Psalm 16 is a very interesting song. Among other things, it has a prophetic section, wherein Peter, being guided by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) preached about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. In so doing, he quoted from portions of Psalm 16.
In this “divine commentary,” we are assured that the One David was talking about in Psalm 16:8-11 was his descendant, Jesus the Messiah (Acts 2:25-28, 31)! David would die and his body buried, and that would be all, but the One to come would have a body that would not see corruption, because it was resurrected (Ps. 16:10; Acts 2:31)!
The beauty and glory of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ cannot be overemphasized. In this case, David speaks of it some 1000 years before it happened! He speaks about it with perfect clarity, so that none can misunderstand. Let us be thankful for this! Truly Christ is declared to be the Son of God by the resurrection (Rom. 1:4). Baptism has power to save because of the resurrection (I Pet. 3:21). Since Christ resurrected, we know we will one day (I Cor. 15:12-20)!
Let us be warned, though. In this same psalm we learn, “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god” (Ps. 16:4). Let us not be enamored by other “gods.” Those things take our focus and our fidelity away from God!
It is a constant warning from God that we not be involved in idolatry. This is seen from Genesis to Revelation! John’s last words in his first epistle are to Christians, reminding them, “keep yourselves from idols” (I Jn. 5:22)! God thinks it necessary we stay away from idols and idolatry. Our sorrows will be multiplied when we do not avoid them!
What might be “gods” (idols) to us? Certainly any object, person, idea, or action that we place above God! The apostle Paul reminds us that “covetousness … is idolatry” (Col. 3:5). In this way, think about I Timothy 6:10. The “love of money” is “the root of all evil,” and those who strive for it will “pierce themselves through with many sorrows”! This passage kind of sounds like Psalm 16:4, doesn’t it? Let us make sure we put nothing above God (Matt. 6:33)!
Friends, let us take seriously the multifaceted Psalm 16. It has prophecies we see fulfilled in Christ, and has practical warnings for people of every age! We can learn much when we heed the inspired words of David.
- Jarrod M. Jacobs
Many have expressed their opinions about the nations addressed in this psalm. There are some aspects that God has kept vague, but I suggest this psalm is a reminder to every nation of who is really in charge of things! Beginning at the end, let us remember that the blessed people are those who put their trust in Him (God’s anointed King, v. 11-12). Have you put your trust in Him (Ps. 7:1, 11:1, 16:1, 25:2; I Tim. 4:10; II Cor. 10:7)?
When reading Psalm 2, some have tried to guess which “kings” and “rulers” joined to rage against God (v. 1-3). It really does not matter, for the end result is true for any man or nation who decides to rebel against God! When we look through history, we find many individuals, leaders of men, governments, etc., who have rebelled against God and ultimately failed. Friends, this is the point! No one can stand against God.
This is why the One who sits in the heavens laughs (v. 4). He laughs at their vain action. What can a man do to overpower God? Nothing! God will overcome (Rev. 17:14)!
This passage also has a Messianic focus (v. 6-7). Hebrews 1:5 quotes this psalm and applies it the Christ. To whom has God ever said, “thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?” He never said it to a man or an angel, only to Christ!
As this psalm closes, notice God instructs men to be “wise” (v. 10). How can we be wise? We need to listen to God’s instruction (v. 10), serve the Lord (v. 11), and worship Christ (“kiss the son;” “pay homage,” v. 12)! This is the path to real wisdom (Ps. 119:98-100).
Notice that the way God tells us to be wise is not what man says is necessary. They call what God instructs “foolishness” and their ways “wise.” Yet, God chose what men call foolish to confound and confuse those deemed “wise” (I Cor. 1:20-21, 25, 27-29).
Let’s reread Psalm 2 and be impressed with God’s power. He is in control. He rules and has sent His Son to be “King of kings and Lord of lords” (I Tim. 6:15). Will you listen to Him? Pray our rulers stop listening to men and listen to God before it is too late (I Tim. 2:1-4).
- Jarrod M. Jacobs