Delight and desire–those two words definitely seem awkward together for a quiet time, yet they are found paired together in scripture, in a verse that always made me a tad uncomfortable, only because it makes me think of dealing with salesmen. Salesmen make me squeamish, very uncomfortable with their big smile, and especially if they follow you around or hover. Ew.
But the scripture for today is from Psalms 34:7
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
It almost seems like an if/then statement from the ACT. There are so many ways to look at this. Shouldn’t I want to take delight in God without getting anything in return? Is God making a bargain with me? A friend of mine would say that its a promise that He’s making to us. But here’s where I think it does good to look at the context of the verse. Psalms, of course, is written mostly by King David, as is this chapter. Read the verses before and after verse 4.
1 & 2 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
5 & 6 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Now if you know much about David, you know he spent a lot of his youth running from King Saul–his father-in-law (LOL) and his best-friend’s dad. Literally running for his life, but not because of his relationships with the king’s children. David was running because of Saul’s pride. Saul had disobeyed God, therefore God found another king–David. Hence, the fleeing for one’s life.
Here in these verses, we can see David is remembering what is good about God, the benefits from being on God’s side, His promises. This isn’t similar to our way of thinking–“God if you do this one thing, I’ll __________”. We do that for selfish reasons. No this verse about giving us the desires of our hearts has less to do with our selfishness and more to do with aligning ourselves with God.
Take the first portion of the verse–how does one delight in God? Well Webster’s describes delight as taking great pleasure in something. How do we take great pleasure in God? Another way of thinking this–how do we enjoy God? I think part of it has to do with thanksgiving–seeing all the things that He has done or made. I take great pleasure in sunrises and sunsets, seeing the stars on a clear night. Living near the Smokey Mountains, we get to enjoy the wonderful nature God has made. I can delight in my family–the many good parts of them! I think there are many ways we can take delight in God once we think about it.
What are the desires of our hearts? I think that’s a little more complicated to answer that most of us would like. I seriously doubt that if we begin to delight in the Lord, that he will give us a million dollars. Not that he can’t, but I don’t think that’s the point of delighting in the Lord. Again, if we think back to aligning ourselves with God, perhaps if our desires become intermingled with His desires for us–well, that’s an amazing concept. That begs the question–What are God’s desires for me? And that question is for another day.