Psalms 16:8 - I Have Placed God Opposite Me...

תהלים טז:ח – Psalms 16:8

שִׁוִּיתִי ה' לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד כִּי מִימִינִי בַּל־אֶמּוֹט׃

“I have placed G-d opposite me, always; for [He is] at my right hand, so I will not fall.”

Even if we believe G-d is always with us, can be hard to feel His presence. King David, the author of this psalm, doesn’t just say “G-d is always with me” but says he himself actively placed Him there. He worked for G-d’s presence; it’s not easy.

Traditionally, this first part of the verse is often associated with prayer. When we pray, are we just saying words, or do we truly think of ourselves as standing opposite G-d, talking with Him? Can we think of Him being right there, engaged in dialogue with us? Can we then take that feeling and expand it to “always,” building a sense of not just praying but living in G-d’s presence?

The second half of the verse can be understood as either the cause or the effect of the first half. Maybe it’s a strategy: if we attribute our successes to Him, we will inspire a sense of His constant presence.  Or maybe it’s a result: if we can bring ourselves to think of G-d as always with us, we will come to appreciate our successes as results of His presence and assistance. And maybe it’s both.

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