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Psalm 16

Psalm 16: Protection and Blessings in Life and Death


David so focuses his life on the LORD that he experiences great confidence and joy in his present life, and is sure that the LORD will give pleasures after death—forever.


David, under some kind of attack, asks God to protect him. He then immediately confesses his loyalty to and dependence on the LORD and acknowledges that his good is always from the LORD’S presence and ability. While under pressure he delights in the righteous Israelites and avoids those who left the LORD. The LORD is his lot in life. This brings blessings and purpose to him. David blesses the LORD for his counsel and meditates on the LORD who is his authority and strength. This keeps him faithful and strong. He rejoices because he knows he will not die then. The LORD will show him how to live and David will experience full joy both in the present life and his joy will continue after he dies.

Summary Outline

  1. Psalm 16.1-4. David asks God to guard him in life, states his loyalty and dependence on the Lord, declares that his welfare or good is not outside of the LORD, and delights in his fellow godly ones, while those who refuse the Lord will have sorrows, and David will not fellowship with them.
  2. Psalm 16.5-6. The LORD himself is David’s guaranteed inheritance and cup, and so the LORD is the source for his life and his destiny, and therefore David experiences the LORD’S blessings.
  3. Psalm 16.7-8. David blesses the LORD, thinks about him, and keeps him in the center of his consciousness with the result that he will not totter or fall in his confidence.
  4. Psalm 16.9-11. David now rejoices because he knows he is secure. He will not die now, and when he does die the grave is not the end. David will continue in the presence of the LORD in life and death. Both conditions have for him fullness of joy and pleasures.

So What?

  1. Trust the Refuge. Our best and unfailing refuge and welfare is Yahweh Lord God. Nothing is beyond his ability (Psalm 16.1-2). He is better than family, friends, coworkers, or anyone.
  2. Godly believers (saints) give the best human support, happiness, and spiritual example (Psalm 16.3).
  3. Apostasy. Those who have rejected God have made a bad trade. Their thinking and lifestyle can be catching, so do not to make them close associates. (Psalm 16.4; Psalm 1).
  4. LORD is our good. The LORD is our provision, our good, our purpose, our support, our counsel, our authority, our protection, and our joy in life (Psalm 16). Do we instead try to find these in people and things?
  5. Meditating on the LORD prevents us from a tottering faith and will allow spiritual instruction and counsel (Psalm 16.7-9).
  6. Strong faith. Believers need to develop a strong faith in God, in his faithfulness, and in his goodness. Our strong faith pleases God. Faith in the right object gives us assurance of what is real. God and his word to us are real (Psalm 16; Hebrews 11.1,6).