In His Grip (Psalm 16)

Read Also Acts 2:22-39


A Michtam of David.
1  Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”


The Golden Psalm’s of David.  The LORD preserves, observes and guards His elect, in calling out to the LORD we recognize the refuge we are afforded by His presence in our lives, the grace which all of Creation points to.  David begins from the position of supplication, pleading upward to Almighty God, invoking the Covenant Fathers name, given to Moses to be delivered to His children.  YHWH is set above all things.

It is a self-directed plea, and penitential request from the position of humility which recognizes the LORD alone accounts for all goodness, and that apart from Him, His presence, His upholding, His mercy, love and grace, any goodness seen within man is nothing.

The position of supplication is one of gratitude, hope and trust.  Our plea to the LORD is for our comfort and His glory.  Our goodness is nothing apart from YHWH.

3  As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4  Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.


The immediate contrast of inability to do good apart from God focuses us upon those who are His holy ones, or saints, upon the earth and to the delight of doing good toward them, to literally delight in them as those who follow the same confession of David, recognizing the goodness of the LORD in them, and rejoicing together in His ever-present refuge.

This is then immediately contrasted against those who reject YHWH, and seek other gods, or who barter in serving idols or literally seek to purchase another (god).  Their sorrows and distress becomes great, evidenced in the drink offerings of death, signified by the blood, which offer no comfort.

Of such me David rejecting their whole institution, from dumb idol purchased by men, to the offerings of blood in the name of false gods, all is rejected and such names are not to be found upon the lips of the saints.

5  O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6  The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.


The contrast of the Holy is the continued recognition of refuge in YHWH.  As the Holy Spirit leads David toward the Messiah, of whom David was as Anointed King, we see the character of the Christian life spelled out in terms of dependence upon YHWH.  Even so Christ would have found comfort in repeating these words in His incarnation.

For He looked to return to the former glory which He had with the Father, and sought for us as His joint-heirs to find that comfort with Him.  The Cup which carried the weight and burden of sin and death, also secured the destruction of both.  Christ asked for the will of YHWH, His Father.  So we ask for His will, as He alone maintains our cup, and the outcome of our lives in all forms.  He holds us in His Grasp.

Our lot, is the LORD, our cup is the LORD, our inheritance is the LORD.

7  I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8  I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.


To further encourage the hearts of the saints, David continually applies the covenant name of God.  He who gives counsel, directs the heart, comforts in the darkness, is a fortress which protects at all times.

As with goodness, strength comes from the LORD.  He does not say I shall not be moved because I am strong, but because the LORD is at his right hand.  This comfort is echoed throughout God’s word.  He maintains our strength, in Him we are not moved.

We return to the opening verses, proclaiming the protection for which we plead as the one constant in our lives.  We trust in the LORD, for He never fails.  We need to remind ourselves even as Christ did, His will be done.

We are never ashamed of the LORD, we receive His constant care.  We are in His hands, and there is not safer place.  Through the world take up alters and idols, through they teach every man to do what is right in his own eyes, yet the saints of God, those who are His possession shall never be moved (Psalm 15).

We must place God first, His is the place of preeminence, in our lives.

9  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10  For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

11  You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.



It is easy for us to see David’s heart in these words.  While we know the Holy Spirit moved him to write of comfort and security in the LORD, yet he spoke of His own comfort, and the comfort of all saints everywhere.  But he also was speaking of Christ.  Christ was in the grasp of His Father!  He knew His Father would not fail Him.  While the flesh suffers the temporal adjustments of life and death, frailty and decay, Christ knew these things intimately and did not hesitate to fulfill the Fathers will.  Hebrew’s (12:1-11) says Christ for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.  He sat at the right hand of the Father signifying the work was completed.

The heart of every saint is to look to Christ as our elder brother, an example to follow.  Yet David wrote of the Christ’s hope before to encourage not only us but Christ to, who came to fulfill all of the Law and the prophets.  Such was the comfort of David and is the comfort of all the saints in every age.  No matter the circumstances of the world, the failures of the governments, the hardness of human hearts.  Those who are Holy in the LORD, in Christ will not see corruption.

Note the contrast of Joy found in v9-10 and repeated, in verse 11.

YHWH will show us the path of life.  YHWH’s presence fulfills all joy.  Christ, who is at the right hand of the Father and metaphorically is His right hand, assures everlasting abundant life, goodness, pleasant keeping.  Pleasure has such a carnal sound to it, the literal meaning is clearer and in line with the whole of Scripture.  While there is no sinfulness in enjoying the Lord forever, pleasure has a negative connotation in the 21st century.

The focus is upon the Joy of the LORD.  The overwhelming goodness of His presence, the everlasting blessings, and the security of being seated in Christ as the right hand of the Father forever.

Elder Matthew Davis
Covenant Reformed Church
at Grass Valley

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