As for the saints in the land,
they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
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. (Psalm 16:3-4)
“Drink offerings of blood” smack of pagan practices that were common in biblical times, but were absolutely excluded from Hebrew worship. Whether animal or human blood was involved, there is no way that David, the author of this poem, would even talk about this practice, much less engage in it.
On the other hand he was a big fan of the “saints in the land,” those who trusted and followed the commands and promises of God. They were the ones who not only provided a good example, but encouraged David along “the path of life” (Psalm 16:11).
How often does our attention wander to less than wholesome habits and pastimes in our culture? Much more often than we’d like to confess. Surrounded by those who run after the gods of success, power and possessions, we find ourselves jumping into the race. Those folks always look happier, like they are having more fun and lead more exciting lives than we do. At least they look like that on the outside. Or that’s what they put out on social media for everyone to see.
Are there others in whom we should delight? Who are the saints in our land, the excellent ones surrounding us? They quietly and faithfully love the Lord with their worship and prayers. They just as quietly and faithful love their neighbors with friendship and mercy. Not very exciting. But they are essential in the fabric of our lives.
Lives that bestow all honor and glory and blessing to the Lord will never be flashy, popular or even noticed. But those lives will draw us into the worship of myriads and thousands of thousands who know and worship the one on the throne. (Revelation 5:11-12).
Thank you for the excellent saints who remind me of your power and presence, Lord. Amen.