Psalm 16:9

The two main ideas of the writer are

(1) a sense of Divine privilege in having God as his chief Good; and

(2) a confiding, hopeful prayer for deliverance from death.

Not, of course, from death altogether; he could not hope to be finally delivered from the grave. The prayer therefore, must have been for deliverance, from impending, danger, from death that was then. threatened at that time, and for being conducted into and preserved in "the path of life." The application which has been made of the ninth and tenth verses to Christ by Peter and Paul has led to a misunderstanding of the original sense. They say that the prayer was fulfilled in Christ, and not in David; that David did see corruption, and that Christ did not. But the best Hebrew scholars say that it is a confident prayer, not to be given over to death, but to be preserved in the way of life. We must understand, of course, death at present; for it could not mean death altogether, nor deliverance from the grave after death. The general subject of these verses, then, is - The confidence of the psalmist's faith in the future, because he had chosen God as his chief Good.

I. THE SENSE OF GOD'S PRESENCE INSPIRES A FEELING OF SAFETY. (Ver. 8.) "Not in the moment of peril only, but at all times has he his eye fixed upon God." "God in David's eyes is no abstraction, but a Person, real, living, and walking at his side," and able to protect him from danger. Have we such a sense of companionship with God? I shall not be moved - neither in character, nor in purpose, nor in work.

II. HE REJOICED IS THE CONFIDENCE THAT GOD WOULD NOT ALLOW HIM TO PERISH. (Vers. 9, 100 "Flesh" here, as always, means the living body - never means a corpse. "Shall rest in hope," equivalent to "shall dwell in safety;" and must be understood of this life. No stress can be laid on the word "leave," which means "give over to." He is expressing the confidence "that God will not leave him to perish, will not give him up to be the prey of the grave, which was the design of his enemies. The lessons for us - that God's time is our time, and that he will not abandon us to our spiritual enemies, but will afford us effectual protection.

III. HE REJOICED THAT GOD WOULD MAKE KNOWN TO HIM THE WAY TO LIFE. (Ver. 11.) Not only preserve him in life, but lead him on to that life whose joy is beholding the Divine face, and partaking of the everlasting pleasures which are at his right hand. The idea of immortality springs out of the sense of his relationship to God; for he could not think that such a relationship could end with death. If we are the sons of God, that is the strongest guarantee that we shall continue to partake of God's life, rich and manifold and everlasting. Christ said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." This passage has its highest fulfilment when applied to the resurrection of Christ. - S.

Therefore my heart is glad.
The remainder of this Psalm we are to consider as spoken by David in reference to the Messiah, of whom he was both a prophet and a type.

I. THIS PASSAGE REMINDS US OF THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST. Old Testament types, promises, and predictions describe Christ as a suffering Saviour. The view of Him thus given through the medium of prophecy is completely realised in His actual history. Well may such an emphasis be laid on the sufferings and death of Christ; for this was the instituted method of redemption.

II. THIS PASSAGE AFFIRMS THE CONSTANCY AND CHEERFULNESS WITH WHICH CHRIST WAS TO BEAR HIS SORROWS. "My heart is glad, and my glory," that is, my tongue, "rejoiceth:" So said David, personating the Messiah; and all this was realised in Messiah's actual deportment. Remarkable was the constancy and cheerfulness with which our blessed Saviour bore His sufferings. And we cannot but admire the character in which this excellence was so conspicuously displayed. To our admiration of His unequalled magnanimity we must add the more valuable tribute of our gratitude; for it was in love to our souls that His engagement to suffer and to die had its origin. If we ought to love Him, because He so loved us, oh how deep seated should our affection be!


1. He "set the Lord always before Him," as the great object of His regard.

2. He was cheered by the assurance that "God was at His right band." The arm of Jehovah was stretched out for His stay and deliverance.

3. He was supported by the hope of a resurrection of life and blessedness.

(A. Thomson, D. D.)

My flesh also shall rest in hope.
Doctrine: That it is a sweet, desirable, and Christlike way of dying, to be inwardly willing and joyful, and outwardly triumphing and praising God, from a confidence and hope of His promises.


1. Your God will be with you, and at your right hand, that you shall not be moved.

2. Death is your friend, to bring you to rest. Jesus has, by His death, removed everything from your death that is legally penal and a curse.

