The contents of this Psalm are usually given in the following manner: David, sojourning among idolaters, and being obliged to leave his own country through Saul’s persecution, cries to God for help; expresses his abhorrence of idolatry, and his desire to be again united to God’s people, Psalm 16:1-4; and declares his strong confidence in God, who had dealt bountifully with him, Psalm 16:5-7. Then follows a remarkable prophecy of the resurrection of Christ, Psalm 16:8-11.Adam Clarke Commentary
The Hope of the Faithful and the Messiah’s Victory
A Mikhtam of David.
New King James Version
Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
3 As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.
5 O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
7 I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
Poetry by Isaac Watts based on Psalm 16
Part 1: Confession of our poverty
Preserve me, Lord, in time of need,
For succor to thy throne I flee,
But have no merits there to plead:
My goodness cannot reach to thee.
Oft have my heart and tongue confessed
How empty and how poor I am;
My praise can never make thee blessed,
Nor add new glories to thy name.
Yet, Lord, thy saints on earth may reap
Some profit by the good we do;
These are the company I keep,
These are the choicest friends I know.
Let others choose the sons of mirth
To give a relish to their wine;
I love the men of heav’nly birth,
Whose thoughts and language are divine.
Part 2: Christ’s all-sufficiency
How fast their guilt and sorrows rise
Who haste to seek some idol-god!
I will not taste their sacrifice,
Their offerings of forbidden blood.
My God provides a richer cup,
And nobler food to live upon;
He for my life has offered up
Jesus, his best-beloved Son.
His love is my perpetual feast;
By day his counsels guide me right;
And be his name for ever blessed,
Who gives me sweet advice by night.
I set him still before mine eyes;
At my right hand he stands prepared
To keep my soul from all surprise,
And be my everlasting guard.
Part 3: Courage in death, and hope of the resurrection.
When God is nigh, my faith is strong;
His arm is my almighty prop:
Be glad, my heart; rejoice, my tongue;
My dying flesh shall rest in hope.
Though in the dust I lay my head,
Yet, gracious God, thou wilt not leave
My soul for ever with the dead,
Nor lose thy children in the grave.
My flesh shall thy first call obey,
Shake off the dust, and rise on high;
Then shalt thou lead the wondrous way
Up to thy throne above the sky.
There streams of endless pleasure flow;
And full discoveries of thy grace
(Which we but tasted here below)
Spread heav’nly joys through all the place.