313 – Psalm 16 – Path of Life
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV)
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Today we come to the last verse in Psalm chapter sixteen. This verse seemed straightforward enough to me the first time I read it. But then, I re-read it many times, made observations, and pondered the message. I’m not sure I’ve gleaned all that can be discovered here, but my time in this verse has been rewarding.
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read the whole Psalm in its entirety, then camp on verse eleven for a bit. Read and re-read the verse and make observations before seeing what I have to say. Let the word of God speak for itself.
I’m sure we already assume we know the answer, but it would be prudent to identify the antecedent to the pronoun “you” David uses at the beginning of the verse. If you just keep backing up verses you’ll hit the noun “LORD”, which of course is Yahweh (God’s personal name). David continues to address Yahweh through the end of the Psalm.
Look at verse eleven again and notice David is not asking Yahweh for anything. Also, he is not proclaiming some truth about Yahweh to others. What then is David doing in this concise verse? The Psalmist is telling Yahweh three things he knows about Him. But why is David telling Yahweh something He already knows about Himself? David is certainly not informing God, so what is he doing? Simply put, I believe David is expressing his faith in the personal God with whom he is in relationship.
David is saying Yahweh I know beyond doubt “You will show me the path of life”! Next, this Hebrew King proclaims I know that “In your presence is fullness of joy”! And finally, David boldly declares I know that “At your right hand are pleasures forevermore”! You could summarize this last verse by saying something like, “Yahweh, I know that in you is life, fullness of Joy, and pleasures forevermore”.
Let’s crossover into the New Testament and consider a few related verses. Look at what John reported in his gospel.
John 14:5-6 (NKJV)
5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
Yahweh Jesus is the way that David knows Yahweh God will show him. Jesus is the way – the very pathway of life (“I am the way, the truth, and the life”).
Next, notice what Jesus said about Himself.
John 10:10 (NKJV)
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus said He came to give not just life but abundant life, doesn’t that sound like the “fullness of joy” in Psalm 16:11?
It is obvious to me that David is referring to eternal life considering the last part refers to Yahweh’s right hand. How could one have access to the right hand of God unless he was where God dwells?
My last comment on this verse is on the phrase “pleasures forevermore”. What an incredible demonstration of Yahweh’s mercy and grace. We, along with David, deserve nothing more than Yahweh’s judgment. But it isn’t His wrath we will experience for all of eternity. Jesus took that wrath so we can experience the goodness of Yahweh for all eternity.
1 John 2:2 (NKJV)
2 And He [Jesus] Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
Jesus became the total price paid for our sins. Yahweh is completely appeased by Christ’s sacrifice. There is nothing more to pay.
Do you see why I say, Yahweh is worthy of all Praise, Worship, Adoration, and Service?