3. You shall be raised again to everlasting glory and happiness.

4. Your Lord after the judgment will present you faultless before the presence of His glory.


1. The Psalmist looks to the acts of Christ's mediation as the foundation of all His consolations against death.

2. These consolations are certain in themselves, and to you, from the promises of the covenant of grace, and are founded on them.


1. You must have faith to believe these reasons of comfort.

2. You must have a lively hope in exercise. What must you do? —

(1)Come speedily out of a state of nature into a state of grace.

(2)Impartially and accurately examine your state, whether in Christ or not.

(3)Live a life of faith.

(4)Keep your consciences pure and void of offence, both towards God and man, and labour to be holy in your lives and conversations.

(5)Be much in the exercise of love.

(6)Live with your hearts weaned from a present world.

(7)Carry well towards the Spirit of joy and comfort, and keep communion with Him. He is the Comforter.

(8)Be frequent in actual preparation for death — promises ready, evidences ready, experiences ready.

(James Robe, M. A.)

This is an idea which has been growing in the Old Testament. Now and again some word has been interjected into the story that did not seem to belong to it, or was of another quality — a word with a colour, a flush, as if light from an unknown source had struck upon it and lighted it up into new beauty. Job had said one or two words for the explanation of which we must wait; the Psalmist now speaks of his flesh resting in hope, of his soul not being left in an unseen place, and of the Holy One not seeing corruption To impair the doctrine of immortality is to strike at the goodness of God. In denying immortality we may be said to deny the Creator. We cannot treat immortality as a doctrine only; it is really part of the Divine nature. Given God, and immortality in some form is a necessity. Has He created us simply to let us die? Has He given us all these gifts merely to mock us at the last, by allowing us to drop into oblivion and nothingness? Does He permit us to climb to the very door of heaven, and to hear the songs that are sung inside, simply that He may thunder to us — You cannot have part or lot in this inheritance; your destiny is obliteration? Some argument must be founded upon instinct, impulse, yearning, longing, speechless unconsciousness. When we are all, body, soul, and spirit, lifting ourselves up to Him, is it like Him to deny the aspiration? Or like Him to give us that further movement which will connect us consciously with His own eternity? To this latter faith I incline. God has not created aspiration which He cannot satisfy. There is more in us than we can tell, and to these wordless impulses God sends this revelation of immortality.

(Joseph Parker, D. D.)

We would speak on the fortunes of the flesh in its three stages of existence.

I. ON THIS SIDE THE GRAVE. Note the word "also." It carries our thought back to the higher joy of the soul. Neither the essence of sin nor of glory is in the flesh at all. We therefore do not exclude the soul, but rather make it the great centre of all, though we speak more of the flesh. The Redeemer shall satisfy our whole nature. There is no danger, ordinarily, of our forgetting the flesh. It makes its presence predominant enough. Nothing but the regenerated spirit can keep it under. How we admire the heroic deeds of those who in some holy struggle for liberty or for love assert the superiority of the spirit over the flesh. They can die, die in torture, and that gladly, by the power of the spirit within them. But yet the Gospel does not forget even the flesh. How all the natural feelings are deeply touched. This is an argument for the after life of the body. How close is the link between the soul and the body. How they act and react on one another. It, therefore, can never be a matter of indifference to the soul what becomes of the body. And our Lord became flesh, was incarnate, and He has taken it, now glorified, permanently into union with His Godhead. We have no hint that He will ever put it off. It is the same human body which was nursed at the heart of an earthly mother, and which hung upon the Cross in death. Therefore, how can we despise the body? And the hope of the flesh is bound up even with the glory of God Himself. For He did not, at first, mean those bodies to die. There was no death in His counsels. That came by sin. Thus the Divine will was contradicted by Satan. But redemption was to undo Satan's work. Yes, each one may cry out in joy, "My flesh also shall rest in hope."

II. IN THE GRAVE. It is a state of rest. The word implies both labours past and repose present. Hence "sleep" is the condition in which faith loves to regard the body in the grave. And like as in sleep, the body in the grave is free from pain and toil, from sin and suffering, from want and weariness and all pining. And it is a state of unconsciousness, so far as the flesh is concerned, an unconsciousness of the very state in which it lies. The resurrection will appear to follow instantaneously upon death, as our awaking after deep sleep seems to follow close upon our falling asleep. And like sleep, it is but for a while; there will be an awakening. The principle of life is held in abeyance: in sleep, by a natural change; in death, by the immediate will of Him who has all life to give and withhold as He wills. What a holy and loving charm do these thoughts throw around even the decaying flesh: what a light upon the grave.

