“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4 AMP
What does “delight” mean? The Merriam Webster Dictionary says “a high degree or extreme satisfaction”, “something that gives great pleasure” or “the power of affording pleasure”. We need to find extreme satisfaction and great pleasure in our relationship with the Lord and it is more than receiving: it actually implies us giving ourselves to Him.
When we do this, He transforms us. His dreams become our dreams and prayers. From a position of grace and mercy, He then answers our prayers. The irony is that these prayers actually started with Him. Since He is answering our prayers, He lets His Kingdom come on His schedule, since He knows what the best time is for everything.
So my encouragement to you today is to delight yourself in the Lord.
“Wait for and expect the Lord and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land” (Psalm 37:34 AMP).
“Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.’ For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’” Nehemiah 8:9-10 NIVUK (emphasis mine)
Although there is a place for sorrow in acknowledging sin, there is a danger that it becomes a self-centred exercise in which we lose track of the holiness of God’s law, i.e. a God-given instrument that brings glory to God.
God’s law helps us to see our need for God’s grace and mercy. It should inspire us to be thankful: instead of judging us, He is willing to forgive us when we acknowledge that His ways are best and then change our ways.
What a beautiful account of making God part of your everyday life, humbly submitting to Him! Abraham’s chief servant lived his faith out in a very practical way. God should be part of our everyday life. I believe He wants to be part of our everyday life, and when we ignore Him we miss out on a source of constant, unspeakable joy in our life. Perhaps our lives become very tough and challenging sometimes because we want to live it our way, instead of humbly submitting our lives to God and living life His way . . .
There are so many great parts to this historical account:
- Abraham gently reminds his chief servant of how faithful God has been, and that there is no reason to doubt that God will be faithful again.
- Abraham understands and believes God’s promise to Him, the promise that this land will one day be the property of his descendants. He makes sure that his servant will do his part to remind his son of this.
- Abraham’s chief servant uses his knowledge of the culture of that time (that the young women will come and draw water at the end of the day) to strategically place himself in the right place to accomplish the task given to him. He then prays to God to do the rest. Sometimes it may feel as if God is not answering our prayers, specifically when it comes to guidance. Might it be that this happens because we have not used the knowledge at our disposal to strategically place ourselves in the right place? We are not puppets. We are servants of our Master. A servant is expected to do some problem-solving for him-/herself. At the other extreme, might it be that we are not attempting to do big enough things for God’s glory due to a lack of faith, that we only attempt what we know we can accomplish?
- The servant gives glory to God for his success. He could easily have bragged about just how good he is in accomplishing his master’s wishes. Instead, he gives glory to the One who deserves it. May this be a reminder for us when God accomplishes great things for His glory through us.
- The fact that Rebekah gives Abraham’s chief servant and his camels some water, and that she is willing to join him on a journey into the unknown tells us something about her strength of character.
I wonder what Isaac was meditating about in the fields when Abraham’s chief servant returned with Rebekah . . . I would like to think that it was no coincidence, and that the timing of all of this was orchestrated by God to be a blessing to Isaac . . . but who knows?