Words. Love them. They are our primary form of communication. Well besides physical touch, (group hug!) I have the wonderful privilege of conversing with many people, via texting, emailing, phone and YES, I am a Facebooker or the old fashion way, face to face. I am often asked some really great questions. Questions that cause me to ponder, investigate and study HARD to find some form of an intelligent answer. And frankly, if I can’t, I will simply respond with “Uh, I dunno.”
A friend asked, “The preacher was reciting the verse, “Delight in the law of the Lord”. Hmmmm. What do you think that means?” Alrighty! Hands clasped together, now ringing with complete excitement! HUGE smile on my face. I took some time to think this through and pray and yep pulled out the ‘good stuff.’
Here we go: I do not know the ‘context’ that the preacher was using. However, to sum it up quickly, ‘law’ in the OT basically means ‘word’ – God’s word to them/us. The first 5 books are called the Books of the Law (Torah). The ‘Law of the Lord’ is affectionately known as the “Law of Love.” I have included a website (at the bottom and geeky side note) that explains very simply about those 5 books.
Delight (‘hepe‘ in the Hebrew) means ‘desire,’ may be used for that which a person wishes ‘strongly to do or have’. Now put in context to Gods law, His word to the Israelites, on a practical sense, breaking it down – His word to you and I. Do we desire strongly to have His word in our heart – do we desire strongly to DO IT! This delight is NOT a fleeting emotion, it is not a hap-hazard ‘want’. It is HAVE to have. Some scholars describe it as a ‘pursuit’. Do we PURSUE God and His word. (hm…) Here’s a get in your face thought (it did mine) Do I simply ‘believe in God’ or do I BELIEVE God? Big difference. If I believe in Him, that is nice, He’s an awesome Creator and that may be as far as I go. But if I ‘believe Him’, I will – DELIGHT, desire – PURSUE. (sigh)
Back to the phrase, “Delight in the law of the Lord.” Let’s look at Psalms 119. Go ahead, grab your Bible, I’ll wait. See how many times the words ‘law-statues-precepts-decree-commands-word’ are mentioned? When time permits, go back and underline each one. Verse 16 “I delight in your decrees.” Verse 24 “Your statues are my delight..” Verse 47 “I delight in your comands” (to name a few) It proceeds to state that Gods word – His Law affects us that our response is: “I learn-believe-speak-trust-hope-keep-obey-live-follow-meditate and stray not from Your word – ‘law’. Verse 97 “Oh, how I love your law… ” Verse 120 ” I stand in awe of your laws…”
My favorite use of ‘delight is in the law of the Lord’ is in Psalm 1. Quick paraphrase, “Blessed is the man who does not walk with the wicked-stand in the way of sinners – sit in the seat of mockers.” (v. 1) See the progression ,’walk-stand-sit’, ends up pretty tight, (another study sometime). THEN verse 2 “BUT his delight is in the law of the Lord…” But his desire is Gods word to him. I will personalize it. I have a PASSION for His word, there are times I have ‘strayed’ but not so far and so long, as to not ‘desire’ His word, for me – it beckons me. (I’m wierd) To be BLUNT, all we really have IS His word. In print. Lasting GENERATIONS. YET… it is not just mere words on paper. Heb.4:12 “For the word of God is living and active…” Ever been reading and BOOM, the word literally jumps off the page and ATTACKS your heart! Amazing stuff. It is the relationship with the inspiring Author, that makes the book so stinkin exciting. (ok, breathe, rein it in DeDe)
You may say, “But I don’t really have THAT kind of desire for God’s word, I am not compelled to read it or WANT it, but I would like to.” Then ask God for it. King David wrote, “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4) I am fully persuaded, David didn’t mean, be happy in God and He will grant all your hearts wildest dreams. I believe God plants those desires there, in your heart. Desires for Him, His word, righteousness. I know He did mine, because frankly I am WAY too lazy to muster up this kind of passion for anything, and passion it is.
After sharing this with my friend, she said ‘delight’ is now her new word. How exciting! Delight on Lord! Delight her with awestruck moments of Holy inspired, need to take a deep breath stuff! May she continuely come back for more – day after day. May we all! Let the journey of the pursuit begin.
“Delight in the law of the Lord”.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb.10:24)
* The Law: The First Five Books: http://bible.org/seriespage/law-first-five-books
* Interesting Side Note: The Torah (“Teaching”) is the Jewish name for the first five books of the Jewish Bible. In Hebrew the five books are named by the first phrase in the text: Bereshit (“In [the] beginning,” Genesis), Shemot (“Names,” Exodus), Vayikra (“He called”, Leviticus), Bamidbar (“In the desert,” Numbers) and Devarim (“Words,” Deuteronomy).
Resource List: Strong’s Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of OT & NT, Theological Dictionary of the OT, Bible Knowledge Commentary on the book of Psalms, Hebrew Interlinear Bible, NIV, KJV. (and any other geeky book or website I may have grabbed and read)