Psalm 16 - A Psalm of David
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.”
The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!
Troubles multiply for those who chase after other gods. I will not take part in their sacrifices of blood or even speak the names of their gods.
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever. NLT
A few reflections:
- This psalm begins with a plea but is more of an expression of trust in Yahweh. The psalmist seems to be under pressure – from people who worship other gods and the threat of death. This is a psalm of self-encouragement.
- This is a declaration of Yahweh as the only God (a reference to the Decalogue). He is my Lord and the source of my support and provision. I am wholly dependent on Him.
- All that we have is given to us by God – our portion, our cup and our lot. Our inheritance is delightful and the boundaries set by God for us and pleasant and bountiful. We have been blessed in all wI have received from the hand of the Lord.
- We can be confident of Yahweh’s entire attention, as if we were the only person who Yahweh had to give it to.
- God’s guidance comes from within us - our ‘heart’ (or kidneys or conscience). This assumes that Yahweh’s teaching is written on our heart (see Deut.30:14). Note Prov.16:23: “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.”
- John Calvin said, “To set God before us is nothing else than to keep all of our senses bound and captive, that they may not run out and go astray after any other object.” This has the effect of encouraging reliance on Yahweh and discouraging recourse to other deities.
- We can have joyful confidence in the future, despite the sense of pressure and vulnerability that we may feel.
- Yahweh will open up a way that leads to life. Godly people, not only survive, they enjoy abundant life. Our relationship with God is the key to our material life right here and now. He knows and will meet all of our needs, as we seek Him first (Matt.6:33).
My Prayer: Father, this is so encouraging for me today. I do trust fully in you – not in myself or in others. I am totally dependent on you and I am confident of your ongoing attention, provision and guidance. You will speak to me, as I wait on you. You will show me the way and the path to take. You will not leave me alone. Because of this, I can be joyfully confident about the future – despite the pressures that I do and will feel, and despite my own personal vulnerabilities. Life will be good and even abundant, as I follow you closely.
God is good.