III. BEYOND THE GRAVE. It is far more easy to realise with something like precision the future glory of the flesh than that of the spirit. And yet even the body's glory is far more than we can conceive, because we have no experience of a body free from the penalties of sin. But we have known, at times, fulness of life, of buoyant vigour, and of such pleasure in movement and living that we have been filled with delight. Imagine that eternal. And add new capacities and powers.

(Edward Garbitt, M. A.)

David, Psalmist
Body, Confidently, Dwell, Dwelleth, Dwells, Exulteth, Flesh, Full, Glad, Glory, Heart, Honour, Hope, Joy, Moreover, Rejoice, Rejoices, Rejoiceth, Rest, Safety, Secure, Securely, Soul, Takes, Tongue
1. David, in distrust of merits, and hatred of idolatry
5. He shows the hope of his calling, of the resurrection, and life everlasting

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Psalm 16:9

     5017   heart, renewal
     5193   tongue
     9613   hope, as confidence

Psalm 16:8-9

     8288   joy, of Israel

Psalm 16:8-11

     2366   Christ, prophecies concerning
     6142   decay
     9311   resurrection, of Christ

Psalm 16:9-10

     5136   body
     9615   hope, results of

Psalm 16:9-11

     9136   immortality, OT

Man's True Treasure in God
'The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.'--PSALM xvi. 5, 6. We read, in the law which created the priesthood in Israel, that 'the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them. I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel' (Numbers xvii. 20). Now there is an evident allusion to that remarkable
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

God with Us, and we with God
'I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.... 11. In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' --PSALM xvi. 8, 11. There are, unquestionably, large tracts of the Old Testament in which the anticipation of immortality does not appear, and there are others in which its presence may be doubtful. But here there can be no hesitation, I think, as to the meaning of these words. If we regard them carefully, we shall
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Messiah Rising from the Dead
For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. T hat the Gospel is a divine revelation may be summarily proved from the character of its Author. If an infidel was so far divested of prejudice and prepossession, as to read the history of Jesus Christ, recorded by the Evangelists, with attention, and in order to form his judgment of it, simply and candidly, as evidence should appear; I think he must observe many particulars in his spirit and conduct,
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 1

Smith -- Assurance in God
GEORGE ADAM SMITH, divine, educator and author, was born at Calcutta in 1856, and educated at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland. He is at present professor of Old Testament Language, Literature and Theology in the United Free Church College, Glasgow. He is author of "The Historical Geography of the Holy Land," "Jerusalem, the Topography, Economics and History from the Earliest Time to A.D. 70" (1908). He is generally regarded as one of the most gifted preachers of Scotland. SMITH Born in 1856 ASSURANCE
Various—The World's Great Sermons, Volume 10

India as Carey Found It
1793 Tahiti v. Bengal--Carey and Thomas appointed missionaries to Bengal--The farewell at Leicester--John Thomas, first medical missionary--Carey's letter to his father--The Company's "abominable monopoly"--The voyage--Carey's aspirations for world-wide missions--Lands at Calcutta--His description of Bengal in 1793--Contrast presented by Carey to Clive, Hastings, and Cornwallis--The spiritual founder of an Indian Empire of Christian Britain--Bengal and the famine of 1769-70--The Decennial Settlement
George Smith—The Life of William Carey

Source of My Life's Refreshing Springs,
"Thou maintainest my lot." -- Psalm 16:5. Source of my life's refreshing springs, Whose presence in my heart sustains me, Thy love appoints me pleasant things, Thy mercy orders all that pains me. If loving hearts were never lonely, If all they wish might always be, Accepting what they look for only, They might be glad, but not in Thee. Well may Thy own beloved, who see In all their lot their Father's pleasure, Bear loss of all they love, save Thee, Their living, everlasting treasure. Well may
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

Though Some Good Things of Lower Worth
"The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance." -- Psalm 16:5. Though some good things of lower worth My heart is called on to resign, Of all the gifts in heaven and earth, The greatest and the best is mine The love of God in Christ made known -- The love that is enough alone, My Father's love is all my own. My soul's Restorer, let me learn In that deep love to live and rest -- Let me the precious thing discern Of which I am indeed possessed. My treasure let me feel and see, And let my moments,
Miss A. L. Waring—Hymns and Meditations

