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Psalm 16

Song of Trust and Security in God

A Miktam of David.


Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.


I say to the L ord, “You are my Lord;

I have no good apart from you.”



As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,

in whom is all my delight.



Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;

their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

or take their names upon my lips.



The L ord is my chosen portion and my cup;

you hold my lot.


The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

I have a goodly heritage.



I bless the L ord who gives me counsel;

in the night also my heart instructs me.


I keep the L ord always before me;

because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.



Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;

my body also rests secure.


For you do not give me up to Sheol,

or let your faithful one see the Pit.



You show me the path of life.

In your presence there is fullness of joy;

in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

3. Unto the saints who are on the earth. Almost all are agreed in understanding this place, as if David, after the sentence which we have just now been considering, had added, The only way of serving God aright is to endeavor to do good to his holy servants. And the truth is, that God, as our good deeds cannot extend to him, substitutes the saints in his place, towards whom we are to exercise our charity. When men, therefore, mutually exert themselves in doing good to one another, this is to yield to God right and acceptable service. We ought, doubtless, to extend our charity even to those who are unworthy of it, as our heavenly Father

“maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good,” (Matthew 5:45;)

but David justly prefers the saints to others, and places them in a higher rank. This, then, as I have said in the commencement, is the common opinion of almost all interpreters. 307307     “Voyla donc (ainsi que j’ay commencement dire) l’opinion commune, quasi de tous.” — Fr. But although I do not deny that this doctrine is comprehended under the words of David, I think he goes somewhat farther, and intimates that he will unite himself with the devout worshippers of God, and be their associate or companion; even as all the children of God ought to be joined together by the bond of fraternal unity, that they may all serve and call upon their common Father with the same affection and zeal. 308308     “D’un accord, et d’une roesroe affection.” — Fr. “With one accord, and with the same affection.” We thus see that David, after having confessed that he can find nothing in himself to bring to God, seeing he is indebted to him for every thing which he has, sets his affections upon the saints, because it is the will of God that, in this world, he should be magnified and exalted in the assembly of the just, whom he has adopted into his family for this end, that they may live together with one accord under his authority, and under the guidance of his Holy Spirit. This passage, therefore, teaches us that there is no sacrifice more acceptable to God than when we sincerely and heartily connect ourselves with the society of the righteous, and being knit together by the sacred bond of godliness, cultivate and maintain with them brotherly good-will. In this consists the communion of saints which separates them from the degrading pollutions of the world, that they may be the holy and peculiar people of God. He expressly speaks of the saints who are on the earth, because it is the will of God that, even in this world, there should be conspicuous marks, and as it were visible escutcheons, 309309     “Et comme armoiries apparentes.” — Fr. of his glory, which may serve to conduct us to himself. The faithful, therefore, bear his image, that, by their example, we may be stirred up to meditation upon the heavenly life. For the same reason, the Psalmist calls them excellent, or honorable, because there is nothing which ought to be more precious to us than righteousness and holiness, in which the brightness of God’s Spirit shines forth; just as we are commanded in the preceding psalm to prize and honor those who fear God. We ought, therefore, highly to value and esteem the true and devoted servants of God, and to regard nothing as of greater importance than to connect ourselves with their society; and this we will actually do if we wisely reflect in what true excellence and dignity consist, and do not allow the vain splendor of the world and its deceitful pomps to dazzle our eyes.

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