Multiple levels of understanding

Psalm 16 and Acts 2.25-28

In C. S. Lewis’ children’s book and Christian allegory, Aslan explained to Susan and Lucy that the white witch knew the ancient law at one level but did not understand deep magic.  Therefore, when she killed Aslan on the stone table she had no idea the table would crack and he would come to life again.  So it is with much of the bible, where text carries meaning and application directly to people at the time of writing but also applies again later in a different context sometimes on more than one occasion.  Psalm 16 is a case in point.

David is celebrating the delights of living a life close to God.  He acknowledges that without God he, ‘has no good thing.’ v2  He rejoices in the company of fellow servants of the Lord in the same way as meeting as a church for Christians is uplifting for our faith. v3   He keeps himself apart from idol worshippers v4 just as Jesus prayed for the disciples and the modern church to be kept from the evil one because they are in but not of the world. John 17.14-15  David is fully satisfied with what God has given him vv5,6 as he continually learns from God remaining fixed upon him. vv7,8 

David’s confidence extends to his eventual death as he asserts that death is not the end and he will continue into eternal life in the presence of the Lord. v9-11  David though, would have had no idea that those very verses would be applied by Peter to the resurrection of Jesus.  ‘You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ Acts 2.27,28

This bodily resurrection from the dead to experience the joy of the presence of the Lord is then promised to all who trust in Jesus.  ‘So in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in turn: Christ, the first fruits, then, when he comes, those who belong to him.’ 1Corinthians15.22,23

How else can we respond but to say, ‘This is amazing grace.’

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