Psalm 16:1 : Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge.
Response : It has been the usual plan of commentators to apply this psalm to David, to the saints, and to the Lord Jesus, but we will venture to believe that in it “Christ is all;” since in the ninth and tenth verses, like the apostles on the mount, we can see “no man but Jesus only.”
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 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 49:7-8 . “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 fulfilled 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 17:1-26 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, 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 crying 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.
“According to thy faith be it done unto thee,” is a great rule of heaven in dispensing favour, and 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, never returns empty.
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 bravely cry to the Lord as he did, “in thee do I put my trust.”