Psalm 16: Security

Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.’
I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    ‘They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.’
Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

– Psalm 16

One of our most basic needs as human beings is the need to feel secure. It is sometimes very easy to spot individuals who are insecure, but perhaps it is less easy to spot our own insecurities! Often the reasons for our, or others’, insecurity lie in factors that are well beyond our control. Sadly though, individuals who are insecure are not likely to be flourishing, they’re not likely to be full of joy, or love or peace.

The world we live in is a very insecure world. People seek security in all sorts of things but David seeks his security in God (v4). God is his refuge and his only good (v1). It is this focus on God (v8) that means that he will not be moved or shaken by whatever life throws at him.

This confidence in God not only extends to the vicissitudes of this life but to the inevitable appointment with the grave (v10). The theme of life after death is not a major one in the Old Testament but David here expresses the belief that the God who can be relied upon in this life can be relied upon for whatever happens at the end of that life. It was a hope that David perhaps only saw through a glass darkly but a hope that we see even more clearly in Jesus and in his promise of eternal life, a promise underlined and guaranteed by his resurrection.

No wonder, with such security, that David is able to be glad and rejoice whatever life throws at him. And so can we!