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity. In Thy Presence is Fulness of Joy; at Thy Right Hand There are Pleasures for Evermore.
In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Wie wohl ist mir o Freund der Seelen [108]Wolfgang C. Deszler. 1692. trans. by Catherine Winkworth, 1855 O Friend of Souls, how well is me, Whene'er Thy love my spirit calms! From sorrow's dungeon forth I flee, And hide me in Thy shelt'ring arms. The night of weeping flies away Before the heart-reviving ray Of love, that beams from out Thy breast; Here is my heaven on earth begun; Who were not joyful had he won
Catherine Winkworth—Lyra Germanica: The Christian Year

But Whilst the King Has not that Most Blessed Light...
But whilst the King has not that most blessed light, yet there are some things in which he can discriminate; and here are seven comparisons in which his unaided wisdom can discern which is the better:-- 1. A good name is better than precious ointment. 2. The day of death " " " the day of birth. 3. The house of mourning " " " the house of feasting. 4. Borrow " " " laughter. 5. The rebuke of the wise " " " the song of fools.
F. C. Jennings—Old Groans and New Songs

Israel the Beloved
'The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders.'--DEUT. xxxiii. 12. Benjamin was his father's favourite child, and the imagery of this promise is throughout drawn from the relations between such a child and its father. So far as the future history of the tribes is shadowed in these 'blessings' of this great ode, the reference of the text may be to the tribe of Benjamin, as specially distinguished by Saul
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

One Saying from Three Men
'The wicked hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved.' --PSALM x. 6. 'Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.' --PSALM xvi. 8. 'And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.' --PSALM xxx. 6. How differently the same things sound when said by different men! Here are three people giving utterance to almost the same sentiment of confidence. A wicked man says it, and it is insane presumption and defiance. A good man says it, having been lulled into false security by easy times,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Psalmist --Setting the Lord
ALWAYS BEFORE HIM "Lord, teach us to pray."--Luke xi. i. "I have set the Lord always before me."--Ps. xvi. 8. IF this so devotionally disposed disciple had lived in the days of David, and if he had asked of David what he here asks of his Master,--that is to say, if he had said to David, "David, thou man after God's own heart, teach me to pray,"--David would have answered him in the words of the text. "Set the Lord before you," David would have said. "Begin every prayer of yours by setting the Lord
Alexander Whyte—Lord Teach Us To Pray

The Joy of the Lord.
IT is written "the joy of the Lord is your strength." Every child of God knows in some measure what it is to rejoice in the Lord. The Lord Jesus Christ must ever be the sole object of the believer's joy, and as eyes and heart look upon Him, we, too, like "the strangers scattered abroad" to whom Peter wrote shall "rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (1 Pet. i:8). But it is upon our heart to meditate with our beloved readers on the joy of our adorable Lord, as his own personal joy. The
Arno Gaebelein—The Lord of Glory

But Concerning True Patience, Worthy of the Name of this virtue...
12. But concerning true patience, worthy of the name of this virtue, whence it is to be had, must now be inquired. For there are some [2650] who attribute it to the strength of the human will, not which it hath by Divine assistance, but which it hath of free-will. Now this error is a proud one: for it is the error of them which abound, of whom it is said in the Psalm, "A scornful reproof to them which abound, and a despising to the proud." [2651] It is not therefore that "patience of the poor" which
St. Augustine—On Patience

The Joint Heirs and their Divine Portion
I would invite you, my brethren in Christ Jesus, this morning, to do three things; first, let us consider the terms of the will--"joint heirs with Christ;" secondly, let us go forth and view the estates--what it is of which we are joint heirs; and when we have done so, let us proceed at once to administer, for God hath made his children administrators as web as heirs. I. First, then, there is A LEGAL TERM IN THE WILL UPON WHICH THE WHOLE MATTER WILL HINGE. We are called "joint heirs with Christ"--what
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 7: 1861

Period iv. The Age of the Consolidation of the Church: 200 to 324 A. D.
In the fourth period of the Church under the heathen Empire, or the period of the consolidation of the Church, the number of Christians increased so rapidly that the relation of the Roman State to the Church became a matter of the gravest importance (ch. 1). During a period of comparative peace and prosperity the Church developed its doctrinal system and its constitution (ch. 2). Although the school of Asia Minor became isolated and temporarily ceased to affect the bulk of the Church elsewhere, the
Joseph Cullen Ayer Jr., Ph.D.—A Source Book for Ancient Church History

