Psalm 16

A miktam [probably a literary or musical term] of David.

A. Confidence in the Lord

16:1 Keep me safe [an appeal for help; an expression of trust; to guard as a shepherd protects his flock], my God [Heb., “El”], for in you I take refuge [the occasion for seeking refuge in God may have been the actions of “those who run after other gods” (v. 4) or sickness (v. 10)].

16:2 I say to the Lord [Heb., “Adonai’], “You are my [an expression of submission] Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

16:3 I say of the holy people [or “saints”, those consecrated to the Lord] who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”

16:4 Those who run after other gods will suffer [suffering and disappointment are fruits of idolatry] more and more. I will not pour out libations of blood [a cultic practice that may refer to human sacrifices (cf. Isa. 57:5-6)] to such gods or take up their names on my lips [the psalmist will not even mention the idols by name, an indication of how much he hates and rejects them and the idolatrous practices associated with them].

B. The Experience of Faith
16:5 Lord, you alone [an expression of loyalty] are [note how the psalmist describes that the Lord is all he needs (the Lord is his food and drink)…] my portion [a metaphor for God’s sustenance] and my cup [a metaphor for God’s sustenance]; you make my lot [what God has allotted for him] secure.

16:6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant [a description of God’s benefits] places; surely I have a delightful [a description of God’s benefits] inheritance.

C. Confidence in the Lord

16:7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels [essential if we are to love God and live wisely] me; even at night my heart instructs me [through meditation on His word (cf. Ps. 1:2)].

16:8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord [cf. Heb. 12:2]. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

D. The Experience of Faith
16:9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,

16:10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead [the psalmist was confident that his relationship with God will not end with death], nor will you let your faithful [or holy] one see decay [“a metaphor for total isolation and abandonment from God’s presence in the life hereafter or specifically in the resurrection of the body” (Expositor’s, Vol. 5, p. 158); see also Peter’s use of this verse in Acts 2:27,31 and Paul’s use of it in Acts 13:35].

16:11 You make known to me the path of life [“a wisdom term for the fulness of life that only the wise could achieve” (Expositor’s, Vol. 5, p. 159)]; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

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