Preserve me, O God: for in you do I put my trust.
Jump to: Barnes • Benson • BI • Calvin • Cambridge • Clarke • Darby • Ellicott • Expositor's • Exp Dct • Gaebelein • GSB • Gill • Gray • Haydock • Hastings • Homiletics • JFB • KD • Kelly • KJT • Lange • MacLaren • MHC • MHCW • Parker • Poole • Pulpit • Sermon • SCO • TTB • TOD • WES • TSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For in thee.—Better, for I have found refuge in thee (as in Psalm 7:1; Psalm 11:1). The verb is in the preterite.Psalm 16:1. Preserve me, O God — Hebrew — שׁמרני, shamereeni, keep, support, guard, or defend me — These words are evidently spoken by one in trouble and distress, or in danger, either from his enemies or in some other way. As David was frequently in such circumstances, they were probably primarily spoken by him in his own person, as a member of Christ, and they are words which often suit the case of any believer, who has frequently need to pray for support under troubles and distresses, to be protected against his spiritual enemies, and preserved and kept from the sins to which he is exposed. For in thee do I put my trust — And therefore thou art in honour and by promise obliged not to deceive my confidence. The Hebrew, חסיתי בךְ, chasiti back, properly means, I have fled to thee for protection, the verb חסה, chasah, meaning, “recipere se ad aliquem, sub cujus protectione tutus sit, ut pulli sub alis gallinarum,” to betake one’s self to any one, under whose protection one may be safe, as chickens under the wings of the hens. Thus they who make God their refuge and strength, and by faith commit themselves to his care, shall be safe under the shadow of the Almighty, and shall find him a present help in the time of trouble. Dr. Horne, who considers the whole Psalm as “one continued speech, without change of person,” supposes the contents of this verse, as well as of the rest of the Psalm, to be spoken by Christ, who, he thinks, is here represented as making his supplication to the Father for the deliverance promised to, and expected by, him. Certainly the words are applicable to Christ, for he prayed, Father, save me from this hour, and trusted in God that he would deliver him.Psalm 16:8-10. The idea here is, that God was able to preserve him from the impending danger, and that he might hope he would do it.
Ps 16:1-11. Michtam, or, by the change of one letter, Michtab—a "writing," such as a poem or song (compare Isa 38:9). Such a change of the letter m for b was not unusual. The position of this word in connection with the author's name, being that usually occupied by some term, such as Psalm or song, denoting the style or matter of the composition, favors this view of its meaning, though we know not why this and Psalms 56-60 should be specially, called "a writing." "A golden (Psalm)," or "a memorial" are explanations proposed by some—neither of which, however applicable here, appears adapted to the other Psalms where the term occurs. According to Peter (Ac 2:25) and Paul (Ac 13:35), this Psalm relates to Christ and expresses the feelings of His human nature, in view of His sufferings and victory over death and the grave, including His subsequent exaltation at the right hand of God. Such was the exposition of the best earlier Christian interpreters. Some moderns have held that the Psalm relates exclusively to David; but this view is expressly contradicted by the apostles; others hold that the language of the Psalm is applicable to David as a type of Christ, capable of the higher sense assigned it in the New Testament. But then the language of Ps 16:10 cannot be used of David in any sense, for "he saw corruption." Others again propose to refer the first part to David, and the last to Christ; but it is evident that no change in the subject of the Psalm is indicated. Indeed, the person who appeals to God for help is evidently the same who rejoices in having found it. In referring the whole Psalm to Christ, it is, however, by no means denied that much of its language is expressive of the feelings of His people, so far as in their humble measure they have the feelings of trust in God expressed by Him, their head and representative. Such use of His language, as recorded in His last prayer (Joh 17:1-26), and even that which He used in Gethsemane, under similar modifications, is equally proper. The propriety of this reference of the Psalm to Christ will appear in the scope and interpretation. In view of the sufferings before Him, the Saviour, with that instinctive dread of death manifested in Gethsemane, calls on God to "preserve" Him; He avows His delight in holiness and abhorrence of the wicked and their wickedness; and for "the joy that was set before Him, despising the shame" [Heb 12:2], encourages Himself; contemplating the glories of the heritage appointed Him. Thus even death and the grave lose their terrors in the assurance of the victory to be attained and "the glory that should follow" [1Pe 1:11].
