2007-03-10 - Trust and Delight
Psalm 37:3, 4, "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Before I begin today, you may notice that the reference above is to the same Psalm and same verses that were used last Saturday. However, the verses quoted are different than last week. The reason for this is that I wrote down the wrong reference last week and used Psalm 37:5, 6 as my lead, but wrote down that I was using Psalm 37:3, 4. Anyway, the above reference is correct this week. We are using Psalm 37:3, 4, but last week, we used Psalm 37:5, 6. That was my fault, and if we ever meet, you may smack me for it.
I would notice, first of all, that we must trust in the Lord - and then there is a promise that things will go well with us. We cannot expect the blessing, if we have not fulfilled the requirement. In Verse Four, there is a similar progression. We must first delight ourselves in the Lord, and then He will give us the desires of our heart. If we want the desires of our heart, it is necessary that we first delight our hearts in the Lord. These are two helpful principles for us, and I would like to take a few moments and flesh them out, in what I hope will be a practical manner.
There are several ways to look at the concept of enjoying safe pasture. In the times this Psalm was written, it would have meant a lot that the pastures were safe from enemies. We might think of it today, by saying that when we trust in the Lord and do good, then the Lord will look out for us, and care for us, and protect us. There is always the negative of the positive also. When we forsake the Lord, and walk in wickedness, His blessing here is not promised. We can all apply this in our various stations in life. This is a general truth that we should take to heart and apply to every area of our lives. How pleasant it is to know that when we trust in the Lord, He has promised that things will go well with us.
However, the Psalmist does not end here. In Verse Four, he steps it up a notch, by calling upon us to delight ourselves in the Lord. This is more than trust, but includes trust, and the blessing is even greater. In delighting ourselves in the Lord, we are not only promised that He will take care of us, but more. We are told that He will give us the desires of our heart. Delighting ourselves in God is both a duty and a privilege. It is our duty because of who God is, and He deserves our finding pleasure in Him. But again, it is more than that. It is a privilege to delight in God. He has graciously revealed Himself to us, and we have the honor of knowing Him, something many others do not have. It is His blessing to us that we even have a desire to delight ourselves in Him.
Let us note also that this is not a magic formula to get whatever we want. We can't say, "I went to worship on Sunday, praised the Lord with all my heart, delighted myself in Him as best I can, and now the desire of my heart is to have this new BMW, and He has promised it." It doesn't exactly work that way, and no one who has given any thought to such sentiment really believes that things work that way. What this verse is telling us is much deeper than something as superficial as a car. It is not a promise to fulfill all our cravings. The desire of the heart that is transformed in Christ, as one writer commented, "...is this, to know, and love, and live to God, to please him and to be pleased in him." That should be the desire of our hearts, and having that, we really do possess all things our renewed hearts desire.
Soli Deo Gloria,