Psalm 16

Confidence in the Lord

A Davidic Miktam

1 Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You. 2 I  said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides You.”  3 As for the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones. All my delight is in them. 4 The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips. 5 Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing;You hold my future. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. 7 I will praise the Lord who counsels me  —even at night my conscience instructs me. 8 I keep the Lord in mind  always. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my spirit rejoices; my body also rests securely. 10 For You will not abandon me to Sheol; You will not allow Your Faithful One to see decay. 11 You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures. 

Psalm 16 has been special to me since my university days. It was the passage of scripture I could always go to for comfort and encouragement. No matter how sad, discouraged, or doubtful I was about life’s circumstances I knew that if I opened my Bible to Psalm 16 and read it for long enough my heart would eventually start to soften and turn towards God. Sometimes I read it once. Sometimes I had to read it over and over again before it would start to sink in. Sometimes I even asked a friend to read it to me. The familiarity of the passage in itself was a comfort, but above all else was the reminder it gave to me of how good God really is and how Sovereign He is over my life and everything else.

Oftentimes I read this Psalm in moments when I doubted God’s goodness. I wondered why he allowed me to struggle with insecurity and body image. I wondered why he didn’t provide a dating relationship for me at any point in my college years. I wondered why it seemed he let me experience hurtful people at every twist and turn of life. But then Psalm 16 reminded me: ”God is my Lord; I have nothing good besides Him.” It reminded me that though life is full of those who run after other gods I had a choice to keep God at my right hand. To have him on my mind continually. And in doing so He would be my blessing. Furthermore, through Him I have a beautiful inheritance. Because in his presence is abundant joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.

So when I wonder why this life is often bereft of joys and pleasures and when this world feels more like a burden than a blessing I can always go to his presence even now. And in it I find a place that will never be short on joy. And when the day comes for me to be in at his right hand I can look forward to the most beautiful inheritance and to pleasures eternal. And so my heart is glad! My whole being rejoices. For as long as He is my chosen portion and my cup he will never forsake me.

Today was my first time reading this translation of the Psalm and I love how the title is ‘Confidence in the Lord’. I hadn’t thought of those words as a description for it until now. But that’s exactly what this Psalm means to me: confidence in the Lord despite my present circumstances.

What’s your favorite Psalm or go to passage? Why do you think that particular one brings so much comfort to your heart and spirit?

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