Genesis 3:6 (WEB) When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate.
Psalms 119:47 (WEB) I will delight myself in your commandments, because I love them.
Matthew 6:21 (WEB) for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
When I was able to eat sweets, my favorite dessert (served for my birthday) was strawberry cream cheese pie. You might say (with some understatement) that it was my delight! My wife would make one pie just for me and one for the rest of the family. This could be one reason why I am now too sweet and must refrain from sweets altogether. My taste buds were so delighted by this dessert that I could consume the whole pie in one sitting.
When something brings delight, it attracts our attention (as when the woman saw the fruit was a delight to the eyes), elicits our affection (as the psalmist expresses in 119), and captures our focus (as Jesus explains about treasure).
My delight drives my desire. When something delights me, I want more. Sometimes, my delight is insatiable, so strong is the craving. Delight is not the problem. Desire is not the problem. Craving is not the problem. What brings delight, what is desired, what is craved, may very well be! We need to learn to delight, desire and crave what is best for us, not what brings immediate gratification, but eventual destruction.
The verses listed below from Psalm 119 are the eight other places in the psalm where the author mentions delight. Obviously, the thing that had attracted his attention, elicited his affection, and captured his focus was the Word of God. It has become his DELIGHT. Because of this delight, he cannot forget God’s words. They have become his counselors, directing his path, even if others are unaffected by God’s Word. In God’s Word the author has also found comfort and assurance in affliction and troubles. Because of this delight, the Word of God has a special place in his life, a special function for his life, the special focus of his life.
Some may say that they find the Word of God boring. Others may reply that the Word of God has become more important to the author than God Himself. Still others may think that the author has overstated his case concerning the Word. But I disagree.
When my wife and I were preparing to marry, we had to spend the last three months apart. She was in Florida, making final preparations for the wedding, and I was in Arkansas, serving as a youth director for my church. This happened in the days before internet, email, texting, and cell phones. Long-distance calls were expensive and prohibitive to the average consumer. Party lines were a given (and other neighbors could listen in on private conversations). However, we were committed to communicating with each other through letters, writing at least every other day (as I recall), and talking on the telephone once a week (all I could afford).
I can honestly say that those letters were never boring to me, no matter how inconsequential the details or generic the descriptions. My delight was in knowing that my beloved cared about me and was communicating with me. Sometimes, because the postal system had certain idiosyncrasies inexplicable to the common man, letters sent might not arrive as planned or scheduled. I might have to go several days without receiving a single letter. Then, I might receive several in a single day. The days when no letter was received caused great disappointment. I would wonder if she was still thinking about me, still caring for me. Young love can be very insecure love, if not fed with constant attention. But when several arrived the same day, I was thrilled. There was never enough time to catch up during the brief weekly phone conversations. Letters could fill in the details and embellish the responses.
I can also say that I did not idolize those letters. They weren’t what was most important to me. My beloved was the object of my delight, but those letters brought delight because they came from her. They were important to me because she was important to me. The letters from unknown senders would not have the same impact. They would be tossed aside, while hers were opened immediately.
If we consider the Word of God in this way, as His love letter to us, expressing his care and his concern, we would, no doubt, find His Word as delightful as the psalmist did. It would hold a special place in our lives, gathering our attention, garnering our affection, and gaining our focus. It is not the Word that we are in love with; it is the Author. We love the Word, because we love the Author, and it is a Word from Him that we want, we need, and we delight in receiving.
It is because we do not delight in the Word, that we fail to appreciate it and pursue it. But if we delight in the Author, we should delight in His Word. And delight is the difference between drudgery and desire.
Psalms 119:16 (WEB)
16I will delight myself in your statutes.
I will not forget your word.
Psalms 119:24 (WEB)
24Indeed your statutes are my delight,
and my counselors.
Psalms 119:35 (WEB)
35Direct me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in them.
Psalms 119:70 (WEB)
70Their heart is as callous as the fat,
but I delight in your law.
Psalms 119:77 (WEB)
77Let your tender mercies come to me, that I may live;
for your law is my delight.
Psalms 119:92 (WEB)
92Unless your law had been my delight,
I would have perished in my affliction.
Psalms 119:143 (WEB)
143Trouble and anguish have taken hold of me.
Your commandments are my delight.
Psalms 119:174 (WEB)
174I have longed for your salvation, Yahweh.
Your law is my delight.