Psalm 16, Transgenderism, and Rascal Flatts
March 10 2022
Today’s podcast walks through the counter-cultural yet life-giving themes of Psalm 16.
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1 Keep me safe, my God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
“They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
or take up their names on my lips.
5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithful one see decay.
11 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.
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This is the more to the story podcast with Doctor Andy Miller.
We hope you guys enjoy today's conversation.
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Now you saw a title for this and it is a bit of a provocative title, and it comes from what's often identified or Charles Spurgeon identified the Golden Psalm Psalm 16.
But I start off this way.
Let me get my prop here.
About two years ago.
I was in a place and all of a sudden my daughter walked out of her bedroom and she had headphones on. Maybe one the first time she had headphones on.And she was singing nice and loud.
Life is a Highway I wanna.
Ride it all night long if you're riding right now yourself, maybe.
You're kind of.
Clapping your fingers on the thethe driver.
What was it called?
The steering wheel you're on this terrible, so you're figuring it out right?
Life is a highway.
Well she came out and she didn't realize how loud she was.
My sons and my wife and I all looked at her like wow.
She is really singing loud but then in true Miller fashion she realized she had an audience.
And so I.
Actually had her headphones on.
She looked around and said.
Mild and then she said, if you're going my way twice as loud, if you're going my way, I want to ride it all night long.
I mean that is a great kind of summer driving song.
If there ever was a driving song.
Life is a highway, is it now when?
I heard Georgia.
Sing this song.
I have to admit I haven't thought about the word too much.
You know this is a very philosophical song.
Life is a highway, but I didn't hear it this time with all the background music, you know that guitar that's coming in a nice cadence.
The drum beat all kind of like the the aura that comes with that song.
I just heard my daughter singing quite loudly those words, and then I heard this line in another way.
If you're going my way.
I wanna drive it all night long.
And I think that that sentiment now I am not just being critical of Rascal Flatts or whoever originally wrote this song.
OK, I probably will still sing this song in the future, so don't take this as an anti Rascal Flatts song sentiment from me.
But there's this idea of like if you're going my way, that's the exact.
Of a Psalm that says, I say to the Lord, you are my Lord.
Apart from you, I have no good thing, Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup.
You make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places for me.
Surely I have a delightful inheritance.
No, we might approach God in this way.
If this is life's Hwy, the journey and if you'll use me in this way. If if you're going my way.
All right, or how about this?
Better yet, I'll drive.
You might even say look it, it makes sense for David to sing this song.
Life was going great his way.
If you're going my way, I want to.
See, this is comes from this idea.
Again, this first verse 5 if you have your Bible it would be great to open up Psalm 16.
Verse 5 Lord, you alone are my portion in my cup.
You make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.
Here how we have like geographical.
Terms here geographical current terms that would be very similar to the Israelites conquest in Joshua the boundary lines the portion mylah these places.
What the psalmist is saying here at the very beginning of this is like it's not rather not.
Life is going our way.
He's saying you alone, you Lord, are my portion.
My spouse isn't my portion in my cup, my church, my job, my desires, my emotions.
Don't direct all that.
He's saying you alone.
Are my portion.
When I was in Israel a few years ago, I was traveling with a group of Salvation Army officers and everywhere we would go we just like kind of like we marked as our group.
We grow in the same tour bus.
We would eat in the same restaurants.
We stayed in the same hotels and I came up in our hotel and I saw at the restaurant where we're eating my group of friends, the Salvation Army officers right there at the very back of the restaurant.
So I walked up to them and I was headed there, but then the waiter kind of got my way and he was kind of checking me out and he's trying to figure out where I'm going.
I pointed to that group in the back and.
So he looked at his list.
And he said, are you are you?
And he went down?
And forever reason and in very broken English, he said, are you salvation?
Well, I'm not salvation. I've been asked to be a lot of things. I'm a pastor or preacher's, you know, Professor father, all these things. But I'm definitely not salvation.
I know that the people of the issue are still waiting to Messiah, but I promise you it's not me right?
But unfortunately what happens is sometimes.
We end up thinking of ourselves as if we are our own saving grace.
We are our own salvey
And this is what happens when we.
Say if you're going my way, God.
I'll let you fit into my plans and maybe at this point we just need to acknowledge that we need to own that our journeys are not our own.
We need to own that our journeys are not our own.
I think this is what Carl Trueman getting at in his book, The Triumph of the modern self, like?
Why, what's going on that?
He's like analyzing all the challenges.
That our society is experiencing with transgenderism with expressing our own realities.
This expressive individualism that determines how we think about the universe so we can decide in a moment.
Oh, if you're going my way, this is my way.
