Though David was never called a friend of God (like Abraham was), he was described as a man after God’s own heart (1st Samuel 13:14). His passion for God, especially before his adultery with Bathsheba and its devastating impact on his life (2nd Samuel 11ff.), has been written for our learning and admonition. Psalm 16 details the recipe for David’s vibrant and passionate faith. It should come as no surprise that his Michtam is a Messianic psalm.
The Psalm begins with a simple request: “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust” (v. 1). The remainder of its verses describes the reasons why David had such a fearless faith in God’s loving response, especially as the hour of his death approached. An examination of David’s faith reveals the following facts about it:
- He had a singular authority in his life. “O my soul, you have said to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You’” (v. 2).
- He had a fervent love of brethren. “As for the saints who are on the earth, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” (v. 3).
- He had a steadfast abhorrence of idolatry and false worship. “Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer nor take up their names on my lips” (v. 4).
- He had a joyous trust in God. “O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance” (vv. 5-6).
- He had a tenacious passion for God’s Word. “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons” (v. 7).
- He had a continuous pursuit of God and His fellowship. “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (v. 8).
- He had a confident and joyous hope in death. “Therefore, my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (vv. 9-11).
David’s faith ever sought to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. He truly was a man after God’s own heart.