Where Are We Going? Delight

Well, it wasn’t too long ago, maybe a year or two ago, but there I was leaving my house after the kids had been tucked in for another evening walk. I love to walk and pray, I find it so invigorating. But on this night, I didn’t get to pray all that much, because at the end of my driveway I met my neighbor, who happened to be on a walk of sorts himself. I say of sorts because he was actually roller-blading with his street hockey blades complete with his hockey stick. Now, when I saw him I stop and was taken aback by him because you need to know my neighbor is an ultra-orthodox Jew. And when I say he was in his blades and with his stick you need also to picture that the rest of his attire was totally of what you might expect of an orthodox Jew with his kippah (head covering), white shirt, tassels, and black pants. To me, I just never saw that coming. He was working out in that! Anyways, we linked up and started walking together, him in his skates and me briskly paced to keep up (I believe I got blisters trying to keep up)!

So, after the pleasantries, we got right to it, I think he knew I was a pastor. I asked him about the Messiah and why he didn’t see the prophets speaking of Him being Jesus Christ, like Isaiah 53 and others. And that’s when he began to drop some bombs on me. He said, first, he and most orthodox Jews don’t believe that any of the latter prophets after Moses were really and truly inspired (my word not his). They were good writings even claimed to be God’s words, but could not be trusted. So that basically threw out my whole argument. But then I realized, wait, even Moses says in Deut. 18:15 that there will be a greater prophet who will come after him, and that we needed to listen to him. I didn’t attempt to argue that in terms of the latter prophets, but how that spoke of Jesus Christ the greater prophet to come! At that he dropped another bomb; he said that he didn’t even believe that God was knowable at all! And he followed up with another small boy bomb by saying, that whereas God isn’t knowable at all, all we can do is just do what he says! I was floored! Here I was talking a walk with a very religious man, who was telling me that religion is essentially an agnostic moralism! Do the right thing, but who knows why!

I stopped him and our walk and said, you know that’s the difference I think about Judaism and Christianity, because Christianity says that you can know God and the God has made Himself known through His Son—Jesus Christ! And the more I know Him, the more I want to do what He says!

I went up to my house very sad for that man, because more than just being his opinion, and that of Judaism, I think so many have that opinion—That functionally, religion is all about duty, a series of do’s and don’t’s, and you won’t ever know why! That Beloved, is a very sad understanding about what religion is all about and it is certainly not worth believing at all! And I fear that some of us here today have that view too!

And that is why I want to talk to you today about how religion is so much more, even more than simply knowing things about God—It is all about Delighting in God! And I can’t think of a more important topic to speak to you on in terms of shaping the direction for a church: that we all first, foremost, and forever seek our delight in the Lord! Because if we are doing that, then everything else will fall into place. For is it not true that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever? One contemporary influential theologian, John Piper, has argued for more, He is said the chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever!

What I would like to do in this article is to a little study on Delight from a Book of Scripture which perhaps more overtly than any other addresses our delight: the Psalms. Delight is all over the place, but it is especially in these three Psalms because they all Hebrew words that speak about delight. I want to look at these three Scriptures for us to see why delight is so right, not only for religion in general, but for those who believe in the Lord!


Let's look at Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” We all know this verse and many of us by heart. We quote it to our friends and family, and we hope in it with our hearts. We don’t know exactly what it is saying, that is concerning the second half of the verse: is God promising us whatever we desire in our hearts if we delight in Him? Or is God telling us in delighting in Him he will give our hearts new proper desires? Or is there even another interpretation? We don’t really know, do we? But we do know and can recognize immediately is that this verse is ordering, decreeing, commanding, or demanding from us action, and what is that? Delight. This verse is telling us to delight in the Lord.

Now, before we think of the hundred exceptions or reasons in our heads about why we don’t delight in the Lord, just appreciate the simplicity of this statement: God demands our delight in Him. Is that right? Most of us when we think of delight, we think of being drawn, moved, or even compelled to delight in something, but here were are told that we must delight, is that right? The answer is Yes! Because God is not just the Lord of our actions, but also our heart! What is the first and greatest commandment? “You shall LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength!” Love, another command! Love, yes, is a verb/action, but it is an action of the heart! And Love speaks of delight! Delight in the Lord is Demanded!

Now, this command demands at least two things: 
  1. Obliteration of the Pure Duty Religion - Like my neighbor, who thinks that just following the do’s and don’t’s of some moral standard is what religion is. That is not what religion is! That is a shell and shadow of what true religion is and God has said it! He wants our hearts to delight in Him! Sure, there is duty and morals involved, but there is more, there is our heart’s delight! This obliterates the pure duty religion.
  2. Engagement of our Hearts - Is this shell and shadow view of religion true of you? Perhaps at one point, your heart was engaged in delighting in the Lord, loving and enjoying Him, but now it is no longer. Is that okay? No, beloved, that is certainly not okay. More than not being okay, God knows your heart isn’t delighting in Him! And as we are not delighting in Him, we are breaking the first and greatest commandment! So what do we do? We need to start engaging(/reengaging) our hearts again! And in corporate/public & private worship!
Why? Because Delight Is Demanded of Us!


Flip over to Psalm 27:4. This is another majestic Psalm, like the first being a Psalm of David and that of the heart. And David is going through trials and tribulations in his life, just like we all do, but he writes down for us that one thing which has forever and forever will be his hope and stay, so that we may do exactly what He does and receive the same level of comfort.