1. Preserve me, &c.—keep or watch over my interests.
"Preserve me," keep, or save me, or as Horsley thinks, "guard me," even as bodyguards surround their monarch, or as shepherds protect their flocks. Tempted in all points like as we are, the manhood of Jesus needed to be preserved from the power of evil; and though in itself pure, the Lord Jesus did not confide in that purity of nature, but as an example to his followers, looked to the Lord, his God, for preservation. One of the great names of God is "the Preserver of men," (Job 7:20), and this gracious office the Father exercised towards our Mediator and Representative. It had been promised to the Lord Jesus in express words, that he should be preserved, Isaiah 49:7, Isaiah 49:8. "Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people." This promise was to the letter fulfilled, both by providential deliverance and sustaining power, in the case of our Lord. Being preserved himself, he is able to restore the preserved of Israel, for we are "preserved in Christ Jesus and called." As one with him, the elect were preserved in his preservation, and we may view this mediatorial supplication as the petition of the Great High Priest for all those who are in him. The intercession recorded in John 17 is but an amplification of this cry, "Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are." When he says "preserve me," he means his members, his mystical body, himself, and all in him. But while we rejoice in the fact that the Lord Jesus used this prayer for his members, we must not forget that he employed it most surely for himself; he had so emptied himself, and so truly taken upon him the form of a servant, that as man he needed divine keeping even as we do, and often cried unto the strong for strength. Frequently on the mountaintop he breathed forth this desire, and on one occasion in almost the same words, he publicly prayed, "Father, save me from this hour." (John 12:27.) If Jesus looked out of himself for protection, how much more must we, his erring followers, do so!
"O God." The word for God here used is El אל, by which name the Lord Jesus, when under a sense of great weakness, as for instance when upon the cross, was wont to address the Mighty God, the Omnipotent Helper of his people. We, too, may turn to El, the Omnipotent One, in all hours of peril, with the confidence that he who heard the strong cryings and tears of our faithful High Priest, is both able and willing to bless us in him. It is well to study the name and character of God, so that in our straits we may know how and by what title to address our Father who is in heaven.
"For in thee do I put my trust," or, I have taken shelter in thee. As chickens run beneath the hen, so do I betake myself to thee. Thou art my great overshadowing Protector, and I have taken refuge beneath thy strength. This is a potent argument in pleading, and our Lord knew not only how to use it with God, but how to yield to its power when wielded by others upon himself. "According to thy faith be it done unto thee," is a great rule of heaven in dispensing favour, and when we can sincerely declare that we exercise faith in the Mighty God with regard to the mercy which we seek, we may rest assured that our plea will prevail. Faith, like the sword of Saul, never returns empty; it overcomes heaven when held in the hand of prayer. As the Saviour prayed, so let us pray, and as he became more than a conqueror, so shall we also through him; let us when buffeted by storms right bravely cry to the Lord as he did, "in thee do I put my trust." Divers render this word Michtam, a golden Psalm, because of the preciousness and excellency of the matter of it; for it treats of Christ’s death and resurrection. But because this title is prefixed to Psalm 56:1 57:1 58:1 59:1 60:1, wherein there is no such peculiar excellency, it may seem rather to be a title belonging to the music or the song, which, with the rest, is now lost and unknown. It is a great question among expositors, in whose name and person he speaketh this Psalm, whether his own or Christ’s. It seems hard to exclude David’s person, to whom almost the whole Psalm properly and literally belongs, and to whom some parts of it do more conveniently belong than to Christ. And some parts of it do peculiarly belong to Christ, of whom it is expounded by the two great apostles, Peter and Paul, Acts 2:25 13:35. And yet it seems probable by the contexture of the Psalm, and the coherence of the several verses together, that the whole Psalm speaks of one and the same person. But because David was a mixed person, being both a member and an eminent type of Christ, he may without any inconvenience be thought to speak of himself sometimes in the one and sometimes in the other capacity, to pass from the one to the other. And therefore having spoken of himself as a believer or member of Christ in the former part of the Psalm, he proceeds to consider himself as a type of Christ; and having Christ in his eye, and being inspired by the Holy Ghost with the knowledge and contemplation of Christ’s passion and resurrection, towards the close of the Psalm he speaks such things, as though they might be accommodated to himself in a very imperfect, obscure, and improper sense, yet could not truly, literally, and properly, fully and completely, belong to any but to Christ, to whom therefore they are justly appropriated in the New Testament.
for in thee do I put my trust: or "have hoped" (k); the graces of faith and hope were implanted in the heart of Christ, as man, who had the gifts and graces of the Spirit without measure bestowed on him, and these very early appeared in him, and showed themselves in a very lively exercise, Psalm 22:7; and were in a very eminent manner exercised by him a little before his death, in the view of it, and when he was under his sufferings, and hung upon the cross, Isaiah 1:6, Matthew 27:46; and this his trust and confidence in God alone, and not in any other, is used as a reason or argument for his preservation and safety.<
(a) He shows that we cannot call on God unless we trust in him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)1. Preserve me] Not that he is at the moment in special danger; but only in God’s keeping (Psalm 12:7; Psalm 17:8) can soul and body be safe.
