Summary: Psalm 16 - (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). Good God (verse 1-2)

(2). Good Fellowship (vs 3-4)

(3). Good Heritage (vs 5-6)

(4). Good Counsel (vs 7-8)

(5). Good Hope (vs 9-11)



• There are a number of TV programmes on cable channels called ‘Border Control’;

• The show follows the work of Custom and immigration officers in airports.

• In every episode;

• You encounter people trying to take items into the country that are forbidden.

• Usually they have ticked a card saying they don’t have the item;

• And then it is discovered via a bag search or x-ray.

• On one occasion a man had some expensive gourmet cheese.

• The Customs officer said, “I’m sorry sir, you cannot bring this cheese into this country.”

• The man and the inspector argued for a while,

• Until finally the man confidently said;

• ‘I am going to bring it into this country you just watch.’

• He then assuredly walked to the back of the line with his cheese;

• He then ate the cheese then walked right on through the custom checks.

• I am not sure if that is defiance or confidence!

• But confidence is the theme of this Psalm.

• Notice that sureness of the words David uses throughout this Psalm

• Verse 3: "delight,"

• Verse 6: "pleasant,”

• Verse 9: "glad,",

• Verse 11: "joy".

• In this Psalm there are no trials or tribulations mentioned;

• David simply delights in his life;

• He reminds us that life is good and given by God to be enjoyed!

• Quote: The Wit and Wisdom of Richard Needham:

• "The seven ages of man: spills, drills, thrills, bills, ills, pills, wills".

• I am not sure at what stage of life the Psalmist is at;

• At a guess…probably towards the latter stages, but no-one knows.

• What we do know is that the Psalmist shares with us his secret of an agreeable life.

(1). Good God (verse 1-2)

“Keep me safe, O God,

for in you I take refuge.

I said to the LORD , "You are my Lord;

apart from you I have no good thing”.

Quote: The Norwegian theologian Ole Hallesby gives a good definition of prayer

• “To pray is nothing more involved that to let Jesus into our needs.

• To pray is to give Jesus permission to employ His powers in the alleviation of our distress.”


First: Safety.

“Keep me safe, O God,

for in you I take refuge.


• The story is told of a monastery in Portugal:

• That is perched high on a 3,000 foot cliff;

• It is only accessible by a terrifying ride in a swaying basket.

• The basket is pulled with a single rope by several strong men,

• Who as you can imagine perspire heavily under the strain of the fully loaded basket.

• One American tourist who visited the site got nervous halfway up the cliff;

• When he noticed that the rope was old and frayed.

• Hoping to relieve his fear he asked, “How often do you change the rope?”

• The monk in charge replied, “Whenever it breaks!”

David the Psalmist:

• Was trusting in a refuge that would never break or need changing.

• That refuge was God himself.

• The word ‘Refuge’ is a favourite expression with David;

• One he uses again and again in his Psalms (see Psalms 7:1 & 11:1 & 46:1).


• Many of you know that for 10 years I had a market stall in Fareham;

• It was a good way of selling Christian literature i.e. books and Bibles.

• On a wet Monday morning my market stall was very popular;

• The design of the stall (tables in a ‘U’ shape;

• Meant people could run into the middle of the stall and find shelter from the elements.

• A refuge, a shelter from the storm was available;

• And many a shopper chose to pop inside and benefit from the stalls protection.

• David the Psalmist had many times in his life where he was in ‘storms’;

• i.e. he spent many years living as an outlaw ‘on the run’ from King Saul:

• So he knew what it was to be hunted, in danger and homeless.

• For David to have a refuge both physically and spiritually was an important thing.

On many occasions David experienced God as a ‘refuge’;

• The lessons that he learned was not the result of instruction in a classroom;

• He had proved God again and again in the difficult storms of life.

• Quote: Chinese Proverb:

• “Experience is a comb that nature give us when we are bald.”

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