307 – Psalm 16 – A boy A Lion A bear

Psalm sixteen, by its own indication, was written by David. Before we look at verse one let’s recall some facts about this unique king. King Saul is trying to talk David out of confronting the Giant. This Giant is huge and has trained as a warrior since he was a boy. What have you been preparing for David? Let’s look at David’s response.


1 Samuel 17:34-35 (LEB)

           34       And David said to Saul, “Your servant has been a shepherd of the flock for his father. If the lion or the bear would come and carry off a sheep from the group, 

           35       I would go out after it and strike it down and rescue the sheep from its mouth. If it rose against me, I would grab it by its beard and strike it down and kill it. 


Just think about that for a minute. A shepherd boy killed both a lion and a bear! That’s crazy! I think too often we dismiss what we read in the Bible without truly pondering what it says. Who at any time in history could even live through an encounter with a bear or lion to say nothing of killing both of them?? Is this man pushing his luck by thinking he can enter into battle with a giant? Verses thirty-six and thirty-seven fill in the details.


1 Samuel 17:35-37 (LEB)

           36       Your servant has struck down both the lion and the bear, and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he defied the battle lines of the living God.” 

           37       And David said, “Yahweh, who rescued me from the hand of the lion and from the hand of the bear, will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine!” Then Saul said to David, “Go and may Yahweh be with you!” 


David was a man who was in a relationship with Yahweh as a boy, long before he became king. If you didn’t know some background information you might be tempted to see Psalm 16:1 as the petition of a weak and fearful man.


Psalm 16:1 (LEB)

           1       Protect me, O God, 

     for I take refuge in you. 


David knew it was Yahweh’s power all along. He acknowledged it was Yahweh who delivered him from the paw of both the lion and the bear. He also knew Yahweh would protect him from Goliath. Doesn’t that put a different spin on verse one of this Psalm?

The word “God” David chose is the Hebrew word “El”, short for “Elohim”. It means Powerful God or Almighty God. I believe we could restate verse one without changing it’s meaning. 

Protect me, O Most Powerful God, because I am willingly placing myself under your protection.

I know we are barely into this Psalm and it is very early to be jumping to the application stage of Bible study methods, but I can’t help wondering something. Do we regularly call on Yahweh for His protection? Do we practice willingly placing ourselves under His protection?

Yahweh is Worthy!


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