Delighting in God’s Word

January 8, 2018 at 9:19 AM 2 comments

We recently were moved by the message presented by an evangelist at our church. He spoke on Psalm 1, highlighting the fact that David (who is generally accepted as the human author of Psalms 1 – 72), impresses upon his readers several things he gained from his own understanding of how to have a quality relationship with God.

The Psalm, which contains only six verses, speaks volumes. I’m sure most are at least familiar with it, but let’s refresh our memories anyway by reprinting here in the KJV.

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

This Psalm summarizes the fact that there are only two paths in life for everyone. We either follow after God or we follow after the world and stand opposed to God. It really is that simple.

David’s first comment is that the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, will eventually not join with sinners as a group, and will not become like them in the way they act. Notice the progression there. To “walk” in the counsel of the ungodly is to adopt patterns and “wisdom” of the world. In today’s politically correct world, it is verboten to speak against specific sins. In fact, many within the Charismatic Movement/NAR are often the first to refer to Christians who question their teachings as being “judgmental,” “Pharisaical,” “hypocritical” or worse. This is done for one purpose and that is to shame people into silence. It is the exact same M.O. the world uses in its attempt to silence Christians.

In fact, if you look at the type of “Christian” often invited on daytime talk shows, it is normally not someone who opposes ecumenism, or is not afraid to speak out against sin. The people who are invited on these shows ultimately end up using Christian verbiage as they too often agree with those who are diametrically opposed to God’s standards.

The bulk of the New Testament is from men like Paul, Peter, James, John, and others, who understood the dire need to teach, to correct, to reproof, to even mark and separate from those teachers who teach falsehoods. It happened then and those writers told us it would happen today. So the authentic Christians who has the temerity to question a teaching (no matter how humbly he or she offers their concerns), is often ultimately ridiculed for their judgmental attitudes toward Christian leaders.

So David warns that the person who does not follow the way of the world’s thinking, choosing obedience to God instead, is the person who is blessed because of it. Of course, being blessed is God’s definition, not humanity’s. Being blessed does not mean persecution will not happen or that people will stop ridiculing or even shunning you if you speak truth.

The individual (Christian or not), who chooses to begin listening to the world, will eventually find him/herself in the position of siding with that world. There’s a lot of that going around today. The Bible clearly states that to be friends with the world is to be an enemy of God (James 4:4). Why? Simply because the world’s system is completely opposed to God and His ways.

Verse 2 of Psalm 1 provides the clear opposing view of being friends with the world. It is to delight in the law of God. Notice the world “delight.” How many things do you actually delight in? Your spouse? Your children? Specific foods? Vacations in certain parts of the world?

Everyone has their own delights and it is not something that a person necessarily takes time to create for themselves. These delights just happen and grow. As a kid, I delighted in vanilla soft serve ice cream. I saw people delighting in chocolate soft serve ice cream and for the life of me, I was flabbergasted than anyone could like chocolate ice cream, much less delight in it. Over the years, there have been other things I’ve delighted in, some I fanned into a flame, while others eventually went to sleep never to rise again.

I loved building models as a kid. Figure kits were my favorite. When I became an adult, I tried many times to get back into modeling but try as I might, it has never been as relaxing for me as an adult as when I was a kid. As an adult, I have a very critical eye and I’m my worst critic when it comes to modeling. Others might look at it and appreciate all the work that went into it, while all I can think of is the frustration of trying to eliminate seams and painting it so that it looks “real.” Consequently, I have boxes of unbuilt models in my garage that I keep telling myself I will built and paint one day.

But David is talking about something that should be part and parcel of every Christian. We should literally delight in reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word (His Law). The evangelist who spoke at our church noted that sometimes this endeavor will begin and look and feel very much like duty. You read, study, and memorize His Word because as a Christian, it is what we should do and that makes sense.

But how many Christians jump out of bed every morning with the first thought being, “Oh wow, today I get to read, study, and memorize more of God’s Word! Amen!“? Don’t mistake that for sarcasm. It’s an honest question.

For myself, I have not yet reached the point where I find that I literally delight in God’s Word…yet. I read His Word, I study it, and I memorize it out of a sense of duty and I do so daily. Is this wrong? Absolutely not! However, if duty never turns to delight, then something is likely wrong. I have begun praying that God will create within me the deepest sense of delight for His Word so that I will not be able to get enough of it.

I read through the Bible in a year during 2017. I have started over and following the same Bible reading plan every day. I don’t miss a day and I have noticed that in January of 2017, I had to force myself at times to read the part of the Bible earmarked for that day. However, I notice now, a year later, I no longer have to force myself. I simply do it because it is automatic. Will the Lord create within me a desire that becomes delight with respect to His Word? I believe He will, as long as I keep reading it and doing my part. I cannot expect Him to cause me to delight in His Word if I never or rarely open it. That’s not going to happen.

