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Posts Tagged ‘Delight’

A second scripture, which is, one of the most misused scriptures in the Bible Psalms 37:4

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

When I first became a Christian, I began attending a Pentecostal Church. Much emphasis was placed on the gifts of the Spirit. There was constant talk of looking for miracles or receiving something in the natural from God. I had one Pastor who claimed that you could walk in perfect health if you had enough faith in God and was obedient to the things of God. He portrayed himself to be one who was being blessed by God concerning perfect health. It was however ironic, that he wore glasses and took medication to regulate his thyroid, all the while claiming perfect health while using the verse above.

I was eventually recommended by the congregation to be placed into the office of elder and participated in teaching the congregation. After having taken a course in hermeneutics, I began to flesh out the meaning of the verses I worked through. This verse was one of those verses.

What I want to do in this post, is to show what it means to delight thyself in the Lord and what desires of the heart will be granted to those who actually have a delight for the things of God.

Many begin at the verse they are interpreting and expound on it from that point, however, I like to go back to the beginning of the chapter and work my way down to the verse in question. I will just give some passing comments as I work down to verse 4.

Psa 37:1 A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

This Psalm is a Psalm of instruction to the righteous to not ‘fret’ (Lit., incense not thyself: be not angry or indignant or discontented) against the wicked though they seem to prosper and live in peace. Asaph had fallen into discontent and envy of the wicked in his Psalm chapter 73. It wasn’t till he went into the sanctuary of God, that he understood their end Ps. 73:17. Howbeit, David understands the end of the wicked and therefore instructs his hearers and readers of this Psalm not to be discontent and envious of the wicked because ‘For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.vs. 2.

Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Trust in the LORD…..David’s instruction is to trust in the Lord, not men, who are fading and perishing like the grass, nor in riches, which are uncertain things; but trust in the Lord who is everlasting strength and in whom holds everlasting riches for those who place their trust in him.…..and do good…..by keeping God’s commandments and walk in uprightness before him, specifically in doing good to others and in acts of beneficence to the poor…..so shalt thou dwell in the land,….this speaks to the land of Canaan, but points especially to that better country which Abraham sought by faith…. and verily thou shalt be fed…..or shall have the things which you need, as will be shown below.[1]

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

David who was a man after God’s own heart, delighted himself in the Lord, walking before him upright in all his ways. This is seen in Psalm 122 whereby David saith: I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.‘ Therefore, even though David was King and lived as Kings do, nevertheless David’s heart was towards the things of God and expresses it in the words found in Psalm 145: ‘I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

Just as David delighted himself in the Lord, even so are we to do the same. Once we take the Lord and the things concerning him as our delight, then our minds and hearts change.

Many take ‘the desires of the heart‘ to be natural things or things with which we lust after. This is because their hearts and desires are turned earthward, instead of heavenward. Even so, the Word of Faith preachers have subverted hearts and minds by boasting of the riches of this world. They speak of their new Ferraris and the mansions in which they dwell as blessings which God has granted because they have supposedly delighted in the things of the Lord and received the desires of their hearts.[2] They call on men to sow seed offerings in order to receive the things we need in this life.

However, Christ tells us in Mat 6:31-34Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.

And Paul reiterates this by telling us in Colossians 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

As we begin to seek Christ and the things of his kingdom our hearts change. They turn from earthly things to heavenly things. Our hearts become fixed on the things which please the Lord. Our desires move towards the things which concern Christ and his kingdom. We begin to delight in the salvation of souls. We begin to delight in prayer for the sick, feeble, and weak. We begin to desire the attendance of Church, the hearing of the Words of God, and the singing of hymns to his glory. Our hearts become saturated with wanting his ways and desires to be our ways and desires and our old ways and desires are discarded.

Therefore, this Psalm is not speaking of desires for earthly things per se, but is speaking of desires which stem from a delighting of oneself in the Lord. Does this exclude desiring things that are of this earthly sphere? No. However, even those things which we desire in the flesh will be things that glorify God and that benefit us as we live this life. Charles Spurgeon offers a great comment on desiring things in the natural realm:

When a man’s delight is in God, then his desires are of such a sort that God may be

glorified in the granting of them, and the man himself profited by the receiving of them.[3]

Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Footnotes:

[1] John Gill- Commentary on Psalms 37:3, with a few thoughts of mine added therein

[2] These Word of Faith ministers are not given these things because they have delighted themselves in the things of the Lord, but on the contrary, they are giving these extravagant things in the flesh as a judgment on them. They shall be a curse to them. For if you are covetous, then God will usually heap riches on you, so that your judgment will be more severe.

[3] Charles H. Spurgeon- ‘Sunshine in the Heart,’ A Sermon on Psalm 37:4, delivered on Sunday morning, June 15th, 1862

The love of God defined

October 11, 2013 3 comments

Chapter I

WHEREIN THE TERMS COMMONLY MADE USE OF IN TREATING OF THIS SUBJECT ARE DEFINED AND EXPLAINED.

