Psalm 16

Matthias Church Sanctuary, Budapest

Matthias Church Sanctuary, Budapest

Thomas Merton and Jacques Ellul, French philosopher, shared common views about technology and its potential to sap us of our true selves. While technology enhances many human endeavors, technique, Ellul’s term, points to the dangers in a world that focuses totally on reason and the best, most efficient technological solutions to problems. In Psalm 16, the psalmist reminds us that God alone is our allotted portion and cup, our sanctuary. In God alone will we find our true selves, the image of God dwelling deep within us yearning and moaning to come to full exposure in our lives.

This is a psalm about the temple as sanctuary. The temple is a symbol of God’s presence to us and in us.

Psalm 16

You are my refuge.

I place all my trust in you.

You alone are God.


Others chase idols—

Power, pride, and possessions.

Technique* rules their lives.


Their choices add to

Their sorrows, woes, and troubles.

Their lives are in vain.


But you are my God—

My allotted portion and my cup.

I find peace in you.


I lead a good life.

You fill me up with grace.

And blessings abound.


Even in the night

When darkness encompasses,

You give me counsel.


You are with me now

You save me from deep despair

You promise me life.


In you I rejoice

I am filled with shalom hope

I glorify your name.


*Jacques Ellul, French philosopher, describes the fact that in our technological society, technique orders our lives. Technique relies on reason to find the most efficient solutions to problems and challenges. Technique excludes morality and God from life choices. As such it is a false god, an idol. In the thought of Herbert Marcuse, German philosopher, technique makes us one-dimensional people with no real choices in life.

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