10His [God’s] pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
11the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.

Psalm 147

As I read this passage tonight, I was a bit taken aback. It says that God’s pleasure or delight is not in the characteristics of the things He has has created – the horse or man, for example. Rather, His pleasure and delight is in those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.

I am utterly convinced that God takes great delight in me. He created me, just the way I am. He understands my weaknesses and doesn’t expect me to be someone I’m not. Simultaneously, He is always helping me become more than I am. And always, always, always, He is conforming me to the image of Christ.

There is no way in which I interpret this passage to mean that He takes no delight in me, who I am and what I do, even though that might seem what it says upon first reading it. You will find many places in Scripture where an exaggerated claim is made to make a point. In the book of Luke, Jesus said this:

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.”
Luke 14:26

Did Jesus really mean that we’re to hate our father and mother, wife (or husband) and children, brothers and sisters? Isn’t this the same Jesus that said we’re to love our enemies and the same God who said we’re to honor our father and mother? Yes it is. In this passage Jesus is using a strong word to help us understand that being a disciple means putting God first in all things, even before our own life.

Our key passage uses a similar technique. It is not saying that God does not take delight in who we are and how we were made. He does. But what He really delights is those who fear Him, those who put their hope in His unfailing love.

What does this mean to my every day life? It means that no matter how successful I’ve been on a given day, no matter how well put together I am or how well my words came together to communicate my thoughts and purposes and plans, no matter…God delights in my love for Him. And when things fall apart, I have the awesome opportunity to put my hope not in my disintegrating plans or my ability to put humpty together again, but in the Lord and His unfailing love. It is an awesome opportunity because it is at those times when we are challenged not to despair but to rejoice in God’s goodness. Trusting in the unfailing love of God when things go wrong (and when things go right) delights the Creator of the Universe.

We don’t do it for our gain, but what do you think are the consequences of delighting the Father? They are only good things. Trusting in God’s unfailing love is the bedrock foundation of peace and joy.

As we close out 2011 and look toward 2012, let’s covenant to trust God more. Let’s agree together to delight the Father.

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