[image: Pleasant Place, 2009, JA Van Devender]
Location: Blue Ridge Pkway, Va.
Psalm 16:5–6 (NKJV)
5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.
David's psalm (16) is one of the more warmly embracing poems in our Scriptures. It begins with a celebration of the "position" which David is privileged to hold and closes with a brilliant Messianic prophetic foreshadowing, a complete trust in God the Father's preserving and fulfilling blessing.
David looks out on the vistas of his life, at the intersecting pleasant valleys and the warm glow of colorful light, and he praises God for where he stands. He delights in the "saints who are on the earth... in whom is all (his) delight" (vs. 3) as well as the great privilege he has, exceeding all those other nations who know not the true God, in seeing these blessings as the privilege given him by his covenant keeping Father in heaven. It is from this vantage that the troubles that threaten him can be viewed and confidently faced knowing that his God will not allow His "holy one" to see corruption, to see all that he had built fall, to be left without a glorious inheritance to pass on to those who follow. This is the passage that so comforted the early church of Jesus Christ as they saw the Nazarene as the true Son of David.
In typical Hebrew poetic fashion there is a chiastic structure, in my opinion, to the psalm. The 11 verses intersect between verses 5 &6 and make the quoted verses above the central theme with the two ends the cause of celebration.
David is warmly encouraged. His life situation, for all the very real concerns that threaten to darken his soul and bring him to despair, is actually a "pleasant place" for God is with him and nothing can separate him from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus (as the apostle will confidently espouse from this same vantage point centuries later).
It takes wide open eyes and a history with God to see our lives as pleasant places. Even the giddy times, the joyful, laughing, feasting occasions, lack depth until, as has often happened to me, a settling of the soul happens and somehow a distancing occurs, and we look out at our joyful companions and a great tenderness steals over us, and we think "these saints are my delight." It is a very human thing for this to happen... right in the midst of the toasting, and joke telling, as our companions may be laughing so hard as to wipe tears from their eyes, and we are somehow there but not there... we are on a mountain, looking over the valleys, and delighting in what God has given us in these brothers and sisters.
There are other times, when threatening clouds gather, sometimes naturally the result of living in a world of sickness, heart-ache and grief, and sometimes because the imbecility of man and his grasping nature has raised up those who seek our harm. And yet, in the midst of crying out to God about whatever looms, we find a strange peace drifting over our soul. And the sky is no longer so threatening but rather provides deeply saturated hues that remind us where we are standing and what God has given us to see. And... amazingly enough... inexplicably... we know... it's going to be OK. God is with us and He will not allow our souls to see corruption nor our inheritance to be denied, either in this life or the next.
The soul that belongs to Jesus, has by right of adoption, the claim to "pleasant places." That is where the Lord dwells and where He is will be and is our home. The valleys that stretch out before us, in cascading geometric perfection, are seen, in the proper light, as things of beauty... and each contributes to the funneling imperative that draws our eyes away, outward, unto the Hill from which comes our hope. To where God dwells in unimaginable splendor but also in warm hues of comforting delight.