Faith McCray ~ Copy Desk Chief
Psalm 16 is a miktam of David. 1 Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods or take up their names on my lips. 5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. 11 You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
David asked the Lord to keep him safe, as he was constantly battling something in his life (Psalm 119:8;Psalm 144:1). David learned to trust in the Lord for safety at a young age. His battle with Goliath is a great example of this (1 Samuel 17:46-47).
He confessed that God is in fact his Lord. David also mentions that the Lord is his sole good. Without God, David was and is nothing.
David has a relationship with the Lord. Therefore, David has a relationship with the Lord’s people; who are also known as “the saints in the land”. They are nothing more special than all people who are saved by grace through faith.
David refers to the saints as “excellent ones”. The New Testament calls believers in Christ “saints”.
There is a recurring theme of conflict between believers and nonbelievers through scripture. David expressed delight in the saints in previous verses (Psalm 16:3). However, he refused to be a part of false faiths.
Many people in Israel were known as idolaters. This means that they were known to worship “other gods”. The New Testament commands believers to show love towards those who do not believe (Matthew 5:44; 22:36-40) ; however, they are told to not love the sin (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
David celebrates his relationship with the Lord. The word “portion” is used. This means that David is celebrating being part of the family of God (1 John 3:1).
He rejoices his inheritance as an extraordinary gift from God. As believers we have an inheritance as well, which is talked about in Ephesians 1:11. It states “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.”
David was given guidance from God. The Lord gave him insight on what to do and what to avoid. The Lord instructs believers from within His word today, just as He did with David.
In verse 8, David makes it known that he trusts in the Lord to both protect and defend him. He also mentions how God is at his “right hand,” meaning that David has confidence within Him.
David informs of how his “heart is glad” and “his tongue rejoices”. This means that David is happy and he speaks highly of his Lord. He also rests peacefully knowing the Lord is with him.
One thousand years before Jesus had died on the cross, David had predicted his resurrection. He made known that the Lord would not abandon Jesus. He also would not allow Jesus to experience corruption.
To close this Psalm, David thanks the Lord for all that he has done, and for showing him the way of life that will lead him to heaven.
Therefore, if we listen to God and trust in Him no matter what we face, we can live a life like David. Which can allow us to spend eternal life with our Father. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 promises believers that they will be with the Lord forever.