Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. ~Psalm 37:1-8
Delight yourself in the Lord. Delight in God.
This verse surrounded me, enveloped me, consumed me a year and a half ago. It was a Sunday morning and I had missed church due to a major migraine. I decided to spend my time in bible study even though it was very difficult to stay upright with the pain. I hit this verse and stopped completely.
What does it mean to delight yourself in God? And what does it mean that He'll give you the desires of your heart?
The Hebrew word for "delight" here is `anag. It has a variety of possible meanings according to The KJV Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon (Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Lexicon):
1. to be soft, be delicate, be dainty
2. to be delicate
3. to be of dainty habit, be pampered
4. to be happy about, take exquisite delight
5. to make merry over, make sport of
It's as if God is saying - "pamper yourself with me, make yourself merry because of me, experience total delight and joy in me, beloved!" Most of the times this word is used in the Old Testament, it is a verb - delight yourself in the Lord God. But sometimes it implies delicateness, softness, even tenderness.
The LORD - knowing Him, loving Him, accepting His love, understanding who He is and His ways - He should be our delight, our tender joy, our merriness!
How do we delight in Him? For me, delighting in the Lord began with a decision to find out who He says He is. I spent 16 months reading through the Bible and noting everything I learned about Elohim. I knew that I could only delight in Him if I knew Him - just like I can only delight in my fiancee because I spend time with him and know him more and more. It sounds trite, but perhaps it's trite because it's so true - spending time reading scripture, pondering it, studying it, praying about it - it's really the best way to get to know this Awesome God.
And when you do, you find that you can't wait to learn more, because He is so amazing. The mercy, the compassion, the righteousness, the holiness, the power, the love - all of these attributes of God are compelling. They are humbling. And they are uplifting.
I developed an almost ravenous hunger for teaching and scripture. I listened to my pastor's taped sermons as much as I could, I joined a women's bible study, I started really studying for the first time in my adult Christian life. And then a funny thing happened. I had confessed to God that I didn't understand how delighting in Him would lead to Him giving me the desires of my heart, because they were all about my human needs (or so I thought). Companionship, friendship, security, a husband, etc. I didn't get how those would be fulfilled just because I delighted in God.
But I've come to realize over this last year that getting to know God Almighty - El Shaddai - means you cannot stay the same. You cannot come face to face with the Eternal God and not be transformed. You see, the more I have come to know God, the more I delight in Him. And the more I delight in Him, the more the desires of my heart are to please Him, to know Him even better, and to live the life He has planned for me.
I'm here to tell you, my friends, that God's word never goes unfulfilled! He fulfills every single promise. For me, that fulfillment has meant a radical shift in my priorities - and my career - but it is so worth it. God is such an amazing, awe-some God. Jesus Christ is LORD!