Today’s Bible Reading:
Genesis 42:18-43:34; Matthew 13:47-14:12; Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 4:7-10
he rescued me because he delights in me. (Psalm 18:19)
What am I supposed to think about God delighting in me? Why would He delight in us? At first I am tempted to simply ignore it as not really possible; after all God knows me even better than I know myself so why would a holy God ever delight in me? The problem with that is it puts His delight in me totally on who I am and what I do. So I ask again, how could God ever delight in me? And if I think that God delights in me because of who I am and what I do then I run the risk of delighting in myself instead of in God.
I did a little search to see what others had to say and found an article by John Piper quite helpful. First, he points out what God is really delighting in:
“Therefore, when we say God rejoices in our thinking and feeling and doing what is right, we mean that he delights in our seeing, savoring, and showing his own supreme value. God values our valuing him. God delights in our delighting in him.”
And then he points to the risk of misunderstanding what God’s delight in us really means:
“The proper reason to be glad that God delights in our delight in him is because it confirms that our delight is truly in God. This fixes our gaze more steadfastly on him and deepens our joy in his beauty. But there is a devastating way to respond to God’s commendation of us. What if we hear God’s praise and are drawn away from delighting in God to delighting in God’s delighting in us? What if we hear his praise as a tickler of what we really enjoy, namely, being made much of? What if the bottom line of what makes us happy is not God himself, but God’s attention, God’s praise? If that is the bottom line, then we are not delighting in God, but only using delight in God to get commendations. That would be devastating. When God’s delight in us lures us to delight in being delighted in, we are ceasing to do the very thing God delights in”
I like Piper's thoughts because they confirm the conclusion I was beginning to reach. But more than that, Piper’s thoughts line up with this Psalm of David, and with David’s life. There is no doubt that David delighted in the Lord. That he treasured God, trusted God, obeyed God. And in so doing God delighted in him. We read in Acts 13:22 that David was a man after God’s own heart. But we know David was far from perfect; so what made him a man after God’s own heart? That answer is also found in the very same verse in Acts, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” God found in David a man who would be obedient to all that God wanted him to do because He was a man who had put his faith in God. God delighted in that. That idea makes a whole lot more sense to me, God delights in me because I delight in Him, I treasure Him, trust Him and obey Him. I do not do it perfectly, far from it-but God knows my heart and that the overwhelming desire of my life is to live in such a way as to honor Him. To live trusting Him even when the road is tough. To praise Him even in the storms. To wait for Him to answer the cries of my heart believing all that He says about Himself. So as I consider this truth--that God delights in me--I am led to further delight myself in the Lord and His great mercies. Oh, Lord, keep me from thinking more highly of myself than I ought!