy 2:5
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4;12