Psa. 16:0 ¶ Michtam of David.
This psalm is identified as a poem (from Hebrew for Michtam) of David
Psa. 16:1 ¶ Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.
David opens his poem with words of prayer and faith. He asks for God to put a hedge of protection around him (from Hebrew for preserve). He makes his prayer while proclaiming his trust in God. The Hebrew helps define that trust as confidence in God’s protection as his refuge. In other words, he prays with confidence that his prayer will be answered. This is a principle that Jesus taught His disciples.
Matthew 21:22 “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Psa. 16:2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee;
Psa. 16:3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
David understood that anything good in his life was a gift from God. He also understood that only those that strove to live godly lives before the LORD were deserving of his respect and honor.
Psa. 16:4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.
David declares the truth that those who choose to follow other gods, man-made gods, will eventually experience great sorrow. He is determined to have nothing to do with the worship of these false gods. Neither will he give them credence by mentioning their names.
That is an important truth. False gods only “live” when men choose to worship them. They have no life in themselves—no power, no authority, no ability to do anything on behalf of those who worship them. They provide opportunities for wicked spiritual beings to deceive man into following the god of this world—Satan.
Psa. 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
Psa. 16:6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.
In these verses, David praises the LORD and acknowledges that He has blessed David materially. Even more important, even though I don’t think David is looking that far ahead in this poem, the LORD has blessed him with an eternal heritage.
Psa. 16:7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.
David praises God for providing him guidance, noting that He receives needed instruction in his heart during the night and during times of adversity (both from the Hebrew).
I can certainly identify with David in that some of my favorite poems have resulted from inspiration in the night hours.
Psa. 16:8 ¶ I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Psa. 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
In these verses David acknowledges God as his LORD and nothing will change that. It is this truth that fills his heart with joy and he is full of praise to God. He has no fear for his life because his confidence rests in the LORD.
Psa. 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
David is confident that he can look forward to life after death; his body will not remain in the grave.
Peter quoted this verse, along with several other Old Testament verses in reference to Jesus as he shared the gospel with the people on Pentecost (Acts 2). Paul also made reference to this Psalm when declaring the gospel on Cyprus (Acts 13).
Psa. 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
As David ends his poem, he expresses confidence that God will continue to guide him into life everlasting—a life full of joy and pleasure in the presence of the LORD.