“I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.’”
We all know the story of the elderly couple whose love had grown both old and cold. She complained to him, “Do don’t tell me you love me anymore!” He replied, “I told you that I loved you the day I married you. If I ever change my mind I’ll let you know.”
She didn’t find it very funny.
Frankly, in my experience, women seldom laugh at that story. Men, foolishly, do.
Yet it gets retold again and again—mostly by men who never seem to notice (or maybe just don’t care) that the women are not laughing with them.
David was determined he would not treat the lover of his soul this way. In Psalm 16:2 David tells us what he prays when he bows before the heavenly lover of his soul.
The upper case (capitalized) “LORD” is the English translation’s way of telling us he is using the personal, covenant name of God: Yahweh. The lower case “Lord” is the translators’ rendering of the Hebrew Adonai.
The difference is not unimportant.
Yahweh designates God as the covenant-making, covenant-keeping God. He is the one who pursues us. He seeks us out. He establishes covenant with us—taking upon Himself the obligation of forming and keeping the covenant. He simply invites us into relationship with Himself. That, of course, ultimately and finally found expression through Jesus Christ and His redemptive work at the cross and in His resurrection. God is personal and personally seeks you in love.
Adonai, on the other hand, emphasizes God as “master” or “owner.” He is over us. He rules us. God has authority over us. He has the right to our submission and obedience.
Thus, “I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord,” is tantamount to saying “In view of your great redemptive love that sought and bought me for yourself, I gladly bow my entire life to you, I am glad to live under your rule and authority and to curb my life to fulfill your mission and to build your kingdom.”
I say to the lover of my soul, “You are my Owner, Master, and Lord.”
It is sacrificial and pursuing love that makes a life of submissive obedience both possible and delightful. Such love woos our submission and obedience and in so doing transforms it into an expression of our love to Him.
Indeed, David must add, “I have no good apart from you.” I can’t even enjoy life without sharing it with you, Lord! Good just isn’t good unless I can enjoy it in fellowship with you.
Oh great Lover of my soul, thank you for being the initiator, pursuer, and complete provider in our relationship. Thank you for making me your own through Jesus. I bless you for sending your Holy Spirit to make large in my eyes the magnitude of your love. Gladly and with my whole heart I say to you again today, “You are my Lord. Own this life. Rule me in every part. Walk this day with me, making all your good gifts scattered throughout these coming hours a fellowship of joy as we share them together.