The Beauty of Delighting in God’s Word

What comes to mind when you think about God? According to twentieth-century author and preacher A.W. Tozer, this is the most important question any person can answer.

The Beauty of Delighting in God’s Word

Psalm 1

Today's Scripture Passage

A Few Thoughts to Consider

What comes to mind when you think about God?

According to twentieth-century author and preacher A.W. Tozer, this is the most important question any person can answer. Do we think of a taskmaster? Do we envision someone who is disconnected from our ordinary affairs? Do we think of someone who should be eager to fulfill our demands?

The Book of Psalms helps shape our understanding of God like no other book in Scripture. And in Psalm 1, the psalmist writes:

How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams[
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Basil the Great said, “Like the foundation in a house, the keel in a ship and the heart in a body, so is [Psalm 1 as a] brief introduction to the whole structure of the Psalms.” And we could add, the whole Bible. As commentator Gerald Wilson notes, “The verb hgh (“meditates”) is onomatopoeic in that it imitates the sound of low voices murmuring or muttering as one reads Scripture in a low undertone.”

So the imagery is that we pick up God’s Word, find our enjoyment in the being of God revealed, and mumble these thoughts aloud. While some are quick to meditate on negativity, the follower of Christ sets her eyes on God.

The words of the Torah were everything to the Jewish people. They revealed what God expected of his people and how he wanted them to live. And the great sin of God’s people throughout history has been their propensity to forget. But by delighting, we are saying our highest fulfillment and enjoyment comes from this relationship. No earthly delight can compare.

The Book of Psalms teaches us what it means to communicate deeply with God. And as Dallas Willard wrote, “There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual conversation with God.”[1]

A Meditation to PRAY

Focus on delighting in God’s Word. Picture yourself this morning as a tree planted by the water. Now consider a Middle Eastern landscape where trees were sparse. And the only way for trees to survive was to be connected to a water source. God’s Word and the revelation of his character through Jesus Christ are the stream. You are the tree.

Praise | Thank you, Lord, that when my life is rooted in you, I have everything I need. Others might laugh, but my strength comes from you.

Release |Forgive me for those times I’ve sinned and found my delight outside you.

Act | Give me the strength to delight even when life is hard. When family situations arise, friends disappoint, or work isn’t how I would like, bring your words to my mind and help me meditate on you.

Yield | Lord, despite what might happen today, I commit to finding delight in you.

A Challenge to Act Like Christ  

The beauty of this Psalm is that it points to Christ. He was the only person who never sinned. He was the logos, the perfect word. In his life, we see the precise representation of God’s character and the ideal model for us to follow. Thus, when we delight ourselves in the words of God revealed in Scripture, and we pattern our lives after the character of Christ, only then do we experience life the way we were created to live.  

God’s Word was meant to be read as a delight and not a drudgery. And the Christian life was meant to be rooted in God, and not the things of this world. When we root our lives in temporal relationships, entertainment, or work, we connect to something that is temporary. And the greatest travesty would be if we go for years, even decades, without realizing we’ve rooted our lives in the wrong thing. So find your enjoyment in God today. Delight in him and meditate on his words.

Discussion Question | What practical ways can you delight yourself in God today?

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[1] Willard, Dallas. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. InterVarsity Press, 2012. Kindle edition. 17.