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A Season of Psalms - Psalm 37:4

Psalm 37:4

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

English Standard Version (ESV)

On Mother’s Day this year, we recognized four of our high school seniors who were graduating and moving off to college. Along with their church family and parents and friends, I was proud to recognize this achievement in their lives and give them a copy of God’s word. I remember my Senior Recognition Sunday in 1994. I received my very own Bible with a hand-written note from the pastor based on Psalm 37:4. It’s a verse that has stayed with me to this day. To our graduating seniors this year, I also wrote a note from Psalm 37:4. I hope the words of the psalm have a profound impact on the exciting days ahead of them!

What does it mean to “delight” in the Lord? Author John Piper, in Desiring God, says to delight in the Lord is to “take pleasure in Him.” This theme runs throughout the book of Psalms, the theme of finding one’s delight and pleasure in the Lord (see also Psalm 34:8; 43:4; 119:103, to name a few). Taking pleasure in the Lord means that we find enjoyment in the one and only God and thereby avoid the sin of covetousness and idolatry. The deepest and most enduring happiness can be found only in God and nowhere else. This happiness is not from God, but in God. And notice that “delight” is not a suggestion, but rather an imperative, a direct command to find one’s pleasure and enjoyment in God. The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that “The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy him forever,” whereas Piper contends that our enjoyment is not separated from that end. Piper’s version of the catechism reads: “The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying him forever.” When we enjoy God, we bring Him glory.

When we see a sunrise or sunset, when we hold a newborn baby, when we hear uplifting music, or behold the moon and stars on a clear night, we take pleasure in all God is and has done. That’s worship. When our delight is in Him, He delights in us. Never cease to take pleasure in Him. God is so good!

C.S. Lewis: “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

Further Reading: Micah 7:18-20; Habakkuk 3:17-19

Pray with me: Father, we find our delight in You. We enjoy the fullness of Your presence, and we take pleasure in knowing that You are our Eternal King. Be glorified in us today, in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

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