Monday, August 22, 2016


"Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
Who greatly delights in His commandments."
(verse 1)

"delighteth greatly"

This seems to be a continuation of the preceding Psalm: there it was asserted that the beginning of wisdom was the fear of the Lord; and here the blessedness of the man who thus fears is stated.  "That delighteth greatly" (KJV) It is not enough to fear God, we must also love him:--fear will deter us from evil, love will lead us to obedience.  And the more a man fears and loves God, the more obedient will he be, till at last he will delight greatly in the commandments of his Maker." (Adam Clarke)

Oh, what a glimmering precious stone is the phrase, "delighteth greatly"!  Isn't that where we want to be?  That's the deeper walk, to fall deeply in love with God.  Not just to be bound by the Law, but by the Spirit of the Law which is love.  The Law is for our good, but that good is love.  If you don't find God very loveable, you've missed something along the way through disappointments, hurts, bitterness, or hopelessness.  We need to find that sweet spot of faith. 

Have you ever herded cats?  Well, that's what my parenting style must have looked like with a couple of strong-willed children.  I always thought that by the time my third child was born, she'd heard so much commotion from the outside while still in the womb, that she spent the rest of her childhood in conflict-avoidance.  Contrary to her contrary hyper siblings, she wanted peace.  In the middle of hoopla's over her brother and/or sister's discipline, her little voice would be heard saying, "But I'm being good, daddy,"  or "I'm being good, mommy."  She feared discipline and only wanted to be good.  I'd only have to whisper "no-no" to her and she would obey.  It about made me faint after raising the first two delightful hooligans.  Love leads us to obedience.  If that's not enough, a little fear of discipline will deter us from evil or wrong choices.   I'm glad to say that all three of my first family have survived their childhood with an exasperated mother and have chosen to fear and love God, probably more in spite of me than because of me, just because God is good like that.  He knew I earned "E" for effort if not excellence.

"...Stand in awe of God and have a constant reverence for His majesty and deference to His will.  He that fears the Lord, as a Father, with the disposition of a child, not of a slave, delights greatly in his commandments.  They are written in his heart and he calls them an easy, a pleasant, yoke.  He delights not only in God's promises, but in his precepts."  (Matthew Henry) I would go on to say that he delights most of all, not just in His promises or His precepts, but in His presence.

"Greatly delights."  When's the last time you greatly delighted in His commandments?  It's more than "Oh, goodie!  I'm not going to break God's command and steal today.  Whoopie!"  It is that total surrender, the "yes" in the heart to hearing God's voice.  It is not for the wishy-washy.  It is not for the double-minded.  It is not for the lukewarm.  It's not for those with a rebellious spirit.

It is being crouched at the starting line-up ready to sprint forward when the gun sounds to run to the finish line, able to jump hurdles  and end with a grin like Jamaican gold medalist Bolt loving the thrill of the Olympic race after all the practice, all the trials.  Why else would someone go for the gold unless they greatly delighted in their chosen course  Go for the gold and grin about it!

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