A miktam[a] of David.
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[b] 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.
Psalm 16 contains 11 verses and it begins with the phrase: “A miktam of David.” I have researched the meaning of miktam and there is uncertainty about its exact meaning; however, we can assume some of its meaning by looking at the contents of the six Psalms that begin with this phrase. In all six of these Psalms (Psalm 56, 57, 58, 59 and 60), David is the author who is seeking help and refuge from God because of a dangerous situation he is enduring.
Blogger, David Hobbs, states in his post http://outofthefirebook.blogspot.com/2008/04/miktams-of-god.html that the literal meaning of miktam is “engraving” because the dangerous experience serves only to highlight the bright jewel of the love of God manifested in the miraculous deliverance. Therefore, the whole episode is remembered not as a traumatic event, but as a golden demonstration of the faithfulness, love and power of God in the wondrous escape.
This Psalm challenges my heart.
How do I respond to situations in my life that are dark, confusing and unstable? Could I write a miktam in the middle of my darkest night simply because I long to express the extreme contrast of God’s love, power and faithfulness in my moment of darkness? I believe I can if I invest as much heart and time into my relationship with God as David did.
Notice in these 11 verses how much time, energy, trust, heart and thought David puts into his relationship with God.
David doesn’t pay attention to God only when times are tough and then forgets about God when all is ok again. David’s statement, “Apart from you I have no good thing” reveals his motivation to draw near to God continually. When a person truly believes that nothing is good without God, then the desire to be with God is ever present.
Line after line David expresses how he feels about God, and I ask myself a question after each statement:
Apart from you I have no good thing. Do I believe that a life without God would make me happy?
You alone are my portion and cup. Is knowing and loving God good enough for me when life isn’t giving me what I want?
The boundary lines for me have fallen in pleasant places. Do I accept the people and places in my life or do I think the grass is greener on the other side?
I will praise the Lord who counsels me. Do I seek the Lord’s counsel in the word of God, or do I rely on my own intuition?
I keep my eyes on the Lord with him I will not be shaken. Do I look to popular culture for answers or get sidetracked by the opinions of people and let my heart be shaken by the craziness of this world?
My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. Do my conversations reveal a heart that rejoices?
You make known to me the paths of life. Do I believe that Christ is the only true path in life?
You fill me with joy in your presence. When I have my morning quiet time, do I have a deep joy in God’s presence?
I also love when David says, the holy people who are in the land, they are the noble ones in whom is all my delight. When a man or woman loves God, they love God’s people too. They want to be members of a church fellowship. They want to walk in the light with those who are walking in the light. David also acknowledges that those who run after other gods will suffer more and more. How true!
But most of all David believes that God will not abandon him in the grave. Though he finds himself time and time again in need of delivery from his enemies and danger on this earth, he believes God has eternal pleasures waiting for him.
This Psalm has awakened my heart to have this type of relationship with God and stirs in me a longing to be with God in heaven one day. How does Psalm 16 move your heart? Scroll down to the bottom of the page to enter your comment.