Reading: Psalm 16: 1-6
Verse 2: I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing”.
Today’s portion of Psalm 16 describes the intimate relationship King David had with God and also defines the relationship with God that followers of Christ also enjoy. David opens the Psalm with “keep me safe”. Another translation reads, “Protect me”. Our relationship with the Lord begins here as well. There is much in the world that we need God to keep us safe from and to protect us from: temptation, sin, death – just to name a few. Like David, we too take refuge or find shelter in God.
In verse two David writes, “I said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing'”. He is acknowledging what we must acknowledge each day as well. All of the good things in life, all of our blessings, come from the God who loves us as His dear children. It is so important to acknowledge this and to give our thanks to God every day. It keeps us connected. It keeps us humble. It keeps us in proper relationship to God.
In the next verse, David gives thanks for the ‘saints’ – those who have gone before and have given us an example of how to love God and how to live out our faith. These include the greats of the faith: Moses, Elijah, and Daniel for David; Jesus, Paul, Peter, pastors, parents, that Sunday school teacher for us. Part of giving thanks for these ‘saints’ is also in recognizing our own call to be this for those to come.
Verse four touches on worldly things, ‘other gods’, as David puts it. We too can get caught up in chasing after these things: money, fame, power, beauty, possessions, and so on. As David notes, chasing such things only brings sorrow.
In contrast to “chasing the wind”, as Solomon wrote, David is secure and content in his lot. David gladly accepts the “portion” and the “cup” assigned to him by God. We too can find great contentment when we rest in God and all that He provides for us. It is true that, like Paul, at times we may know want just as we know plenty. And like Paul, we too know that God is present in all situations. In this there is also contentment and peace.
David concludes this portion of the Psalm by stating that his “boundary lines” have fallen in “pleasant places”. He is joyful about where God has placed him. He loves living within God’s ways. He concludes this portion with these words: “surely I have a delightful inheritance”. Surely he does. So do all who call on the name of the Lord as their refuge and strength. Thanks be to God!