If you could choose your emotions, and we all can, then I would like to put in a good word for the emotion of delight. When our emotional team members are selected, delight is often left unpicked for our team. Like the awkward little school-kid who is always the last one to be picked for a side, delight has lost favour with most people today. Perhaps it's because delight is uncool. Perhaps it's because delight is now a little old-fashioned. Perhaps it's because delight unavoidably results in transparency - and transparency is downright uncomfortable! But delight is one of the few emotions that is sweetly fragranced. And whatever it handles, it fragrances with a fragrance that attracts blessings like nothing else can.
So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.
Jacob served Laban seven years for the right to marry Laban's daughter. But because Jacob delighted in the daughter of Laban, it seemed but "a few days". Delight transforms drudgery into enjoyment. Jacob could have chosen to grumble, complain, carp, or whine, but instead he chose to delight. He saw the whyin the what. Delight focuses on the why. The solo mum who has to work two jobs (and be a mother to her children) is able to delight in her work because it means that her children can be housed, clothed and fed. She knows that it is only for "a few days". She serves her customers with a sincere pleasant smile. She helps her fellow workers gladly. She has chosen to delight in her work..
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Our relationship with God is best enjoyed when we take delight in God and His Word (Ps. 111:2). The introduction to the Psalms (Psalm 1) opens with this reminder. Of all the things that should cause a person to delight - and there are many: our life, our spouse, our children, our work, our garden, our friends, our liesure, our books - there is nothing that surpasses God and His Word. To be delighted moreby anything else is deeply insulting to Ultimate-Source-of-Infinite-Beauty-and-Love. This is why the believer should delight in being with their brothers and sisters in assembled worship because when you delight in God you delight in what He deights in. He loves His church! God delights in His church!
¶ I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go to the house of the LORD!"
Last week I wrote about my recent health battles. In the midst of fatigue-battles I maintained three non-negotiable delights: I delighted in God's Word. (I have met people who have used their weariness or illness as an excuse to stop feeding their soul with God's Word.) Secondly, I delighted in prayer. (Even though my mind was cloudy and vague, I delighted in praying for others - most probably you.) Thirdly, I delighted in the House of God. The Psalmist said, "I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord!" I delight in our church - not merely because I am the pastor - but because I genuinely love our church. I love our people. I love it when we meet together. I love that our church loves God and His Word. I delight in our church because God delights in His church!
I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.
Shorlty after Kim and I arrived in Tasmania, we met someone who told us that none of their non-Christian friends would ever go to church. This is not unusual, but their reason for this sad fact was beyond disappointing. They said that their friends would never go to church after they heard what the church had done to him! When we enquired what happened to him that "hurt" him so badly, it turned out that it was by anyone's reasonable assessment:inconsequential. I wondered if he realised Who was truly hurt by his comments to his non-churched friends? I wonder how many others excuse their despising of Christ's Church when they should be delighting themselves in attending, supporting, and being the Church?
Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Your job, your marriage, your friendships, your walk with Christ, can all be delightful - if you choose it to be so. It's also worth pondering that we are created in the image of a God who delights and you have your best chance of realising your potential when you choose to bear the image you were created with and choose to delight in the right things.
No more will anyone call you Rejected,
and your country will no more be called Ruined.
You'll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
and your land Beulah (Married),
Because GOD delights in you
and your land will be like a wedding celebration.
Isaiah 62:4 MESSAGE