‘Preserve me, O God!… I have set the Lord always before me!… My flesh too shall rest in hope, for You will not leave my soul in the grave!… You will show me the path of life…, fullness of joy! At Your right hand, there are pleasures for evermore!’ Psalm 16:1-11.
Calvin comments: “The Psalmist…explains…he is not afraid of death. There is nothing wanting which is requisite to the completion of his joy…. It follows, that no one truly trusts in God but he who takes such hold of the salvation which God has promised him — as to despise death!…
“David…entertains the…assurance of eternal salvation, which freed him from all anxiety…. As if he had said: ‘There will always be ready for me a way of escape from the grave, so that I may not remain in corruption!’… If therefore Christ, Who is the Firstfruits of those who rise again, did not come forth from the grave — they would remain for ever under the bondage of corruption!…
“This however did not prevent David from assuring himself of exemption from the dominion of death by right — seeing Christ, by His rising from the dead, obtained immortality not for Himself individually but for us all…. He was wholly and perfectly exempted from the corruption of the grave, so that He might call His members into His fellowship and make them partakers of this blessing…
“David after death was, in the course of time, reduced to dust…. He was not exempted from corruption. It is the same with respect to all the faithful, not one of whom becomes a partaker of incorruptible life without first being subjected to corruption….
“The question however may be asked — ‘As Christ descended into the grave, was not He also subject to corruption?’… The life of Christ would be exempted from the dominion of the grave, inasmuch as His body even when dead would not be subject to corruption….
(Calvin adds in his Institutes III:25:3: “It would not be proper to be made equal to Him in all respects. It is said in the Psalm (16:10), ‘Neither would You permit your Holy One to see corruption’…. A portion of this confidence appertains to us, according to the measure bestowed on us. Yet the full effect appeared only in Christ Who — free from all corruption — resumed a spotless body!”)
“The Psalmist…explains the way in which God would exempt him from the bondage of death — namely, by…bringing him at length safely to the possession of eternal life…. This passage touches upon the difference…between true believers and aliens…with respect to their everlasting state…. David here speaks of ‘the path of life’…. It means the prolongation of his natural life…. The way of life…must undoubtedly be viewed as extending to a blessed immortality…. None but the faithful who are contented with His grace alone, can be truly and perfectly happy.”
As David declared: ‘Preserve me, O God!… You won’t leave me in the grave!’ You too?