We Rest in Hope (Part 3 of 4)

Hundreds of years before Christ's birth, David spoke of Jesus' resurrection.  Because Jesus rose again, believers will too.

April 3, 2021

"Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.  For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.  Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 16:9-11

Part 3

Yesterday:  Rest in Hope

“And my glory rejoiceth.”
Our tongues proclaim the thoughts of our hearts.  We have been given the privilege of declaring our praise to God.

“My flesh also shall rest in hope.”
Believers have the sure hope in their God that He will bring them again from the dead when it comes their time to die.


Today:  Jesus’ Resurrection Destroyed the Power of the Grave!

“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell.”
These beautiful words are spoken about the Lord Jesus Christ.  And the Apostle Paul, as he is preaching the Gospel, clarified David’s words even more, when he said,

“Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption.  For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruptionBut He, whom God raised again, saw no corruption” (Acts 13:35-37).

We are assured that these words are spoken about Jesus Christ and not David.

“There is no sense in which … the … words can be spoken of David.  Jesus, even on the cross, and breathing out His soul with His life, saw that His rest in the grave would be very short:  just a sufficiency of time to prove the reality of his death, but not long enough to produce corruption; and this is well argued by St. Peter, Acts 2:31”[1] (Adam Clarke).

“My soul in hell.”

The word “hell” can be confusing because it is often used and misused by people today.  David is not talking about the place of torment reserved for unbelieving sinners.  The Hebrew word that David used here is “Sheol.”  This is not the place of final judgment.

Sheol – the … [Old Testament] designation for the abode of the dead” [2] (BDB).

In Old Testament days, this is where the souls of the dead went when they were separated from their bodies upon death.  When Peter quoted this psalm at Pentecost, he used the similar New Testament word, “Hades.”

Hades – “later use of this word: the grave, death, hell”[3] (Thayer).

We know from the scriptures that Jesus’ body was laid in the tomb after His brutal death by crucifixion, but it did not stay there.  Three days later, He was raised again from the dead!

“Neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”

Peter, on the birthday of the Church, preached,

“Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;  He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption” (Acts 2:30-31).

“In quoting and applying this passage from Psalms 16 to the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, Peter showed a remarkably sophisticated understanding of the work of Jesus on the cross.  He understood that because Jesus bore our sin without becoming a sinner, He remained the Holy One, even in His death.  Since it is incomprehensible that God’s Holy One should be bound by death, the resurrection was absolutely inevitable.  As Peter said: It was not possible that He should be held by death (Acts 2:24)”[4] (Guzik).

For the child of God, the grave is very real.  Unlike Jesus, our bodies of clay will return to the dust from which they were taken.  David is an example of this, as Paul described him.

“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption” (Acts 13:36).

And so it has been for every other person from Adam’s time on.  But the good news is, death is not permanent for God’s child!

“But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah” (Psalm 49:15).

What else can we learn about Jesus’ brief time in the grave from this psalm?  Please join us tomorrow as we discuss His “path of life,” and “His joy.”


Quote:  “David died, was buried, and never rose again; therefore, David cannot be the person spoken of here: the words are true of some other person, and they can be applied to Jesus Christ only, and in Him, they are most exactly fulfilled”[5] (Adam Clarke).




[1] Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
[2] Brown, Driver, Briggs.  Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.
[3] J.H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek Definitions, the electronic version in eSword.
[4] David Guzik’s Enduring Word Commentary, the electronic version in eSword.  Psalm 16:9-11.  The emphasis is mine.
[5] Clarke’s quote is from his commentary. Ibid.  Acts 13:36.