OK, and I've decided I'm going to be this gender today.
Recognize there a.
Host of pastoral, psychological and emotive things that we need to consider in these.
But it does come back to the reality of the individualized self, and if we allow ourselves to be the captain of our own universe to decide our own reality, we get in trouble.
And that's exactly what this Psalm is saying.
Apart from you, I have no good thing apart from you.
Lord, I say to the Lord.
I say to Yahweh, you are my Lord.
Just remember when you see this type of.
Use of the word Lord.
All caps in scripture that's indicating the divine name Yahweh.
So I say to Yahweh, you are my Lord, I'm not.
I'm not my own Lord.
It's not just.
If you're going my way.
Right, it's more than that.
And then there's this interesting line.
Like remember, apart from you, I have no good thing.
This connects back.
To this idea that for me we're first learning about from Saint Augustine, the idea that evil is the privation.
Of the good.
That evil in itself doesn't exist as its own entity.
Evil evil is just a manipulation of the things that are good now.
This is a wild idea, and if this is your first time hearing it, bear with me.
Just think through this a little bit.
I I was helped by Doctor Dennis Kinlaw in this he says this evil he he said this evil.
Is simply good in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Evil is simply good in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It's the same way we can think about darkness being the absence of light or a more sophisticated analogy, a donut.
A donut hole is just the absence of the donut, right?
It isn't it's own thing, it's just the absence of a donut sin in this sense is a parasite.
Doctor Tom McCall helped me think of a sin as a parasite or it's a corrosive reality.
It's like rot to a tree.
Or rust to a car.
It's not something that is its own thing.
Instead it only exists as it relates in corrupts or as a parasite that good thing.
So CS Lewis says in mere Christianity, bagnes is only spoiled goodness, and there must be something good first before it can be spoiled.
But when we embrace our approach, we say we will define our own reality.
We are going to step in and say.
So even though the church has always taught this about the nature of human sexuality, even.
Though the church.
Has always taught that.
About the way that we think about the way God has revealed himself in the person of Jesus Christ, now we're going to step in and say that this is what it is.
This is the move away from the boundary lines that God has given us when we embrace this.
If you're going my way, approach.
We allow sin to take root.
We allow evil to corrupt and corrode.
And that's what the psalmist is saying here.
Apart from you, I have no good thing.
This idea of the boundary lines is an interesting one. It might be you say well, if Andy, if I had your boundary lines or if I had so and so's boundary lines, that would be another story I'd be able to make this Psalm my life Psalm them.
Maybe you say I like I like a bigger portion.
I don't like my portion in.
My cup I like.
A smaller portion.
I'd like a different portion if you're going my way.
Then I'll ride.
But I have.
To say like what's going on here and what's going on in the sexual revolution of our time.
Is that it's a denial of what is real and there's a way that's intrinsically connected to what sin is.
It's a denial of the things that are real in the world.
What God has laid out for us.
But the challenge is deeper too.
It's not just I don't like my portion or I don't like the boundary line, so I'm going to change them.
But the challenge is when we acknowledge that they come from God, and then we say, I don't think you're good at drawing lines.
I don't think you are good at your job, God.
And I don't trust you.
Now I hope.
You can hear that I'm not suggesting that the boundary lines are some sort of ultimate determinism.
That means everything is planned out at all points, and that everything happens for a reason.
That's not the type of theology I'm proposing here, but I am suggesting that God has a direction in a will for your life and he is calling you to be a certain type of person.
Be calling you today to a very specific.
Task he might be calling you to embrace the Orthodox message of the Christian Church.
He might be calling.
You to fidelity and marriage.
He might be calling you to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family life.
He might be calling you to the faith once for all delivered to the Saints.
This is a dangerous place to be though.
When we reject God lines, reject the boundary lines and where they've fallen.
GK Chesterton talks about this in his book orthodoxy.
There's a chapter where he talks about his own move from agnosticism and atheism to.
Andy and he had this interesting thing to say about these boundaries in the order he said, the order that is exists in the world he.
Says the more I considered Christianity.
The more I found that while it had established a rule in order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.
The chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.
I'm telling you.
The boundary lines are meant to enable us to run wild, and I believe that's what God wants for you and for me to run wild in these boundary lines.
Our allegiance, you see, isn't to the lines.
Our allegiance is not to our portion.
Instead, what the psalmist, suggesting in the beauty of it, is that our allegiance is directed to a person.
The white flag of surrender is waved at the very beginning when this theological.
Poet says I.
Say to Yahweh, you are my Lord.
We begin to see that the presence and faithfulness of a relationship with God is something that's ultimately a grace. It's God's initiative. It's God's work. It's his gift and our relationship.
