Psalm 16


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

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” 3 I say of the holy people who are in the land, “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.” 4 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.

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

11 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.



The context of Psalm 16 is a situation where the psalmist, David, is, or has recently been, in danger, but in such an experience David has found rest in the Lord. David knows where his confidence lies, and he finds refuge and security in his God. Those who chase after other gods will only find trouble for themselves. (vs. 4) But to David, for whom the Lord is his refuge, a wonderful inheritance has been provided, and the way of life is open to him.

We should note that in verse 11, David has not discovered the way of life for himself. This was not something he figured out, rather it was revealed to him. David could not correct his behavior and live a God-pleasing life by his own effort, and we need to remember the same is true for us. If we know the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it is the outcome of revelation, God has revealed the gospel’s truth and power to us. It is all God’s work, and not ours.

It is important to notice that the “Fullness of joy,” or the joy that completely satisfies, is found in the presence of God. The way of life leads us to that joy, and certainly, in that joy we find life. This joy is not mere happiness, like when you get a pay raise, or a special gift on your birthday. What is described here is a deep joy that brings a sense of contentment to the soul that can be found in no other place in our living.

The concluding part speaks of “delights” in the Lord’s “right hand” forever. These delights, or pleasures, point to and underscore the everlasting character of the joy we find in the Lord. From God’s hand comes an endless supply of pleasures, again, not worldly, self-satisfying pleasures, but spiritual, soul-satisfying pleasures, that are God’s gift to us as His children.

It is essential to remember that this sense of security and blessing that we discover in God is something that comes to us despite our external circumstances. We find rest and refuge in the Lord while we go through the tough grind of life. And as we take refuge in the Lord our God, we find unspeakable joy, peace, and comfort that no material possession or worldly pleasure can provide.

So, whatever happens to us, may we remember to take refuge in the Lord, for it’s in His presence that we find life and health for our souls, and are filled with joy in his presence.


1. Meditate on the fullness of joy available in the presence of God. Allow Scripture to stir up a desire to encounter the joy of the Lord today.

“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11

“Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy.” Psalm 43:4

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6

2. Ask God to reveal his nearness. God presence is with you. He longs to make himself known. Simply rest in the truth of his nearness and allow him to reveal himself to you.

“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.” Psalm 84:3

3. Ask God to guide you into the fullness of joy available in his presence. Ask God to fill you with abundant joy that you might live today declaring his goodness to the world around you.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

“But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

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