God] El, as in Psalm 5:4; Psalm 17:6.
for in thee &c.] For in thee have I taken refuge. God is responsible for protecting His liegeman. See note on Psalm 7:1, and cp. Psalm 17:7.
1, 2. The Psalmist’s prayer and profession of faith.Verse 1. - Preserve me, O God; i.e. keep me, guard me - protect me both in body and soul. It does not appear that the writer is threatened by any special danger. He simply calls upon God to continue his protecting care. For in thee do I put my trust. In thee, and in thee only. Therefore to thee only do I look for protection and preservation. Psalm 126:1-6, שׁוּב שׁבוּת means to turn the captivity, or to bring back the captives. שׁוּב has here, - as in Psalm 126:4; Psalm 2:3 (followed by את), cf. Ezekiel 47:7, the Kal being preferred to the Hiph. השׁיב (Jeremiah 32:44; Jeremiah 33:11) in favour of the alliteration with שׁבוּת (from שׁבה to make any one a prisoner of war), - a transitive signification, which Hengstenberg (who interprets it: to turn back, to turn to the captivity, of God's merciful visitation), vainly hesitates to admit. But Isaiah 66:6, for instance, shows that the exiles also never looked for redemption anywhere but from Zion. Not as though they had thought, that Jahve still dwelt among the ruins of His habitation, which indeed on the contrary was become a ruin because He had forsaken it (as we read in Ezekiel); but the moment of His return to His people is also the moment when He entered again upon the occupation of His sanctuary, and His sanctuary, again appropriated by Jahve even before it was actually reared, is the spot whence issues the kindling of the divine judgment on the enemies of Israel, as well as the spot whence issues the brightness of the reverse side of this judgment, viz., the final deliverance, hence even during the Exile, Jerusalem is the point (the kibla) whither the eye of the praying captive was directed, Daniel 6:11. There would therefore be nothing strange if a psalm-writer belonging to the Exile should express his longing for deliverance in these words: who gives equals oh that one would give equals oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! But since שׁוב שׁבות also signifies metaphorically to turn misfortune, as in Job 42:10; Ezekiel 16:53 (perhaps also in Psalm 85:2, cf. Psalm 14:5), inasmuch as the idea of שׁבוּת has been generalised exactly like the German "Elend," exile (Old High German elilenti equals sojourn in another country, banishment, homelessness), therefore the inscribed לדוד cannot be called in question from this quarter. Even Hitzig renders: "if Jahve would but turn the misfortune of His people," regarding this Psalm as composed by Jeremiah during the time the Scythians were in the land. If this rendering is possible, and that it is is undeniable, then we retain the inscription לדוד. And we do so the more readily, as Jeremiah's supposed authorship rests upon a non-recognition of his reproductive character, and the history of the prophet's times make no allusion to any incursion by the Scythians.
The condition of the true people of God in the time of Absolom was really a שׁבוּת in more than a figurative sense. But we require no such comparison with contemporary history, since in these closing words we have only the gathering up into a brief form of the view which prevails in other parts of the Psalm, viz., that the "righteous generation" in the midst of the world, and even of the so-called Israel, finds itself in a state of oppression, imprisonment, and bondage. If God will turn this condition of His people, who are His people indeed and of a truth, then shall Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad. It is the grateful duty of the redeemed to rejoice. - And how could they do otherwise!
LinksPsalm 16:1 Interlinear
Psalm 16:1 Parallel Texts
Psalm 16:1 NIV
Psalm 16:1 NLT
Psalm 16:1 ESV
Psalm 16:1 NASB
Psalm 16:1 KJV
Psalm 16:1 Bible Apps
Psalm 16:1 Parallel
Psalm 16:1 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 16:1 Chinese Bible
Psalm 16:1 French Bible
Psalm 16:1 German Bible