Psalm 27:4, “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.” Now, it’s clear what one thing David wants with all his heart: he wants to dwell in the house of the Lord, that’s what he says. But he also tells us why he wants to do that, “to behold”, I prefer the  ESV and NIV, “to gaze upon” and then he says, “the beauty of the Lord…” Do you know that word “beauty” is? It's our word for delight, meaning, ‘delightfulness’. Basically David is saying the reason he wants to continually not only be in the presence of the Lord but to gaze upon Him whether physically or spiritually is because the Lord to him is so full of delight! He is so beautiful! And the last phrase backs that up, “and to meditate in His temple”. This word “meditate” depicts the dual imagery of digging deep into and unearthing what’s hidden, as well as the breaking forth of the light at dawn! So what David wants to do is his meditation upon the Lord is to dig deep in and unearth the hidden delightfulness of God, and that to shed forth further bright light upon the glory of God! Do you get why David’s one thing is to dwell in the Lord’s house? Because there, he gets to see more and bask in the delightfulness of God! He wants more delight!

Just consider the thought of ice cream. Who wants ice cream? Don’t we all? Why? Because it is so delicious. And what happens when you finish that first bowl of ice cream, what do you want more of? Ice cream! Why? Because again it is so delicious or delightful! And Beloved, that is something that melts and only gives us delight for a couple of minutes. Could we not think of something greater, something more delightful that will satisfy our scrutiny and thrill our thoughts for eternity? Yes, it is God Himself!

But this is our second main point, which actually precedes our first point logically our first point. Delight in the Lord is Demanded, but before it is truly Deserved! Beloved, God commands us to delight in Him because He is truly that which is most delightful! There is nothing that is more delightful, lovely, wonderful, beautiful, awesome, great than God! And because He is all this and more, delighting in Him is owed/warranted/deserved to Him! Delight Is Deserved of God!

This teaches us at least two more lessons: 
  1. How We Are to Delight in God - We need to see more of Him. I have so thoroughly enjoyed my private study through the book of Mark, because in it I am been able to see more of God in Jesus Christ and consequently, to delight more in Him! When He calms the storm, heals the lepers, casts out demons, and more, I not only see in Him the greatness of His power, but also His mercy and love to do it in the first place! Stepping back and seeing this perspective of God has been more delightful than seeing all the sunsets of the mountains I saw last week! God is so infinitely delightful and because He is we are to delight in Him!
  2. Our Delight May Lie Elsewhere - If the truth be told of us, we are all seeking out our delights, but they may just not be in God. But that’s where I come back to CS Lewis’ famous quote in his remarkable sermon, The Weight of Glory. Speaking of our delights, he writes, “our desires not too strong, but too weak. 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.” Could that be you today, in love with a mud pie! Is that true?

Then, I invite you this morning to forsake that broken cistern that can hold no water, & return to the Fount of living waters! or as Jesus says John 7:37, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!” Delight Is Deserved of Our Lord!


We turn to our final passage, Psalm 147:1. 
"Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; For it is pleasant and praise is becoming." Here, the Psalmist is calling for the people of God to worship and sing praises of God. And he does so for three reasons that he lists in the text: (1) Because praise is “good”, or only right in view of who God is. (2) It is “pleasant”, which is the word we have been tracing throughout this sermon “delight”, it means delightful, praise is delightful. And it’s that true that when we in view of the greatest and glory of God we praise Him, does not our souls experience a joy or delight? Yes! Praising God is delightful! But then this third (3) reason supplies to us another reason, it says “praise is becoming”. Now, that is interesting, because what it is telling us that more than agreeing with what is right and extending us joy, praise actually “becomes” or ‘fits us’. Fits like a fitted T-shirt, pair of jeans, perfect-sized glove or shoe; Praise “fits” us the Psalmist says.

But how? How does praise fit us? Well, another Psalm that we don’t have time to turn to right now, Psalm 33:1 fills out the details and says, “Sing for joy in the Lord, O you righteous ones; Praise is becoming to the upright.” And that this verse draws in direct correlation is the fact that our praise fits because we are the ones whom God has has made upright or righteous. And then it should all make sense, that more than anyone else we should praise or proclaim the excellencies of God because He was the One who drew us out of darkness into His marvelous light, i.e. He saved us! And because He saved us should we not praise Him? Yes, Praise does fit us! We have been destined to praise Him! Ah, but even more, getting back to our larger idea of Delight, do you know what that also means? Not only did God destine or predestine (pick which ever you’d like) we might praise Him, but that we might delight in Him, like our verse says, “it[/being praise] is pleasant/delightful”. Delight in God is Our Destiny!

And is that not true for heaven? Who is all the beauty or delight in Emmanuel’s Land? Samuel Rutherford says, the Lamb. And will He not be?

When is the last time you got lost in that thought that heaven is where more than just the streets of gold, many mansions, and pearly gates, there is going to God dwelling with us! Will this not our greatest delight in all of heaven! It will—>Ah, but if it is to be so one day in heaven, if we are destined to delight in Him then, do you think anything should be different right now! NO! We are Destined to Praise Him Now!

One of my favorite local evangelists had a conversation recently with a person about going to church, and the person said they just don’t like church. To which, he said rather boldly, than you won’t like heaven! That caught the person off-guard, as is his trademark move, but he was right! And it relates to our present point, if we don’t like delighting in God now, then we won’t like it in the future!

But that’s not true of you? That’s why you’re reading this article to the end to learn more about delighting in God. So let me close this article by saying this, If you know you are destined to delight, deserve to delight, and are demanded to delight in God, guess what we should do? Delight in Him!

Let us Delight in Him! All of God’s people delighting in Him! Fighting and Finding Delight!
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