Psalm 16 – Safe in God

The desire for safety touches on one of our primary perceived needs.  We all desire to be safe and know our friends and family are safe.  In Psalm 16 we learn how David handled his desire for safety.


Psalm 16 is structured by alternating sections addressed to God with sections talking to the people.  The meaningful center is found in verse 6b

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance

This psalm has messianic implications and is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:25-28 and Paul in Acts 13:35.

Keep me safe, O God!

Psalm 16:1

David begins this psalm with a clear call to God for safety.  He lays his desire before God and cries out for His help.

The Only One

Psalm 16:2-4

Each section of this psalm changes between talking to God and talking about God.  This is the first change.  David declares that God is the only place he can go.

"Apart from You I have no good thing."

Where do I go to seek safety?  Am I trusting in my own strength, wisdom or technology to protect me?  Am I looking for a person who will protect me?  David reminds us that there is only One who can protect us.

You Have Blessed Me

Psalm 16:5-6

David returns to talking to God but now he begins to count his blessings.  David thanks God for his delightful and pleasant inheritance. It is here we find the meaningful center of the psalm:

Indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:6b

In my fears for safety, how often do I stop to thank God for all He has done for me so far?  Thanksgiving is a powerful way to change our perspective and lift our mood.

Rejoice in God

Psalm 16:7-9

The psalm moves now from Thanksgiving to praise.  God is worthy of praise because He instructs us and never leaves us.  Therefore David can rejoice and rest secure.

Have I taken time to praise God?  He never leaves us.  We cannot see the future but we know we will never have to travel our path alone.  God is with us!

I Trust in You

Psalm 16:10-11

God is with us not only in this life but also in the next.  We can rest secure in God's hands because He is with us to fill us with eternal joy and pleasure.

This section looks forward to Jesus who, although He died and was placed in a grave, never saw corruption but was raised to incorruptible life and has made a way for us to live in the presence of God eternally.


In summary, David has given us the correct way to find security:

  1. Turn in prayer to God.
  2. Recognize that God and only God can provide any security in life.
  3. Count your blessings.
  4. Praise God.
  5. Put your trust fully in God because only He can fill you with the peace and joy you seek.
Jerry Wyrick

This post is part of a series on the Psalms.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship, Personal Worship, Psalms and tagged .