The Psalm for The Week


Psalm 16 For the week of April 19-25

Refuge in God above all

The Psalmist says to God, ‘I take refuge in you.’ Does this mean hiding in God, hiding out in God as the world turns? Is this a backing away from life, a failure to engage with society, only ‘partly living’ in Eliot’s phrase? No, far from copping out, the Psalmist is placing God as the most important thing at the center of life. Yes, refuge means finding safety in God. Safety from the dissipation that comes from running after other gods, safety from the costs exacted by idolatry, safety from the grim existence that does not know the joy of the Lord and the health (salvation as wholeness) of walking in God’s ways. 'You are my Lord, my good above all other' urges us to make God the center of our lives, more important than anything else, not because other things do not matter--they all do--but because we can only get them in right order and good shape if we acknowledge God first, and do it again and again and again.

Psalm 16

Conserva me, Domine

1 Protect me, O God, for I take refuge in you; *
I have said to the Lord, "You are my Lord,
my good above all other."

2 All my delight is upon the godly that are in the land, *
upon those who are noble among the people.

3 But those who run after other gods *
shall have their troubles multiplied.

4 Their libations of blood I will not offer, *
nor take the names of their gods upon my lips.

5 O Lord, you are my portion and my cup; *
it is you who uphold my lot.

6 My boundaries enclose a pleasant land; *
indeed, I have a goodly heritage.

7 I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; *
my heart teaches me, night after night.

8 I have set the Lord always before me; *
because he is at my right hand I shall not fall.

9 My heart, therefore, is glad, and my spirit rejoices; *
my body also shall rest in hope.

10 For you will not abandon me to the grave, *
nor let your holy one see the Pit.

11 You will show me the path of life; *
in your presence there is fullness of joy,
and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.