Psalm 16 is a psalm of confidence where David shows his trust in Jehovah. What makes this psalm different from many others is there is no mention of enemies or suffering; instead, it is a psalm of praise to Jehovah and the contentment of the psalmist for the blessings of the LORD. It is a psalm of praise to God for the safety, security, and contentment provided to those whose portion is Yahweh! Amen!
When the psalmist speaks of Jehovah being His portion, the Hebrew word “menath” is used and describes a person’s allotment. Psalm 16:5-6 says, “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”
Jehovah was an inheritance and portion to the Levites because they did not get allotted land. Numbers 18:20 says, “And the Lord said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land, neither shall you have any portion among them. I am your portion and your inheritance among the people of Israel.” Likewise, David here states that nothing in this world is as good as Jehovah God. So he begins the psalm by saying that Jehovah is LORD, and there is no good apart from Him. You can have all the lands of this world, worldly possessions, worldly gain, and prosperity, but they will all fade, and in them, there is only temporal delight, and often brings sorrows with it. They are here one moment and gone the next. So the psalmist separates himself from idolaters and instead continues His delight in the LORD. He removes himself from participating in their errors and instead cleaves to the pure worship of God because God is His portion.
If your portion is not God and your inheritance is not in Him, then you will be in a state of uncertainty, carried away by the errors that persist in this world. There is no satisfaction in this, and you are always left wanting. Your only lasting satisfaction can be found in Jehovah alone. The reason for this is He is sufficient in every way. We cannot possess Him unless “He is the portion of our inheritance”. David uses a few metaphors here by alluding to the heritage in Canaan, where the land was divided among the Jews by divine appointment, and they were content with that allotment. Then the “cup” David refers to is symbolic of food, sustenance, and nourishment. So David is saying God is both his allotment and inheritance regarding property and enjoyment. Finally, people lose their possessions and allotments when it is not defended. In this case, God has given Himself to us as a possession; He also is the power that maintains us in the safe enjoyment of a good and secure life in Him. Even when Satan daily tries to assault us to fall to His deceptions, Jehovah, in His power, keeps us and protects us from the evil one. Amen!
Because of this, the psalmist in verse 8 says, “I have set the LORD always before me;” in other words, Jehovah is always our lot. Placing Jehovah before you always requires a life of devotion. This is true love, where there is an intense desire for the presence of God, always setting Him before you. Because of this, “you shall not be shaken“. May God be the source of your soul’s satisfaction. When you go through Psalms 16, consider why Jehovah is the psalmist’s chosen portion, cup, and lot. When we break the chapter down, we see:
- Verse 1: take refuge in the LORD
- Verse 2: you have no good apart from the LORD
- Verse 5: Jehovah is your chosen portion and cup
- Verse 7: Jehovah gives you counsel
- Verse 8: Set Jehovah always before you, and do not be shaken because He is at your right hand
- Verse 11: There is joy in His presence, and at His right hand, there are pleasures forever.
So, hope in the LORD, and find your portion in Him. No longer seek after worldly portions and pleasures; instead, find them in Christ so that you may be satisfied, and He will never abandon you. Amen!