Psalm 1 stands out as an excellent Psalm highlighting the dangers of taking the wrong path in life. We cannot be sure when David penned it but it is likely that he did so before he made some terrible decisions that let to his 1) lust for Bathsheba, 2) sleeping and impregnating Bathsheba, and 3) having her husband Uriah the Hittite murdered to cover his sin (starting in 2 Samuel 11).

After the evangelist delivered his message, I could not help but wonder how David, a man said to be after the heart of God (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22), was able to not only sin, but sin in such an egregious way that he ended up becoming guilty of actual murder? How does that happen? What is the point in letting us know how badly David fell?

I have to admit that I was a bit upset in thinking that one who had so clearly found such delight in God’s Laws, could get to a point in his life where he could so easily break them. Stop and consider that David not only lusted, but gave into that lust and had Bathsheba brought to him in the palace where he committed adultery with her! This was not done in complete secret as other people were involved in bringing the woman to King David.

The result of this sexual union was a child fathered by King David, while Bathsheba was married to another man. That man was a valiant and loyal soldier of King David! David tried very hard to get Uriah to sleep with his wife so that the child that was on its way would be credited as being Uriah’s child and not David. Nothing David tried worked. His efforts to hide his sin became frustrating. He felt he was left with one resort, which was to have Uriah killed in battle.

Nathan the prophet came to King David and told him a heartbreaking story of the man who had everything and still wanted to little lamb of his neighbor and that lamb was the only thing the neighbor had. The man dealt treacherously with the neighbor until he got what he wanted. King David was indignant! He said the man who had wronged his neighbor should be severely punished.

Nathan then simply pointed out that the man in the story was King David. David now knew that his sins were not only not hidden from God but there would be terrible consequences of David’s exceedingly selfish actions. Nathan, speaking God’s Word to David, eviscerated him, letting him know in no uncertain terms that the consequences would be dire. The baby Bathsheba carried would die. David’s kingdom would begin to fall apart. The sword would never depart.

How the mighty have fallen. How could David, who obviously at one point delighted in God’s LAW to the point that he didn’t just think obeying it was a swell idea, but he actually delighted in obeying God’s Law, had come to the point of disregarding several of God’s commands to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a very, very brief moment. How could that happen?

As I contemplated this, my frustrating over the entire situation grew and I was dangerously close to judging David for his failures (as if I was incapable of sinning the way David had!). Then I committed my thoughts to God and just contemplated the entire situation.

Here’s what I’ve come up with and you judge for yourself if this is in line with God’s Word or not. David sinned and sinned terribly. I think we can all agree on that. He had apparently gotten a bit lazy in his spiritual life and that can happen to any of us – you, me, the pastor of your church. Any Christian is susceptible to failure through laziness. This is not to excuse David, but simply to explain.

The clue is in the opening verse of 2 Samuel 11.

And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. (KJV)

David should have been out leading the troops. Instead, he remained home and got bored. This boredom (and likely pangs of guilt for not going), robbed him of sleep. He wandered the palace balconies in the night and there he saw a young, beautiful woman bathing. We know the rest of the story. So David is just as sinful as the rest of us and that’s proof enough that he needed God exactly the way we need God.

But what else is there for us to glean from this terribly tragic situation? Turn to Romans 8, where the Holy Spirit, through the human writer Paul the apostle assures us of something that is so important, we dare not let it slip by.

Verse 1 of Romans 8 informs us that in Christ, we are no longer under condemnation. As a Christian, do I stop sinning? Unfortunately, no, because my sin nature still exists and strives against me. I will, from time to time, do sinful things. Those sins will be fully condemned by God, but I will not be condemned. My active sin will break my fellowship with God and that is something I must work quickly to restore through confession and repentance, but my salvation is never threatened.

Verses 38-39 state the following truths.

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Even though David sinned egregiously, God continued to love him and eventually restore him. This should be comforting to us because it tells us that regardless of our sin – even after we become Christian – we will never be separated from God’s love. Depending on how egregious our sin is, God may certainly allow natural consequences to occur as He has no obligation to change them. But, He will never allow our sin to separate us from His love.

This should actually make us want to sin less, not more. We should marvel and wonder at how great God’s love is for us that nothing can separate us from His love.

Learn to delight in God’s Law and keep it going. Fan it into a flame so that it is the guiding principle of your life. Do not become lazy and give yourself an out. Doing so will provide an opportunity for your own flesh or Satan’s temptations to drag you away from God.

 

 

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, eternity, new age movement, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments

  • 1. rutnerh  |  January 9, 2018 at 8:10 PM

    Thanks for great exposition on Ps 1, the first in a series of Messianic Psalms with Ps 2 being next, being highly relevant to the raging and vain heathen among us.

    • 2. modres  |  January 10, 2018 at 4:53 AM

      Thanks for your comments. It is amazing how things are unfolding in the world.


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