Psalm 16:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 16:1, NIV: A miktam of David. Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.

Psalm 16:1, ESV: A Miktam of David. Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

Psalm 16:1, KJV: {Michtam of David.} Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.

Psalm 16:1, NASB: Protect me, God, for I take refuge in You.

Psalm 16:1, NLT: A psalm of David. Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge.

Psalm 16:1, CSB: Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you.

What does Psalm 16:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

David asks the Lord to keep him safe. His life was marked with combat and other dangers (1 Samuel 19:8; Psalm 144:1); he deeply understood what it meant to trust God for protection. As part of that, David recognized that ultimate security only comes from God. A "refuge" is a shelter, meant to protect against some threat or disaster. In the ancient world, that might have included a reinforced tower or a cave in a high mountain. A refuge kept the threat—such as an enemy—at bay.

Early in life, David learned to trust in the Lord for safety. His battle with the giant Goliath demonstrates this. He met Goliath with only a staff, a shepherd's pouch, a sling, and five smooth stones. When Goliath mocked him, David responded, "This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head" (1 Samuel 17:46). He also declared, "The battle is the LORD's" (1 Samuel 17:47). We can learn from past victories that the Lord is our refuge and worthy of our trust. Romans 8:37 points out that even earthly defeat is only temporary: "We are more than conquerors through him who loved us."