Saturday, February 20, 2010

Pure Delight

Is it possible that there could actually come a time when you and I shout along with David, “I delight to do your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8)? Could it happen? Soon?

And we’re not just talking about the Ten Commandments here—at least not in their basic sense. Not murdering, not stealing, not committing adultery—all of these things we are pretty good at, if, for no other reason than to keep us out of jail. But this word for “will” to which David refers literally speaks of God’s desires, that which He delights in, that which is pleasing to Him. It’s as if David is saying, “I get really excited about doing that which gets You really excited. I love pleasing You.”

Interestingly, there are a number of other places in the book of Psalms that use this same word for “delight” and apply it to similar pursuits. The righteous “delight” in the law of the Lord and meditate upon it day and night, according to Psalm 1. And Psalm 112:1 says that “blessed is the man who . . . delights greatly in [the Lord’s] commandments,” while Psalm 119:35 echoes this with a humble prayer that says, “Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it.”

Could it be, friends, that there will come a time in our experience that we will actually delight and take pleasure in doing God’s will, in pleasing Him? Could it be that we will eventually find, along with the apostle John, that God’s “commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3)? Could it be that we will actually enjoy not getting angry at our spouse, not gossiping about another church member, not throwing a temper tantrum because we didn’t get our way? Could it be?

Yes, yes. The answer is yes—at least according to David. And at least if we allow the Lord to “teach us to do His will” (Psalm 143:10).

But here’s the key: the reason David and John and any other biblical author could say that they delighted to please God and to do His will and to keep His law was because they saw something about the law that you and I probably do not understand. Fortunately, David spells it out for us in Psalm 19 when he declares that God’s law, His precepts, His commandments, His judgments—all of these things—are “more desirable than gold” and “sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Psalm 19:10). Why would a person not desire and delight in devouring something that is “sweeter than honey”? It’s as if someone has walked up to David and said, “You can either eat mud or eat honey. Which do you prefer?”

And it should be a “no-brainer” to us as well. God wants to help us understand that participating in His law is the most delightful, the most exciting, the most joyous thing in the world. Yes, even sweeter than honey.

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