“In These Things I Delight”         

Jeremiah 9:24

            Nothing gives me more pleasure and satisfaction than bringing delight to someone else. There is something delightful about giving delight. But, think about this - What do you suppose will give delight to the holy Lord God? There are three things specifically mentioned in the Bible as things that give delight to the Lord our God. Two of them will not surprise you, but the third one might.

            First, the Lord God, being perfect and complete, delights in his own glorious character. For any man to delight in himself (as most do) is utmost arrogance and pride. But for God to do so is right, because he is God. Perfection has reason to delight in itself. And God plainly asserts that he delights in his own character (Jer. 9:23-24). God delights in lovingkindness. What words can describe the compassion and lovingkindness of our God? “His lovingkindness - O how free! O how great! O how strong! O how good!” God delights in judgment. Judgment is the exercise of justice. And he delights in that as fully as he does in lovingkindness. He does not delight or take pleasure in the judgment of sin upon the wicked (Ezek. 33:11). That is his strange work (Is. 28:11). God will judge the wicked because “The righteous Lord loveth righteousness.” But God does not delight in the judgment of the wicked. However, he does delight in the judgment of his people’s sins in Christ, by whose sin-atoning death justice was satisfied on their behalf (Isa. 53:10). God delights in righteousness, not in the self-righteous works of men, but in the perfect righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to us, by which we are now made “meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Col. 1:12). The prophet Micah tells us, “He delighteth in mercy” (7:18). How I love those words! God almighty, against whom I have sinned, whose law I have broken, whose holiness I have violated, “delighteth in mercy!” Delighting in these attributes of his character, revealed in the work of his Son, it is by these very attributes that he saves us (Hos. 2:19).

            Secondly, God delights in his Son (Isa. 42:1). Obviously, the Father delights in the Son as his co-equal in the holy trinity. But Isaiah 42:1 is describing the Father’s delight in the Son as his Servant in all his covenant engagements as our Mediator and Surety (Matt. 3:15; 17:5; John 10:15-18). The holy Lord God is delighted with the obedience of his Son unto death. It is this obedience by which his people are saved and his name is glorified in the earth (Heb. 10:5-14).

            Thirdly, the Lord our God delights in his people (Isa. 62:4-5). Imagine that - God delights in us! Be astonished, O my soul! He does not, indeed, he cannot delight in us personally. Neither can he delight in anything we do. But he does accept us, delight in us, and rejoice over us in Christ (Zeph. 3:15-17; Eph. 1:6). Though we are by nature, through the sin and fall of our father Adam, cast off, forsaken, and desolate, in Christ every saved sinner is married to and has become the delight of the living God!


Don Fortner