Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 NASB
What does the word delight mean? The word found in Psalm 37:4 - anag in the Hebrew - literally means ‘to take exquisite care of, or to treat delicately, or to be extremely happy about, or to make merry about, or express joy over’. When I think about delighting myself in the Lord, I think about finding the deepest joy and satisfaction in knowing how deeply and massively I am loved by Him…but then, I begin to think about the reverse of that delight and wonder about whether or not He delights in me! This thought changes everything!
It was the lovingkindess of God that led me to repentance in the first place. He loved me right where I was in the midst of my sin - loved me even when I turned my back on Him. He loved me right where I was but loved me enough to not leave me there. Why? Because I was the joy set before Him that sent Him to the cross! If that’s not delight, I don’t know what is!
Another expression of God’s delight in me was the way He treated me while I was still sinner. I felt condemned to hell by the lies of the enemy - and by many in the church - but God’s delight in me as expressed through His kindness toward me led me right to His waiting open arms of love!
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 NASB
And speaking of God’s lovingkindness…
The LORD favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness. Psalm 147:11 NASB
The Word ‘favors’ in Psalm 147:11 literally means ‘to be pleased with’ or ‘to be debt-free’. When we fear God - or give highest reverence and deference to Him - we find His favor. We find His pleasure in us! Our sin-debt has been forgiven! We find our hearts wanting to take delight in Him for all He has done for us!
1 Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant [and] praise is becoming. 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. 4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. 5 Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite. 6 The LORD supports the afflicted…Psalm 147:1-6 NASB
One day as I meditated on Psalm 147 and realized how much delight God takes in me, I was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. You see, when I think about my life – the time before I realized that God loved me – it becomes very easy to be grateful. I cannot think about my deliverance from the bondage of sin without thanking God and delighting in His love for me! Reality is this: God takes more delight in our presence than we could possibly take in His! Just read Psalm 147 and Romans 8 which says:
35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39 NASB
I will end with a personal translation of Zephaniah 3:17 that I came up with many years ago. The King James Version says, “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” The Dennis Jernigan translation after a deep study of the Hebrew text says this:
The eternal self-existent God, the God Who is three in one; He Who dwells in the center of your being is a powerful and valiant warrior. He has come to set you free, to keep you safe, and to bring you victory. He is cheered and He beams with exceeding joy and takes pleasure in your presence. He has engraved a place for Himself in you and there He quietly rests in His love and affection for you. He cannot contain Himself at the thought of you and with the greatest of joy spins around wildly in anticipation over you…and has placed you above all other creations and in the highest place in His priorities. In fact, He shouts and sings in triumph, joyfully proclaiming the gladness of His heart in a song of rejoicing! All because of you! (Translation by Dennis Jernigan)
Let us become as children today, simply trusting our Father by delighting in His presence and allowing Him to lavish His great redeeming love upon us. Sing to Him and listen for His song being sung over you…and allow Him to delight in you!
To listen to a podcast containing the song ‘I Delight in You’ along with teaching on God’s delight in us, go to http://podcast.dennisjernigan.com/e/i-delight-in-you/
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