“For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.” Psalm 16:10, ESV
The significance of this verse is easy to overlook by modern Christians, because we tend to look forward to going to Heaven when we die. In the Bible, the main thing to look forward to is the resurrection of the body. If you only read the first half of the verse, you might think that David is talking about going to Heaven when he dies. But when David died, his body rotted. He must be talking about someone else.
The reason I chose to write about this verse is that Peter’s interpretation of it gives us a huge insight into the minds of the prophets. “Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn an oath to him that he would set one of his descendents on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:30-31).
When we interpret the Bible, we look for the meaning intended by the author. Some people would use this principle to argue that the Old Testament isn’t about Jesus. But here, Peter tells us that David, the author of Psalm 16, understood that the promises of God would be fulfilled by the resurrection of the Christ. This is the original meaning, and any other interpretation is wrong.
Next week I’ll do the harder work of actually looking closely at Psalm 16.