From Chuck Lane

Questions for The Book of Psalms

Calvary Christian Fellowship

Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 16

1. Who is the Psalmist?

  • Psalms 16-24 are another set of Psalms grouped together, kind of like how hymns and worship songs can be grouped together based on subjects or themes in content rather than simply listed alphabetically. This set seems to focus on the prophecy of Christ with the prophecy of the faithful remnant.

All of these are Psalms of David, and Psalm 16 is inscribed as “Michtam of David,” with Michtam meaning “a prayer,” or “meditation.” Martin Luther translated it as “a golden jewel,” as in a golden jewel of David. Psalms 56 through 60 are also inscribed as Michtam psalms. This is a psalm of resurrection. It is the third messianic psalm, and deals with the life of Christ, the death of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, and the ascension of Christ. The resurrection of Christ is quoted from this psalm in three different places of the New Testament.

2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?

  • David is looking forward to the one coming in his line, of whom he could say, “This is my salvation.” In Psalm 15, the Holy Spirit answers David’s question “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Now in Psalm 16 we learn about the One who will take us there.

3. Who is the audience?

  • All those who are not only preparing their hearts, but also seeking a relationship through personal knowledge of Our Guide.

4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?

1 Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust?

2 O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee

· When we know who we are, positionally with our creator, then we can have the right relationship with Him. Like Vernon McGee, I have been fortunate to have had the experience of a little child climbing into my lap, putting his arms around my neck and telling me, “You are my grandpa.” My father told me that there is only one thing better than being a grandpa, and that’s being a great grandpa. I believe we have experiences like this to let us know how to approach our creator. It is one thing to say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?” It’s entirely another to lift up your arms and call to Him, “Abba, Father.”
Here, again, in verse 2 we have the distinction, a play on words if you will, in translation between LORD and Lord first seen in Psalm 8:1: O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who has set thy glory above the heavens. (“LORD” the Father, YAWEH, G_D, I AM; “Lord” the Son, Jesus Messiah . . . manifestations of the Creator and His Word.). David’s (unwitting?) distinction was memorialized for us when Christ made reference to Psalm 110:1: “The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Here, Christ turns the tables on the Pharisees and questions them, rather than the other way around: Matthew 22:41-46 .
Perhaps cryptic in the same way that all prophecy is, in that it takes on more than one meaning all at once. In the ensuing verses, David is concerned with the Hebrew children, the chosen people, many of whom who have not chosen . . . correctly. It also refers to those who have lived, are living and will live during the church age, doing the same things. And finally, it has to do with Israel during Jacob’s trouble.

The Lord is not just the “son of David,” He is the only begotten Son of God. And He did not come to offer salvation to those who would receive it of Israel alone, but to the whole world, throughout time, of every nation and tribe.
It’s all about knowing our position in the relationship . . . and what He has done, is doing, and will do for us, as we pray the Spirit indwell us more brightly each and every day.

3 But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight

· Vernon McGee wants us to take notice of who He extends His goodness to . . . the privilege does not extend to everybody . . .

4 Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips.

  • “’They hasten after another’ who they think is God,” because they don’t know Him. They may know about Him, but they don’t know Him. They don’t have a relationship with Him. We can put our faith into whatever we think we are putting our faith in . . . but what we think is not always what is. Too many put their faith in all the wrong places, for all the wrong reasons, only to be soon disappointed, and worse for wear, “drinking blood” and calling out the names of god(s) invented. Others (as well as the disappointed, hurt and damaged . . . the wounded hearts that become scarred, calloused, hardened) put their faith in nothing other than themselves.

Do you trust yourself? How often have you “broken the promises” you’ve made to yourself? For me, it’s much easier (occurs more often, seems natural) than going back on my given word to others, which happens, too. Think about that for a moment.

God’s Word is perfect, and those who trust in Him are those that know Him, intimately, and realize that the last thing He will do is violate you in some way. He will, however, take us out behind the woodshed from time to time, as a Good Father does when we need it Psalm 30:5, And if not, if our Father does not take the time or care to discipline/teach us along the Way (trials/tribulations/tests/temptations; the consequence of our sin paid in the flesh), we should be worried about our relationship with our Him, Proverbs 3:11-12 ; Hebrews 5:12-11


5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

6 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yet I have a goodly heritage

  • McGee explains that our portion is what’s given to us. Our cup is what we take. That grandchild who climbs into our laps, and tells us who we are, gets his portion at the dinner table on his plate, but tends to push it around and scatter it so as not to eat it all. That’s his cup.

Jesus told us why he came: John 10:10 , and why He told us what He has: John 15:11 . Are you living abundantly? Is your cup full of joy? These are the spiritual blessings He gives, our portion, but do we claim it all as our cup? Or are you like me and have a little fun sometimes, but not all the time? McGee tells us we need to be full of life and joy all the time!

It is our goodly heritage as His adopted children.


7 I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons

  • I confess, when I lay awake in bed at night unable to sleep it is rarely, if ever, because I’m thinking about the LORD. And I know, if I turn it over to Him, He will give me rest.


  • The next three verses are the ones quoted in the New Testament.

8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand. I shall not be moved.

9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither will thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

  • Acts 2:25-31 . Vernon McGee wrote, “Simon Peter said that Psalm 16 refers to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and I am taking his word for it.” I know some will think that rather dogmatic, but Simon Peter preached this message on the day of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit moved several thousand people to choose right, turn to Christ and were saved . . . which started a revolution in the Roman Empire.
  • Peter goes on to say: Acts 2:32-36
  • And not only Peter, but Paul says Psalm 16 is about Jesus’ resurrection as well: Acts 13:35-37V
  • In verse 8 we have the life of Christ, and how He lived it from beginning to end. Check it out. It’s how we all should strive to live.
  • In verse 9 we have the death of Christ. He died knowing that He had accomplished His work and that He would soon be at the right hand of His Father . . . born again. It’s how we should desire to die.
  • In verse 10 we have the resurrection. His, and someday ours. It’s why we put on the covering of Christ. To take His yoke, receive His rest, and live (eternally) at peace with God.


  • Then, in verse 11, we have the ascension . . . He is Our Guide : John 14:6

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.


Written by David, 1000 years before Jesus came, the first time.




5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate? (Done)

6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament? (Done)

7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?). (Done)