In This I Will Rejoice

Psalms From the Well   —   View Song   —     —   Get the Free Devo App

Play the devotional:

In Luke 24, Jesus is sitting with his disciples following his resurrection. I imagine these moments were exhilarating, the air thick with anticipation in the upper room and the disciples hanging on every word spoken from the mouth of the resurrected Christ. What Jesus chooses to focus on here is notable for us today, saying, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me." 


Luke says that Jesus opened their understanding so they might fully and rightly comprehend the Scriptures. One scholar noted, "In that one hour, in the upper chamber with Christ, Scripture became a new book to the disciples. Never forget how earnestly and constantly our Lord appealed to the testimony of the Lord."


The disciples began to see the bigger picture of scripture and how the Old Testament prophets had been foretelling the King to come who would put death to death and offer eternal life to all who would believe. They now saw Jesus for who He truly is: the resurrected Lord and hope for all mankind. Even the Psalms, Jesus reminded them, pointed to the Savior who was to come: Jesus himself. 


Peter was in the circle that day, listening to Jesus. Knowing what we know of Peter's personality and impulsive nature, he must have been overflowing with excitement and enthusiasm. This Peter who walked on water with Jesus, witnessed the transfiguration of Christ, attacked the arresting guard of Jesus in the garden, vehemently denied Jesus three times, and yet became the rock on which Christ would build his church is the same Peter was the one who stood to preach in one of the most powerful moments in all of scripture. The scene was Pentecost, following the ascension of Christ, when suddenly "there came from heaven a mighty rushing wind" (Acts 2:2), and the Holy Spirit fell upon those gathered. Peter stands and begins to preach the gospel of Jesus crucified (Acts 2:23) and Jesus resurrected (Acts 2:24), a gospel he now has seen with his own eyes and believed fully without reservation or hesitation.


So what does this have to do with our passage here, Psalm 16 - the inspiration for "In This I Will Rejoice"?


As Peter is preaching the first great evangelistic sermon following Christ's ascension to a crowd of thousands who had gathered there, just moments after the Spirit of God has fallen and the power of the Spirit given, Peter goes to this very Psalm as he preaches the gospel. Of all the places in the scripture, Peter recites from the prophet Joel and then Psalm 16. He declares that though David wrote the Psalm, it speaks of someone greater than David, a greater King, and a greater Shepherd. The Psalm speaks of the fullness of joy found in the presence of God and pleasures at the right hand of God forevermore (Psalm 16:11), and now Peter is declaring to the crowds that day and what is declared to us this very day: complete joy and eternal pleasures are found only in Jesus Christ.


Psalm 16 starts with a plea ("Preserve me O Lord,v 1) and ends with a promise ("eternal  pleasures," - v 11). And all that is in between becomes a cry of worship and declaration of God's goodness, faithfulness, trustworthiness, and sufficiency. David describes God in these eleven verses as his "refuge" (v 1), "treasure" (v5), "sovereign" (v2), and "counselor" (v7). 


John Piper summarizes Psalm 16: "David is declaring that God will bring you, body and soul, through life and death into full and everlasting joy if God is your safest refuge, your highest treasure, your sovereign Lord and trusted Counselor."



We pray that as you listen to "In This I Will Rejoice (Psalm 16)",  you will rejoice in God, your refuge; are you resting in him today? God as your treasure; is He greater than anything this world can offer you today? God as your sovereign Lord; are you trusting Him even when you can't see how it all fits together? And lastly, God as your counselor; where are you finding wisdom and solace in an age of subjective truth and overwhelming noise?


Rejoice in Him. He is Christ crucified, Christ resurrected, and Christ our only hope in life and death. This is the same promise given to David, even if he didn't see the whole picture in the days of Psalm 16. This is the same promise Peter preached to the thousands of soon-to-be new believers at Pentecost. The promise of Jesus is true today, so rejoice in Him as you listen. Amen.