Psalm 16 – Our Identity in Christ5 min read


The header of this psalm tells us that it is a mictam of David; it was a contemplation of the man after God’s own heart. Some have also interpreted it as “a golden psalm” or “a certain tune.” However it is translated, we can know that this is a precious psalm from the fact alone that it is from God. Though this could be applied to Christ and His resurrection (Acts 2:25-28), we will look at it as a personal application.

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;”

These opening verses should give us a sense of humility as we see our true estate before the Lord. Verse two says, “I have no good apart from You” (ESV). The only righteousness we have is through Christ; any ‘goodness’ done in the flesh is as filthy rags apart from the Lord, because our nature is sin. And we are in desperate need of the Almighty’s strong hand and outstretched arm to deliver us. We must turn to Him alone and acknowledge Him as not only Lord of all, but claim Him as our own. We must seek preservation; we must seek Him alone, because apart from Him, what are we?

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

After we claim Him Lord, we are His saints; and we are distinctly separate from the heathen. Through Christ we are more than conquerors and are pleasing to the Father. He finds delight in our very identity in Christ, while the heathen is promised sorrow because of his identity of sin and rejection of the Lord. How precious Christ is to us, for without Him we are the heathen without hope, with no personal Lord, and without a God to preserve us, whether it be from temptation, sin, or even Hell. It is a blessed thing to be a saint.

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; yea, I have a goodly heritage.

Our identity in Christ not only separates us from the sorrows of the ungodly, but it provides an eternal inheritance for every believer – the Lord is that inheritance. The Lord is the portion of our cup; He is the reason it runs over, because He cannot be contained. Our salvation means the fulness of His riches and being joint-heirs with Christ – we will reign with Him. And with God Himself maintaining that portion, it is secure, it is eternal, and it is all through Christ. What a covenant! What grace! Remember that we were once heathens also? Yet now we have Him.

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

After making Him Lord, being set apart for Him, and being brought into an unspeakable inheritance through Christ, we must live our identity and bless the Lord. It is essential that He is precious to us, and every child of God must long for His wisdom. Rather than rest on self – fallible, unholy sinners whose goodness is nothing apart from Him – we must seek counsel from Him, the only wise God. Today, the counsel is from Scripture, wherein God is revealed to us. Do we seek His wisdom? And when we receive it, do we apply it? Counsel is freely available from the very One who defines wisdom; let us seek it thoroughly and bless the Lord as a result.

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.

What promises! “Because He is at my right hand, I shall never be moved. My heart can be glad, and I can rejoice. I can rest in hope.” With God before us, with Christ as our foundation, we cannot be moved; and we are eternally secure. And with Him, and as a result of being firm in Christ, we can rest in a hope beyond all others, the hope of our blessed inheritance. Our bodies that are surrounded by constant struggle, sickness, and sin can even rest when our spirit is content in the cross. But where does that rest originate? “I have set the Lord always before me.” Without Him before us, the promises above shatter. It all comes down to where our rest is founded upon.

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

While the final section applies to Christ, it can certainly apply to us. When we were destined for Hell because of sin and when all hope seemed to be lost, Christ stepped in and by His actions declared, “I’m not going to let him die!” He died in our place. As a result of His death and resurrection, because He conquered death, our soul will never see Hell and our hope is a life in His will, a future hope of full joy, and pleasures forevermore. This is all part of our inheritance and identity in Christ. How precious He is! Life, joy, pleasures forevermore – what incentive to rest in Him.

Truly, it is a glorious hope we have in Christ. Where would we be without Him? We would be left unstable, sad, sorrowful, hopeless and destined for Hell, all because of sin. But because of Christ, sin is gone. Why would we ever try to hide His light? 1 Peter 2:7 “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious.” 2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” He is precious!

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