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Meditations on the Psalms (1:1-2) Part III

In what do you most truly delight? What experience, what stimulus, what opportunity fuels your heart’s desire and satisfies your soul’s deepest longing? What provision in the world would leave you the most crushingly devastated were it lost to you? What in your life, by simple virtue of what it is, by its own intrinsic qualities, brings you the greatest genuine, authentic joy?

I imagine for some their spouse comes to mind as their delight. After all, the very root meaning of delight involves desirability in the object of our delight. One person is attracted to another because of a measure of desirability in the other and the potential the other has to satisfy the longings of the one. Then, finding through prolonged relationship that the desirability and potential are real, the one desires the other even more and finds in them their true delight more deeply as time passes and challenges are met.

There are others, I am sure, who would immediately name their children as the delight of their heart, that one part of their world they could never imagine themselves able to live without.

Some will think of jobs or personal accomplishments or social attainments or education. Blue ribbons, occasions of public acclaim, athletes breaking a standing record, pastors with the biggest churches, anglers catching the biggest fish in the pond after years of foiled effort; these may also be activities and events in a person’s life that fulfill the definition of a genuine delight.

Even God delights. He delights in His word. He delights in His Son. He delights in His children and the good works they do in His name. He delights in the keeping of the Sabbath (a fact that we, living as we are in the days of an imposed Sabbath, ought to take much into account.)

God delights in mercy and the knowledge of God. He delights to accomplish His will and express His glory in and through creation.

According to the Psalmist here in Psalm 1, the blessed man, the person who enjoys the continuous favor of the Most High God, is one who delights in the law of the Lord and indulges that delight through habitual, perpetual exploration and application of the word of God to their private heart and public life.

Honestly, it becomes more challenging these days to think there are as many “blessed” people as there have been in the past, because there seem to be fewer and fewer among the people of God who genuinely delight in the law of the Lord or who meditate on it day and night.

Busyness is our delight. Togetherness is our delight. Accomplishment is our delight. Entertainment is our delight. Achievement is our delight. Family is our delight. Acquisition of goods is our delight. Physical and emotional and psychological pleasure is our delight, as is our pursuit of sensual gain.

But the Bible and Bible study, deep, thorough, life changing intellectual, moral, and spiritual discovery through prayer, effort, and the Holy Spirit for our present joy and eternal good, this is not our delight. You can tell by the sheer loss of attendance at Bible studies and the emptiness, powerlessness, and self-centeredness of many Christian lives that their delight is elsewhere and not in God or the revelation of Himself He makes in His word.

The lack of Bible memorization in the church of God gives another evidence of misplaced delight. I would suggest that the inability of the majority of Christians to name the Ten Commandments in order, or the Ten Plagues, or the Beatitudes, or the Twelve Sons of Israel, or the Twelve Apostles all give evidence of a people whose delight is elsewhere than the word of God.

It is grace and mercy then, that in this period of economic shutdown, social distancing, and imposed Sabbath, God has given to the church an opportunity to right this wrong and restore our personal and corporate delight in Him, where it belongs. Everything that we exalt in our lives more than the sovereign God and our Savior Jesus Christ is an idol, and idols can’t be accommodated. They have to be removed.

There is only one provision in this world that will make us truly blessed and that is God revealed in His word. Make the most of this time. Take up the word. Study the word. Join with others in the study of the word. Meditate on the word. Memorize the word. Let God, through the word, reclaim His rightful position as the greatest single delight in your heart.

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