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Delighting in God’s Word

November 1st, 2017

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:1-6 ESV)

The Word of God is a source of joy and life to the believer. When this psalm was written the Bible contained only the first five books, called the Torah or the Law. It teaches us not to seek salvation through obeying outwardly the strict rules of God’s law. Rather the emphasis in this psalm is of a heart that is submissive to the rule of God. “His delight is in the law of the Lord” is the key phrase of the entire psalm.

The word “delight” means to take pleasure in, to see the beauty of something, to be attracted to an object, to be fascinated by something. The heart that is fascinated by God’s teaching is one that is broken and humble before Him. The first five books of the Bible teach much more than mere rules to obey. They reveal the personal stories of men and women who walked with God, whom God called and drew into a greater life. So to delight in these stories means to delight in the principles of God’s redemptive grace toward us.

To delight in the law of God is also to delight in His holiness and to accept that He has provided a way that we may come to Him. The patriarchs practiced a simple sacrificial method of coming to God - through the shedding of blood they understood they were accepted. The sacrificial system all depicted the coming sacrifice of Christ, who would die for the sins of the world.

To delight in the law of the Lord means NOT to delight in the sinful schemes of fallen humanity, or of any demonic power. The downward spiral of a sinful life is etched out here, and it is found in the association with sinful people - walking in their counsel, standing in their way, and sitting in their presence. Before the days of the internet, when people could rent pornographic films from video stores, this downward spiral was vividly portrayed. Someone could “walk” down the aisles where the pornographic films were. Then they could “stand” there and consider renting them. And then they could take these films home and “sit” while they watched them and enter into the sin of unrighteous men.

To delight in the law of the Lord means also to seek a better future, to stand upon the righteousness of Christ but to build our life upon His character and upon His work - as we are enabled by His Spirit and taught by His Word. We are planted in Christ and we thrive in Him and bear eternal fruit through Him. As Christ said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16).

To delight in the law of the Lord places us in the path of blessing. God promises to bless us. This blessing is not the fulfillment of our material lusts, rather it is a change of heart that frees us from materialism. We delight in righteousness, not materialism. Christ taught, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We receive and we share all for the glory of God. Whether we have much or little in terms of earthly treasure matters very little - so long as we are part of God’s eternal work and kingdom and are grateful for what He has given us here.

This is the blessed life - to bow our hearts before God and His righteousness, to trust in Christ as the solution for our sin, and to follow Christ in our hearts, obedient inwardly to His plan and purpose.

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