HAVING considered the attributes of God as laid down in Scripture, and so far cleared our way to the doctrine of predestination, I shall, before I enter further on the subject, explain the principal terms generally made use of when treating of it, and settle their true meaning. In discoursing on the Divine decrees, mention is frequently made of God’s love and hatred, of election and reprobation, and of the Divine purpose, foreknowledge and predestination, each of which we shall distinctly and briefly consider.

I.-When love is predicated of God, we do not mean that He is possessed of it as a passion or affection. In us it is such, but if, considered in that sense, it should be ascribed to the Deity, it would be utterly subversive of the simplicity, perfection and independency of His being. Love, therefore, when attributed to Him, signifies-

(1) His eternal benevolence, 1:e., His everlasting will, purpose and determination to deliver, bless and save His people. Of this, no good works wrought by them are in any sense the cause. Neither are even the merits of Christ Himself to be considered as any way moving or exciting this good will of God to His elect, since the gift of Christ, to be their Mediator and Redeemer, is itself an effect of this free and eternal favour borne to them by God the Father (John 3:16). His love towards them arises merely from “the good pleasure of His own will,” without the least regard to anything ad extra or out of Himself.

(2) The term implies complacency, delight and approbation. With this love God cannot love even His elect as considered in themselves, because in that view they are guilty, polluted sinners, but they were, from all eternity, objects of it, as they stood united to Christ and partakers of His righteousness.

(3) Love implies actual beneficence, which, properly speaking, is nothing else than the effect or accomplishment of the other two: those are the cause of this. This actual beneficence respects all blessings, whether of a temporal, spiritual or eternal nature. Temporal good things are indeed indiscriminately bestowed in a greater or less degree on all, whether elect or reprobate, but they are given in a covenant way and as blessings to the elect only, to whom also the other benefits respecting grace and glory are peculiar. And this love of beneficence, no less than that of benevolence and complacency, is absolutely free, and irrespective of any worthiness in man.

Jerome Zanchius-The Doctrine of Absolute Predestination Stated and Asserted-Translated by Augustus Montague Toplady

A Converted Soul Recognizes his Depravity

Fourth, a growing apprehension of the Divine goodness. The more a quickened soul sees himself in the light of God, the more he discovers how much there still is in him which is opposed to His Law, and in how many respects he daily offends. The more clearly he perceives how very far he comes short of the glory of God, and how unlike Christ he is in character and conduct, the deeper becomes his appreciation of the grace of God through the Mediator. The man who is of a humble, broken and contrite heart, finds the promises of the Gospel just fitted to his case. None but One who is “mighty to save” (Isa. 63:1) can redeem such a wretch as he knows himself to be; none but the “God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10) would show favour to one so vile and worthless. “Worthy is the Lamb” is now his song. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy Truth’s sake” (Psa. 115:1) is his hearty acknowledgement. It is the Spirit’s continued application of the Law to the believer’s conscience which prepares him to receive the comforts and consolations of the Gospel.

Arthur W. Pink–Studies in the Scriptures February, 1937 The Spirit Transforming.

If we are to succeed, we must live holy lives

Let us consider THE PROVISO ON WHICH WE ARE WARRANTED TO HOPE FOR SUCCESS. If the Lord DELIGHT IN US, then he will bring us into the land, and give it us.

The term delight does not express that divine love to our souls which is the source of our salvation, but a complacency in our character and labours. Thus it is to be understood in the speech of David, when fleeing from the conspiracy of Abaslom: If he say, I have no delight in thee, here I am: let him do with me as seemeth him good! He could not mean by this, If God have no love to my soul, I submit to be forever separated from him, for such submission is not required of any who live under a dispensation of mercy: but If he approve not of me as the head of his people, here I am: let him take my life away, as it pleaseth him. The amount is, That if we would hope to succeed in God’s work, our character and undertakings much be such as he approves.

Rev. Andrew Fuller-God’s Approbation of our Labours Necessary to the Hope of Success-Preached May 6, 1801

A Radical Change Takes Place in the Sinner

As the soul by faith, with broken heart (and not otherwise), beholds the glory of the Lord, in the mirror of the two Testaments (and not in the New without the Old), he is by the continual operations of the Spirit in him (Phil. 1:6) “changed into the same image.” The views thus obtained of the Divine character excite answerable affections in the beholder. Rational argument may convince a man that God is holy, yet that is a vastly different thing from his heart being brought to love Divine holiness. But when the Spirit removes the veil of enmity and prejudice from the mind and enables the understanding to see light in God’s light, there is a genuine esteem of and delight in God’s character. The heart is won with the excellency of His moral perfections, and he perceives the rightness and beauty of a life wholly devoted to His glory. Thus there is a radical change in his judgment, disposition and conduct.

Arthur W. Pink-Studies in the Scriptures January, 1937 The Spirit Transforming

Fruit of True Saints

March 24, 2011 2 comments

True saints have their minds, in the first place, inexpressibly pleased and delighted with the sweet ideas of the glorious and amiable nature of the things of God. And this is the spring of all their delights, and the cream of all their pleasures.

Jonathan Edwards – Religious Affections