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Psalm 16

16:0Saul was trying to kill David. David ran away to the woods, the hills and the fields. He hid there from Saul. 400 men went with David. Saul had 3000 soldiers. Saul was king of Israel. One night Saul and all his men slept. David came near in the night and took some things from Saul. David did not kill Saul. In the morning, David told Saul, 'It was easy to kill you but I did not. What have I done wrong? You sent me away from my own country. You told me to find other gods. Why?' It was probably at this time that David wrote Psalm 16. It has two ideas in it:

– The inheritance of David. Your inheritance is what your parents give you when they die. David says Saul made him go away from his own country. The inheritance of David was there. But David had a better inheritance. The LORD was his inheritance.

– The God of David. Saul told David to find other gods. But David already had the best God that there was. David had the only God. He had no need to make a change.

And Walk with You to Heaven

1 This is the secret of David.

Keep me safe, my God, because I come to you for help.

2 I said to the LORD, You are my Lord.

All the good things in my life come from you.

3 I have great pleasure in the saints on earth.

It is they that do such good things.

4 But people that run after other gods will be sorry.

They will be more than sorry.

I will not offer gifts of blood to other gods with them.

I will not even say the names of these other gods.

16:4Verses 1-4 'Secret' is ‘miktam’ in Hebrew. 'Secret' is only one of the things that it may mean. Another is 'gold'. Some Christians call Psalm 16 the 'golden psalm'. 'Golden' means 'like gold'. Gold has great value. In Psalm 16, it is the secret that is of great value. It is the secret of living for ever. 'For ever' means 'with no end'. First we live on earth. When we die, we live with God in heaven. The secret is to believe in the one true God. David found this secret. It is of more value than gold. David tells us that there are 2 groups of people:

– The saints on earth. These are the people of the LORD, or the righteous. The righteous are people that God sees as clean. They are not his enemies. Saints is a word that the New Testament uses for Christians. The New Testament is part of the Bible. It tells us about Jesus and the Church.

– People that run after other gods. ‘Run after’ is the Hebrew way of saying ‘go and serve.’ These are the enemies of God. Christians call them 'unbelievers' because they do not believe in the one true God. Jesus came to show us the one true God. What does ‘gifts of blood’ mean in verse 4? In the time of David they killed animals and sometimes children for their false gods. David called these 'gifts of blood'.

5 You, LORD, chose my part and my cup.

You make safe what is mine.

6 The lines fell to me in a pleasing place.

Or, You chose a part for me that is very pleasing.

Yes. My part is really very beautiful.

16:6Verses 5-6: ‘my part’ is ‘my inheritance’ in Hebrew. An inheritance is what a father gives (or leaves) to his children when he dies. In the time of David it was probably land or animals. Saul made David go away. So, David had no inheritance. This part of the psalm tells us that David had a better inheritance than land or animals. God himself was David's inheritance. Verses 7-11 tell us what this meant to David. What does ‘lines’ mean in verse 6? The lines measured the land into pieces. People then knew where their piece of land was.

7 I will say how great the LORD is. He is my teacher.

In the dark nights, my feelings also teach me.

8 I kept the LORD always in front of me.

With him at my right hand nobody will move me.

9 My heart is happy. My mouth is always singing.

My body will be safe when I sleep.

10 You will not send me to Sheol.

You will not let your holy one see the Pit.

11 You will show me the path of life.

With you, I will enjoy myself a lot.

At your right hand there is pleasure for ever.

16:11Verses 7-11: There are 5 parts in the inheritance that David received from the LORD:

– David will have the LORD for a teacher

– Nobody will move David away from what he believes

– David will always be safe and happy

– David will not go to Sheol

– David will live with the LORD now and when David dies

Where is the Pit? The Pit is a part of Sheol where very bad people go when they die. This is what the Jews believed. You never came back from the Pit. In Psalm 16:10 we read about 'the holy one'. Who was the holy one? In the psalm, it was David. But for Christians the psalms mean more than they do for the Jews. saints Peter and Paul thought that it meant Jesus.