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

Psalm 16.

Reading: Psalm 16.

• Is a song of confidence,

• And in the final verses David prophesies the resurrection of Jesus.

(1). A Prayer (verse 1-3)

“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.

3 As for the saints who are in the land,

they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight”.

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.”


(1). 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 verse 1 and 11 verse 1).


• Market stall;

• Shelter from the storm.


Remember from our studies, he spent many years ‘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.


• John A. Shedd:

• “A ship in harbour is safe—but that is not what ships are for”.

David’s experience of God is as a ‘refuge’;

• That was not learned in a classroom or in a Church building;

• But had been proved in the difficult storms of life.

Quote: Chinese Proverb:

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

• I don’t know if David was receding or bold;

• But he had every right to be!

(2). Security (verse 2).

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

apart from you I have no good thing."

David’s experience of God was not long- distance:

• It is up close and personal; “You are MY God”,

• He trusts God because he knows God.

• Those isolated nights looking after sheep as a Shepherd boy;

• Were not wasted, he had used them to get to know his God!

• Ill: Proof of that is this book of songs called Psalms;

• Written evidence of his relationship with God.


• David would never use the motto ‘God helps those who help themselves’.

• He recognises his total dependence on God: “Apart from you I have no good thing.”

Quote: C. S. Lewis:

“He who has God and many other things has no more than he who has God alone.”


• Herbert Hoover was one of the most vilified and maligned presidents in the history;

• Of the United States of America.

• Mainly because the Great Depression began during his Administration.

• Yet despite the treatment he received he did not seem to become cynical or bitter.

• He went on serving his country to the end,

• Maintaining his dignity and serenity.

• His wife once explained it like this:

" Bert can take it better than most people because he has deeply ingrained in him the Quaker feeling that nothing matters if you are right with God."

(3). Saints (verse 3).

3 As for the saints who are in the land,

they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.

Quote : The great Methodist John Wesley:

“I want the whole Christ for my Saviour,

the whole Bible for my book,

the whole Church (not a select few) for my fellowship,

and the whole world for my mission field”

• David was aware that God has a special place in his heart for all his people.

• And David enjoys fellowship with like-minded believers.


• Book of Acts they met ‘everyday’;

• Many of us struggle with once a week!


“To dwell above with saints we love,

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