“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Ps. 16:10-11)
Psalm 16 is a resurrection psalm, and twice in Acts the apostles say that this psalm is talking about the resurrection of Jesus. As we continue to celebrate Easter together, it is worth noting that the Psalmist insists the result of resurrection is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore. That is the path of life, the way out of Sheol, the way out of the grave. And this is why God’s people are commanded to be joyful. If God has made you alive, then your job is to rejoice. But God knows that we need reminders, and frequently we need to cry out to God, to remind God to remind us, and that is what this feast is. The Psalmist confesses that in God’s presence is fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Where are you right now? You are in the presence of God, the presence of the Lord Jesus who was raised from the dead and now sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He is your pleasures forevermore. And you are in the presence of the holy angels, the cherubim that shout hallelujah, hosanna in the highest. You are in the presence of the Holy Spirit of God who is your comforter, your helper, and your guarantee of salvation and peace. In Nehemiah, in the midst of renewing covenant, the law is read and the people mourn because they know they have been unfaithful. But Nehemiah tells them: Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. And let this be your marching orders: wherever you are cut, wherever you are bruised, wherever it hurts, wherever you are wounded, wherever you are doubting or worried or afraid: Go your way and eat the fat and drink the sweet, and send portions for those for whom nothing is prepared. Give presents, take your wife out for dinner, make your husband his favorite dinner, take your children out on special trips, bring home flowers, encourage your coworkers, send thank you letters. Rejoice. Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. The joy of the Lord is your strength, and here in the presence of God is fullness of joy, pleasures forevermore. So come and give thanks.