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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.

5. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance. Here the Psalmist explains his sentiments more clearly. He shows the reason why he separates himself from idolaters, and resolves to continue in the church of God, why he shuns, with abhorrence, all participation in their errors, and cleaves to the pure worship of God; namely, because he rests in the only true God as his portion. The unhappy restlessness of those blind idolaters 320320     “De ces aveugles d’idolatres.” — Fr. whom we see going astray, and running about as if stricken and impelled by madness, is doubtless to be traced to their destitution of the true knowledge of God. All who have not their foundation and trust in God must necessarily be often in a state of irresolution and uncertainty; and those who do not hold the true faith in such a manner as to be guided and governed by it, must be often carried away by the overflowing floods of errors which prevail in the world. 321321     “Transportez par les desbordemens impetueux des erreurs qui regnent au monde.” — Fr. This passage teaches us, that none are taught aright in true godliness but those who reckon God alone sufficient for their happiness. David, by calling God the portion of his lot, and his inheritance, and his cup, protests that he is so fully satisfied with him alone, as neither to covet any thing besides him, nor to be excited by any depraved desires. Let us therefore learn, when God offers himself to us, to embrace him with the whole heart, and to seek in him only all the ingredients and the fullness of our happiness. All the superstitions which have ever prevailed in the world have undoubtedly proceeded from this source, that superstitious men have not been contented with possessing God alone. But we do not actually possess him unless “he is the portion of our inheritance;” in other words, unless we are wholly devoted to him, so as no longer to have any desire unfaithfully to depart from him. For this reason, God, when he upbraids the Jews who had wandered from him as apostates, 322322     “Qui s’estoyent destournez de lui comme apostats.” — Fr. with having run about after idols, addresses them thus, “Let them be thine inheritance, and thy portion.” By these words he shows, that if we do not reckon him alone an all-sufficient portion for us, and if we will have idols along with him, 323323     “Ains que no’vueillions avoir avec lui les idoles.” — Fr. he gives place entirely to them, and lets them have the full possession of our hearts. David here employs three metaphors; he first compares God to an inheritance; secondly, to a cup; and, thirdly, he represents him as He who defends and keeps him in possession of his inheritance. By the first metaphor he alludes to the heritages of the land of Canaan, which we know were divided among the Jews by divine appointment, and the law commanded every one to be content with the portion which had fallen to him. By the word cup is denoted either the revenue of his own proper inheritance, or by synecdoche, ordinary food by which life is sustained, seeing drink is a part of our nourishment. 324324     “D’autant que le bruvage est une partie de nostre nourriture.” — Fr. It is as if David had said, God is mine both in respect of property and enjoyment. Nor is the third comparison superfluous. It often happens that rightful owners are put out of their possession because no one defends them. But while God has given himself to us for an inheritance, he has engaged to exercise his power in maintaining us in the safe enjoyment of a good so inconceivably great. It would be of little advantage to us to have once obtained him as ours, if he did not secure our possession of him against the assaults which Satan daily makes upon us. Some explain the third clause as if it had been said, Thou art my ground in which my portion is situated; but this sense appears to me to be cold and unsatisfactory.

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