I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:2

Sonnet for Psalm 16

O God, I have no good apart from you.
This I will repeat until it is true.
Because it is, of course, that is not new.
But remembering this can change my view.
So connect me to the vine of your Son,
Let me be his branch, bearing Spirit’s fruit - 
Joy, peace, and love, for all under the sun. 
And let patience, too, be love’s offshoot.
Grow these fruit, O God, let me abide in
Your beloved vine, who gave his life for 
Me. Show the path that I would walk with him
And my soul will be glad, my heart will soar. 
For this I will pray until it is true:
O God, may all my good be found in you.

Psalm 16 offers us both a blessing and a challenge: To find all our good in God alone. How do we do that? In a world that offers competing goods that are more easily seen and more readily available, it is a challenge to delight in God above all. One of the ways that Jesus invites us to do that is to abide in him, to connect to him as a branch connects to a vine. When I stay connected to Jesus through God’s word, prayer, and worship, I find it easier to remember that I have no good apart from the Lord.

My sonnet, inspired by this psalm, is another in the series that I have written since this pandemic began. It has been a blessing to me spend so much time and prayer with the psalms, and these sonnets are the fruit of that. With those thoughts in mind, here is Psalm 16, followed by other scripture passages that I had in mind when I wrote the sonnet, along with the sonnet again, followed by a closing prayer:

Psalm 16:1-9

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    I have no good apart from you.”
As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
    in whom is all my delight.
Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
    or take their names upon my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
    you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    I have a goodly heritage.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
    in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices.

Scripture Passages

Jesus said: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. – Galatians 5:22-23

Sonnet for Psalm 16

O God, I have no good apart from you.
This I will repeat until it is true.
Because it is, of course, that is not new.
But remembering this can change my view.
So connect me to the vine of your Son,
Let me be his branch, bearing Spirit’s fruit - 
Joy, peace, and love for all under the sun. 
And let patience, too, be love’s offshoot.
Grow these fruit, O God, let me abide in
Your beloved vine, who gave his life for 
Me. Show the path that I would walk with him
And my soul will be glad, my heart will soar. 
For this I will pray until it is true:
O God, may all my good be found in you.

Closing Prayer

O Lord, I know that it is true, that I have no good apart from you. But there are times when I am tempted to neglect this truth that is at the very heart of my life of faith. Help me, Lord, to abide in your Word, to pray and worship and remember you throughout the day. Help me to find all my good in you, for where else can I hope to find what you so freely give? In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Here are links to all of the other “Sonnets for Psalms” that I have shared on my blog:

  1. Sonnet for Psalm 1
  2. Sonnet for Psalm 8
  3. Sonnet for Psalm 19
  4. Sonnet for Psalm 24
  5. Sonnet for Psalm 27
  6. Sonnet for Psalm 42
  7. Sonnet for Psalm 46
  8. Sonnet for Psalm 51
  9. Sonnet for Psalm 61
  10. Sonnet for Psalm 62
  11. Sonnet for Psalm 90
  12. Sonnet for Psalm 91
  13. Sonnet for Morning Prayer (Sonnet for Psalm 95)
  14. A Sonnet of Thanksgiving (Sonnet for Psalm 100)
  15. Sonnet for Psalm 101
  16. Sonnet for Psalm 103
  17. Sonnet for Psalm 116
  18. Sonnet for Psalm 119
  19. Sonnet for Psalm 121
  20. Sonnet for Psalm 131
  21. Sonnet for Evening Prayer (Sonnet for Psalm 141)
  22. Sonnet for Psalm 145
  23. Sonnet for Psalm 146

5 thoughts on “Sonnet for Psalm 16

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s