Psalm 16 is a song of confidence expressing a deep trust in the Lord in both life and death. The Psalmist possesses a security as he rejoices to know that his future is safe, and that the Lord will not allow him to “see decay.”
The quotation from Psalm 16 by Peter in Acts 2:25-28 and Paul in Acts 13:35 makes this Psalm particularly cherished to Christians, as it speaks of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Psalmist’s assertion and confidence in his own resurrection is not unlike that of Paul’s in Romans 6:5-11, wherein he speaks of a future resurrection in terms of absolute certainty (6:5). True faith in the resurrection instills a confidence not only in death, but in life as well. It leads to a genuine optimism, even in the most adverse of circumstances. As Paul wrote, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18). The beloved apostle John writes, “… we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).
The Christian hope in the resurrection is not a vain hope, neither in its source nor in its product. The source of the Christian’s hope is based on the veracity of the risen Savior. If He did not rise, then we will not rise; if He did not rise, then our faith is in vain, and we are of all men most pitiable (1 Cor 15:13-19). But it is equally true that our faith in the resurrection is not vain in its product – that is, because He did rise and conquer sin and death, it will produces in us the fruits of joy, peace, patience, and a hopeful and pure life.