Psalm 16:11 “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
The path of life isn’t some road we travel by our own power to get to heaven, as though Jesus gave us a map with all the turns we must take, but then left us to make the journey alone. The path of life is his own saving work: his death for our sins and his resurrection to promise us life. He does not merely show us the way. He tells us that he is “the way, the truth and the life.” He is a miraculous path or way that takes us up in his own arms and transports us to our heavenly destination by his own power. This is why we are certain that God will bless us there.
There, just like Jesus, we find joy in God’s presence and eternal pleasures at his right hand. Does that description sound a little vague to you and me? If the psalmist seems short on the details, at least appreciate the blessedness he does make clear. Look at the quality of those blessings: joy and pleasures in God’s presence, direct communion with God, our immediate experience of his love. These will be an experience that at one and the same time lifts our hearts and delights our senses.
Then take note of the quantity of those blessings. Here we sometimes find life tolerable. But wouldn’t you agree with me that joy tends to be in short supply, that pleasure is a rare diversion? David promises that we will be filled with joy and pleasures in God’s presence. These blessings aren’t just an occasional experience of heavenly existence. They are features of every part of it.
Finally, don’t miss the duration of what God has prepared. He promises these pleasures are eternal. Now there is always that bittersweet end to the times that we have enjoyed. We must leave the gathering of friends, or finish the game, or put down the book, or turn off the music. There the blessings God has prepared are so enduring that they will go on and on without end.
Peanuts cartoon character Linus dragged his blanket with him wherever he went. It made him feel safe and comfortable. A blanket, a flimsy piece of cloth, may seem like a silly thing to give someone peace. Yet God once wrapped the only true and lasting source of peace in flimsy pieces of cloth and placed him in a tomb. On Easter morning those pieces of cloth scattered around an empty tomb promise us safety, blessing, and peace. They tell us Jesus is alive again, waiting at God’s right hand to give us joy and pleasure that never end.