Jesus allows him to be a focal point for our experience, and it's better than questioning our boundary lines because I'm telling you this God has more goodness in store for you than you could ever dream.
I believe that God has more goodness in store for you than you could ever dream.
God knows what it will take for you to find fulfillment, but it won't come when you try to create your own reality.
Psalm 16 is speaking directly into our society and our world.
That wants to move away from what God has clearly revealed.
It only comes when we discover that true meaning in him.
Now there's something unique about this song I want to highlight too.
It's one of.
The few places in the Old Testament.
Where the word holy is directed to people, says adversary.
I say of the holy people who are in the land.
They are the noble ones and whom is all my delight.
Now when this happens, we're aware of people being called holy in the New Testament, but here in the old test, and what's interesting is he says, I say of the holy people and the kind of the word in Hebrew is strange to look at.
It, but it says.
The holy people who are in the land.
The holy people who exists and Dave is not talking about himself here.
Instead, like he's contrasting those who run after other gods run after their own way, seek to have life as a highway, and if they're if God going their way, they'll ride.
But he's saying I saved the holy people who exist.
They're not a figment of their imagination.
They're not a myth, and I believe what we're hearing here is that this opportunity to experience God sanctifying presence.
Our life is a possibility.
There are the holy people and we can come to a place where we have an undivided heart where we're able to focus our hearts on who God is calling us to be.
To be able to come to a place of experiencing his sanctifying grace in our life.
Now there is a contrast basically throughout this song.
Those who say.
God, I'm going to let you draw the lines from my life.
They're the holy ones.
And then the other side is those who say Nope.
I've got my own lines.
I'll draw them myself.
Thank you very much.
Notice how, then, the psalmist leads us to a place in verses 7-8 where he says I will praise the Lord who counsels me even at night.
My heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord with him on my right hand.
I will not be shaken, he says.
Even at night, and maybe you're at a nighttime moment in your life right now, I'm telling you that when you submit to God and you make him, Lord, you say, apart from you, I have no good thing.
There's nothing good in my life that comes without you and I'm going to accept the boundary lines that you've given my life.
And I'm going to run in them.
Even at night, you'll be able to trust and even at night you'll be able to thrive.
This great Psalm doesn't end with just that.
It also talks about we have this great picture of the resurrection.
It says in verse 9 therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices.
My body will also rest secure because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead.
Nor will you let your faithful one seed.
Decay Peter picked up on this passage in his axe to sermon as he identifies the opportunity for Jesus to be the one who is this resurrected one who does not see decay, but this also becomes the promise for all of us.
Just as Jesus body is wrecked, it resurrected.
So to our.
Bodies will be resurrected.
This I love how the psalmist picks up on this.
Like even this concept of sheol, this realm of the dead that existed for as the Israelites understood it in that time, he's like there's got to be something more than this, and that's the beauty of walking with God.
That's the beauty of running.
Child in these boundary lines is that there's more than just what we know in this life right now.
There is an eternity where there's no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears, no more cancer, no more sexual trafficking.
There is a beautiful world where we can.
Run wild and who God has called us to be and how he's leading us to that place, and we see that right.
In this passage.
So we can say if you are going my way.
Then I'll ride or then I'll drive or we can say God.
I'm going your way.
Many people know my favorite movies.
Some of my favorite movies are the rocky movies.
I found them very interesting as I was listening to some commentary on Rocky.
Believe it or not, there's some commentary out there on the philosophical assumptions of rocky and the narrative structure.
But one of the things about it is interesting is that you know.
Rocky one, for instance, just rocky.
It's about this direct.
It's not just about him getting in the ring, it's about him not wanting to be a bum, but it's also about his relationship with Adrian, who becomes his wife.
You know, it's interesting after the fights over after Apollo Creed's done, he's not interested in talking about a rematch.
He's interested generally at the end of his movies in finding Adrian, and you know what, what's the famous?
Like how does Rocky and yo Adrian?
We did it right.
With that point too, it's.
Like moving beyond just what happens in the boundaries of the ring, it's moving to something deeper.
It's not about what happens in the ring, but it's about the relationship that he has with his wife.
And as we move from this passage, it's not about the boundary lines.
Instead, it's about the relationship that we have with God, and we're called to something deeper called to something better because there's more.
To this story.
I wish I had more time to even talk about this song.
I'm so thankful.
For what it speaks into our life.
And how this golden Psalm has a moment for me to say I'm going your way, God, because you have more for me.
Thanks for checking this out.
If you don't mind taking a minute to share a link, it will mean a lot to me.
God bless you.