Psalm 16

The Psalms

Psalm 16
Safety and security

Psalms index

Psalm 16 (NIV)

1 A miktam of David.

Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge. 2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 As for the saints who are in the land, they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.

4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods. I will not pour out their libations of blood or take up their names on my lips.

5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made 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 have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I shall 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 grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


Psalm 16 – Safety and security

(Verses 1-2) David reminds his God of three things as he asks for safety: first, his refuge is in God; second, the LORD is his Lord; and third, he gratefully records that all good things come from God.

(Verse 3) David delights in his fellow ‘saints’ (those set aside for God) whom he values as ‘glorious’ (or ‘noble.’) If you trust in Christ, Christians are precious to you.

(Verse 4) He contrasts those whose idolatry makes them pursue other gods. Their sorrows will increase, especially in eternity. Note how David will not take part in any of their idolatrous worship, or even mention their names. All idolatry is sin.

(Verses 5-6) David thanks God for three provisions: First, his current food and drink (his ‘portion’ and ‘cup’); next, his God-given security; and then, his dwelling place and ‘delightful inheritance.’ It is good and uplifting to thank God often.

(Verses 7-8) God’s wonderful counsel (teaching) keeps David through the night, (when problems can seem larger), reminds him of God’s unfailing presence with him at his ‘right hand’, and assures him that he will ‘not be shaken’. David lives with the fact that God is always near at hand. This is a great privilege and reality for all who trust in the risen Lord Jesus personally.

(Verses 9-11) Do you recall that David starts by asking to be kept safely and securely? Now see him rejoicing because the LORD will not only protect and keep him safe and secure in the short term, as he asked. Better still, God will not abandon him to death’s decay nor to everlasting judgment in Hell. God guarantees him the path of life, fulness of joy in His holy presence, and ‘eternal pleasures’ at His right hand in Heaven. In Acts 2:25-32 the Holy Spirit leads Peter, on Pentecost Day, to apply verses 8-11 as a fulfilled prophecy of the resurrected Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus has defeated the grave for us. We have Jesus’ promises never to leave or forsake us on earth, and to make us at home in Heaven. Like David, we guilty sinners need God’s grace and mercy. But Christ died for our sins. He was punished for our sins in our place and will save us, if we turn from our sins and trust Him as our Saviour and Lord. Are you safe and secure by faith in Him?