Today’s letter is “D.” For the letter “D” I have chosen the word “delight.” This word “delight” is the English word that was chosen to translate the Hebrew verb “anag.” We find this verb and our English word “Delight” in Psalms 37:4:
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (ESV)
Our word delight carries the idea of “to be happy about” or “to take exquisite delight in.” It can also carry the idea of “to make merry over or to make sport of.” This is a wonderful verb and promise when we correctly understand it.
Prior to conversion by the Holy Spirit most people have a fear of God and they resist any type of a relationship with Him. Sadly, most people do not find God desirable nor do they make any effort to delight in Him. People tragically think of God as mean, stern, unloving, frightening, and even uninterested in them.
Let me say, first of all, that God is Sovereign; He is holy, righteous, and awesome. We cannot cheapen God nor treat Him with any less respect, awe, and worship than He is worthy. God cannot and will not be treated lightly. Second, when we are brought to a knowledge and awareness of God’s majestic character by the Holy Spirit, we find Him to be lovely, desirable and especially delightful.
Let’s stop here for a moment and make something perfectly clear. This verse of Scripture has been horribly torn from its context and original meaning by those purveyors of the “prosperity gospel.” This is not a promise of an open checkbook into any and all of our dreams and wishes. This is not a cart Blanche check for cars, homes, planes, wealth, or money.
This Psalm, probably written by King David was written with the intention of causing God’s people to guard their hearts against the temptations of envy, jealousy, worry, and discouragement when God’s people witness the physical prosperity of the wicked.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit David warns Gods’ people not to be dismayed or discouraged when the ungodly people around them seem to prosper and become wealthy. The reason that God’s people are not to worry, become envious, or jealous of those who are outside of the family of God is because just like grass or any other vegetation, the ungodly will fade away, die, and their life will end.
The only thing that the ungodly had was their wealth. They did not have a relationship with God and will not enjoy an eternal existence with God. They will be eternally punished. So, don’t envy them when they win the lottery, get promoted, win game shows, or seemingly have more than you.
As a child of God by faith in Jesus Christ, we are to make God, not wealth the object of our delight or pleasure. We who not only know God but are known by God rejoice in Him, not material, physical, or financial things. We are far richer in Christ than the richest man or woman in the world who does not know God.
Set your affections on God not on the things that you think this world can offer you in some attempt at happiness. Find your contentment and satisfaction in the character and nature of a God who would hold nothing back from you including His dear Son, whom He was pleased to bruise and crush for the salvation of your soul.
David is saying take delight or pleasure in God; let Him be your joy. Why? For a multitude of reasons, but let me give you three:
• God desires to give to you all that He knows is good for you as He conforms you to the image of His dear Son
• God will give you Himself which is the full desire of the one who has committed him or herself to God
• God is worthy of delight because as we have already noted He is the sum of all perfection therefore is desirable
When you stand before God He will not ask you how many figures your bank account contained, how many square feet your home was, how many Lexus or Beemers you had in the garage. God will not ask you to inventory your vacation home, career level, or any achievements. These things will all be more than forgotten when we enter into the presence of God. What will matter is what “treasures” did we lay up in heaven as we faithfully, prayerfully, and wisely sojourned in this foreign territory as pilgrims.
So, make God the joy and rejoicing of your heart. Let the ungodly delight in material things. Don’t envy them. Don't become jealous of them. Don't worry about what you do not have. God is yours! You have God. Please don't read minimalism or anything else into this post. You are right we can rejoice and glory in the very things God has created. We can take great joy and pleasure in God's provision - that joy comes from our delight and pleasure in God. As we delight in Him, we are then able to delight in the things that God has designed and created. Enjoying and delighting in creation and the things of creation without delighting and takingn pleasure in God is idolatry. Anything That God delights in we delight in also. It is like the old saying, or cliche, "Any friend of yours is a friend of mine." Because I love God I love what God loves. What God treasures I treasure and what God delights in I delight in. Reverse that order and as I have said, one becomes an idolator. Unfortunately Christendom and the evangelicl church is populated with idolators. May we recognize this and repent and truly take pleasure and delight in our God who alone is worthy!
Men and women who delight in God desire and petition God for nothing accept that which will please and honor God. In other words your most inner and secret longings will be for God and the things that please Him rather than material items. Therefore, God will give those inner secret longings to you because you delight or take pleasure in Him. He will give you Himself!
John Bunyan, the author of the classic Pilgrim’s Progress said this, "The desire of God and the desires of the righteous, agree in one, they are of one mind in their desires.”