Week 3: Psalm 16 (Dorothy)

I have chosen Psalm 16 for this week. Unlike some of the Psalms that say ‘A Psalm of David’, this one says ‘A Michtam of David’. Traditionally this has been interpreted as ‘A Golden Psalm,’ the others being Psalms 56-60. It has also been translated as pertaining to a certain tune or as profound or so precious as to be worthy to be engraved and preserved as a treasure. I pray that the golden Treasure of this Psalm might be opened to all of us this week.

Psalm 16:1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust (NKJV) This is a Psalm about trust – in life and in death. John L .Mays in his book “Psalms Interpretation A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching” has helped to open this up for me.

Personally, I love every line of this Psalm. I find it beautiful and three lines in particular help to bring the whole Psalm to memory (Not unlike when we say “The Lord is My Shepherd” will bring the whole of Psalm 23 to mind):
1. “My goodness is nothing apart from You” or “I have no good apart from you” (Verse 2) As Christians we see ourselves in the mirror of Christ and know this to be true to the very depths of our souls, to the ‘bottom of our boots’. With contrite hearts, we acknowledge this with gladness and trust in His merciful goodness.
2. “The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places.” (Verse 6a) Verses 5 and 6 speak together of our incredible inheritance in God. I pray back this verse to give thanks, saying, “Yes Lord, you have caused the lines to fall for me in pleasant places. You are so good to us.” I can pray this even though I have experienced some very difficult times; but I can look back and see His goodness to me through those times and I can look forward to the unknown in trust.
3. “My flesh will also rest in hope.” (Verse 10b) There are some beautiful lines in verses 6-11 but this line in particular reminds me this is one of few places in the Old Testament that hints at resurrection (see also Psalm 41:12 and 73:24). We can trust in unbroken relationship in life and in death. Questions abound as to what David really understand about resurrection; much commentary on these verses relating to Christ.
One day we shall all raise our voice in one accord, “Yes, indeed! You have shown us the Path of Life and in Your Presence is fullness of Joy.” (see verse 11) Blessings to you all --- Dorothy Dahli

dgodbey's picture

Translated from the Hebrew

Psa 16:1 [Mikhtam. By David:] Protect me, God, for you are my refuge.
Psa 16:2 I said to Adonai, "You are my Lord; I have nothing good outside of you."
Psa 16:3 The holy people in the land are the ones who are worthy of honor; all my pleasure is in them.
Psa 16:4 Those who run after another god multiply their sorrows; to such gods I will not offer drink offerings of blood or take their names on my lips.
Psa 16:5 Adonai, my assigned portion, my cup: you safeguard my share.
Psa 16:6 Pleasant places were measured out for me; I am content with my heritage.
Psa 16:7 I bless Adonai, my counselor; at night my inmost being instructs me.
Psa 16:8 I always set Adonai before me; with him at my right hand, I can never be moved;
Psa 16:9 so my heart is glad, my glory rejoices, and my body too rests in safety;
Psa 16:10 for you will not abandon me to Sh'ol, you will not let your faithful one see the Abyss.
Psa 16:11 You make me know the path of life; in your presence is unbounded joy, in your right hand eternal delight.

Mikhtam (or Miktam) is Hebrew for Poem. Sh'ol, in verse 10 refers to the Place of the Dead or Hell. The sixteenth psalm is so far connected with the fifteenth that it is exclusively concerned, like the fifteenth, with the truly righteous man.