(Psa. 16:1) “Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust.”
The Subject of this Psalm is the Lord Jesus Christ. David records the Words of Christ as our Representative; as our Perfect Savior; and as our Forerunner to the Father. Some of His statements relate only to Christ, the Perfect Lamb of God, His Only Begotten Son, God in the flesh. Other times His statements are as our Substitute, speaking for us in His Perfection; which also applies to us, because we are His Body, the Church.
First, Christ petitioned the Father, “…Preserve me, O God.” Look at (Heb. 5:7) “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.” This speaks of God in the flesh; our Representative. Christ is recorded in the Gospels praying many times. Christ, being God in the flesh, needed not to pray; because, being God Himself, He was (and is) omniscience, or all-knowing. But, as our Representative; our Head; our Pattern; and our Example; Christ prays to the Father – not to get help, but, to teach us where the help is for His Body, the children of God. Now that is established, note the petition itself:
Preservation of God
“…Preserve me, O God.”
The definition of “preserve” is not only to “guard” (that is to watch out for all enemies and sound the warning); but, also it means to “keep” (that is to preserve, or maintain, or to be secure, for now and all eternity). Christ, our Representative was “preserved”: from the moment of conception in the womb of Mary to the birth; during His childhood, His adulthood, and all His days in His Public Ministry from all enemies; beginning in the days of Herod as a baby; from the devil in the Wilderness of Temptation; from the hatred of the Pharisees and Sadducees; from the Roman Procurators; even to the ordained hour of His Judgment and Crucifixion; even His Body in the grave. Jesus could not be touched or hurt in His physical body until the Appointed time. This Keeping was according to the Eternal Purpose of God.
Jesus said to Pilate, (Mat 26:53) “Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Joh 18:36) “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” These Scriptures suffices to show that Christ submitted to what He came to do; and this is the reason He allowed His enemies to crucify Him.
Jesus said, “…Preserve me, O God:” God is the only True Preserver; for He is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of all His Creation. He has all power in heaven and on earth (Mt. 28:18). There is no other God beside Jehovah (Isa. 46:9-11). Therefore, all are subservient to God. Therefore, no enemy can over-take God. Therefore, child of God, be encouraged; in Christ, there is Protection from all enemies. This is true security (Rom.8:29-39).
Preservation for the saints must not only be thought of in the physical realm; for the physical body is subject to hurts, sickness, frailty, and finally death. However, it is the Preservation of God that keeps the saints in the physical realm until the appointed time, as well as in the spiritual realm. The explanation is found in the truth of the fact that the spirit of man shall never die; it will either be in the presence of God for all eternity, or in the presence of the devil in hell for all eternity. The Preservation for the saints is in Christ for all eternity; that is, in Christ’s Perfection, as God. This Preservation extends to Christ’s Body, that is His Children, for now and for all eternity.
The Foundation of Preservation
“…for in thee do I put my trust.”
Jesus declares, as the saint’s Representative, that God is the Foundation of Preservation. Jesus was God in the flesh, and therefore needed no Foundation, for He is the Foundation (1 Cor. 3:11). But, as stated, Jesus is the saint’s Representative. As the Representative of all saints, Jesus points the saints to the Foundation, God, “…for in thee…” Where else can the saints go? The Apostle Peter said, (Joh 6:68) “Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.” There is only one God and His Name is “Jehovah.” His Name is Jesus Christ, for Jesus said, (Joh 10:30) “I and my Father are one.” Jesus, The Foundation, God in the flesh; Who is Unchangeable; cannot fail, or be defeated, or be destroyed. Therefore, being God, the Creator, the Controller, and the Consummator of all creation; the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End; and Who is Eternal Life (1 Jn. 5:20) He is the Foundation.
God is the Object of the saint’s trust. That is, God is the Hope of the believer. The word “trust” is a synonym of “believe,” “hope,” and “dependence on.” The ground of “trust” is “Faith.” The Bible is very plain in defining Faith. Faith is not an ability fabricated by the believer; but, is a Gift, and that Gift is a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ living in the believer; (Gal 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Take notice, Paul said “…I live by the Faith (not my faith, or not something I originated, but); by the Faith of the Son of God” (that is, it is Christ Himself living and abiding in the believer; a gift; Eph. 2:8-9).
For another proof text that the Faith that dwells in the believer is Christ, see (Gal 2:16) “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Notice, it is “the faith of Christ” or from Christ, out of, as to Source; Christ is the Source; for He, and He alone, is Life; Eternal Life (1 Jn. 5:20).
Faith is Christ. He is the Origin of the Ability implanted in the believer to “Trust” or to “believe” the Word of God. When that Gift is granted, and implanted in the sinner; he is no longer considered to be “dead in trespasses and sin” but, rather, “alive” in Christ. He is now a “new creature” or a “new creation”; that is, he has been raised from his deadness in sin, to walk in the “newness of life” (Rom. 6:4).
Therefore, for David, as he writes of Christ as the believer’s Representative, there is no hope, outside of the Foundation (God), of any Preservation. But, in Christ is complete Security, and complete and everlasting Salvation for the believer; based on Who God is, and What God has performed in the Works of Jesus Christ as the believer’s Sacrifice for his sin debt; and as the believer’s Substitute, suffering the penalty and punishment of the wrath of God on sin; and on that basis, Christ is the believer’s Savior from the penalty, punishment, power and practice of sin.
(Rom 8:1-3) (1) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”
All that left to be said is Hallelujah! Amen and Amen! (Rom. 8:29-39)