The Wrath of God
What does every sin deserve? God's wrath and curse, both in this life, and in that which is to come. Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire.' Matt 25: 41. Man having sinned, is like a favourite turned out of the king's favour, and deserves the wrath and curse of God. He deserves God's curse. Gal 3: 10. As when Christ cursed the fig-tree, it withered; so, when God curses any, he withers in his soul. Matt 21: 19. God's curse blasts wherever it comes. He deserves also God's wrath, which is
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The Early Life of Malachy. Having Been Admitted to Holy Orders He Associates with Malchus
[Sidenote: 1095.] 1. Our Malachy, born in Ireland,[134] of a barbarous people, was brought up there, and there received his education. But from the barbarism of his birth he contracted no taint, any more than the fishes of the sea from their native salt. But how delightful to reflect, that uncultured barbarism should have produced for us so worthy[135] a fellow-citizen with the saints and member of the household of God.[136] He who brings honey out of the rock and oil out of the flinty rock[137]
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

Notes on the First Century:
Page 1. Line 1. An empty book is like an infant's soul.' Here Traherne may possibly have had in his mind a passage in Bishop Earle's "Microcosmography." In delineating the character of a child, Earle says: "His soul is yet a white paper unscribbled with observations of the world, wherewith at length it becomes a blurred note-book," Page 14. Line 25. The entrance of his words. This sentence is from Psalm cxix. 130. Page 15. Last line of Med. 21. "Insatiableness." This word in Traherne's time was often
Thomas Traherne—Centuries of Meditations

Out of the Deep of Suffering and Sorrow.
Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul: I am come into deep waters; so that the floods run over me.--Ps. lxix. 1, 2. I am brought into so great trouble and misery: that I go mourning all the day long.--Ps. xxxviii. 6. The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: Oh! bring Thou me out of my distress.--Ps. xxv. 17. The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping: the Lord will receive my prayer.--Ps. vi. 8. In the multitude of the sorrows which I had in my heart, Thy comforts have refreshed
Charles Kingsley—Out of the Deep

Angels Announce the Resurrection to Certain Women. Peter and John Enter The
Empty Tomb. (Joseph's Garden. Sunday, Very Early.) ^A Matt. XXVIII. 1-8; ^B Mark XVI. 1-8; ^C Luke XXIV. 1-8, 12; ^D John XX. 1-10. ^c 1 But ^a 1 Now late on the sabbath day, ^b 1 And when the sabbath was past, ^c on the first day of the week, { ^a as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week,} ^c at early dawn, ^d while it was yet dark, cometh { ^a came} ^d Mary Magdalene early ^a and the other Mary ^b the mother of James, and Salome, ^c unto the tomb, bringing { ^b brought} ^c the spices
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Malachy's Pity for his Deceased Sister. He Restores the Monastery of Bangor. His First Miracles.
11. (6). Meanwhile Malachy's sister, whom we mentioned before,[271] died: and we must not pass over the visions which he saw about her. For the saint indeed abhorred her carnal life, and with such intensity that he vowed he would never see her alive in the flesh. But now that her flesh was destroyed his vow was also destroyed, and he began to see in spirit her whom in the body he would not see. One night he heard in a dream the voice of one saying to him that his sister was standing outside in the
H. J. Lawlor—St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh

The Creation
Q-7: WHAT ARE THE DECREES OF GOD? A: The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he has foreordained whatsoever shall come to pass. I have already spoken something concerning the decrees of God under the attribute of his immutability. God is unchangeable in his essence, and he-is unchangeable in his decrees; his counsel shall stand. He decrees the issue of all things, and carries them on to their accomplishment by his providence; I
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Religion Pleasant to the Religious.
"O taste and see how gracious the Lord is; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."--Psalm xxxiv. 8. You see by these words what love Almighty God has towards us, and what claims He has upon our love. He is the Most High, and All-Holy. He inhabiteth eternity: we are but worms compared with Him. He would not be less happy though He had never created us; He would not be less happy though we were all blotted out again from creation. But He is the God of love; He brought us all into existence,
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

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