WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 14, 2021
TOPIC: WHAT DOES GOD DELIGHT IN?
BY T. O. BANSO
“So Samuel said: ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams’” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version).
There are two related questions: “Who does God delight in?” and “What does God delight in?” The two are important questions, and their answers are also related. Let’s consider three points in trying to answer the question “What does God delight in?”
1. Obedience to His voice. God delights in obedience to His voice or Word. “So Samuel said: ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams’” (1 Samuel 15:22 New King James Version). That was what the prophet Samuel told the disobedient king, Saul.
The Hebrew word translated delight in that scripture is chaphets, which means to delight in, to take pleasure in, to desire, to be pleased with. God delights in obedience and not in sacrifice or offering. He enjoys and is pleased when His children who obey His voice, either through the written word or by the Holy Spirit. Obedience is superior to any sacrifice you may want to offer to God. He says in Psalm 50:12-13, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (New King James Version).
God delights in obedience. Disobedience is a sin. Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (New King James Version). With disobedience, one cannot get into heavenly, eternal rest. Hebrews 4:11 says, “Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall” (New Living Translation).
You can’t lose something through disobedience and think you can get it back through prayer and fasting! You’ll have to repent first and obey. You can’t bribe God with prayer and fasting! Continued disobedience will eventually attract God’s wrath. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience”(Ephesians 5:6 New King James Version). Colossians 3:6 says because of sins such as anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, and filthy language the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. The solution is prompt repentance.
Blessing a disobedient person, pouring the anointing oil on him, prophesying on him, and so on can never be a substitute to obedience. The sinner or the disobedient must repent.
Psalm 51:16-17 says, “For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise” (New King James Version). God will not despise a broken and repentant heart. So repent first, and then obey.
Isaiah 1:19 says if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. God delights in your obedience and delights in the obedient. “The LORD your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and laws written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul” (Deuteronomy 30:10 New Living Translation).
2. The prayer of the upright. God delights in this. Proverbs 15:8 says, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “The LORD hates the sacrifice of the wicked, but he delights in the prayers of the upright.” The Hebrew word translated upright is yashar. It means, “to be right, to be straight, to be level, to be upright, to be just, to be lawful, to be smooth” (Bible Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon).
If you want the Lord to delight in your prayer, be upright. It’s useless spending several hours in prayer and fasting when one is not living an upright life. God is more concerned about the life of the person praying than the long hours in prayer!
James 5:16b says the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. Are you upright? Are you righteous? Hear what the LORD said regarding the sacrifice offered apparently without an upright life: “‘To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?’ Says the LORD. ‘I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs or goats’” (Isaiah 1:11 New King James Version).
Jeremiah 6:20 says a similar thing: “For what purpose to Me Comes frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a far country? Your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet to Me” (New King James Version).
See also Amos 5:22-24: “Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them, nor will I regard your fattened peace offerings. Take away from Me the noise of your songs, for I will not hear the melody of your stringed instruments. But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (New King James Version).
Your prayer will not be in vain in Jesus’ name. Your supplication will be that of an upright man or woman that will receive heaven’s attention in Jesus’ name. Ecclesiastes 7:29 says, “I discovered that God created people to be upright, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path” (New Living Translation). How can we then live an upright or a righteous life? Through Jesus Christ.
Self-righteousness won’t satisfy God. All our righteousnesses are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Jesus, who knew no sin, was made to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). You must put on God’s righteousness by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Then you must begin and continue to live right in accordance with His Word. Do not have your own righteousness but the righteousness which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Philippians 3:9).
3. Exercising God’s character of lovingkindness, justice, righteousness, mercy, etc. God delights in exercising His character of lovingkindness, justice, righteousness, mercy, and the likes. These are attributes of God. God can do anything, but He only does what is consistent with His character. He delights in His character. God cannot act contrary to His character.
Jeremiah 9:24 says, “‘But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD” (New King James Version).
Micah 7:18 also talks about God’s delight in mercy, which is part of His character. “Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy” (Micah 7:18 New King James Version). The Message renders “He delights in mercy” as “mercy is your specialty.” God enjoys being kind. Mercy is His specialty!
As a child of God, you should look like your Father. In other words, you should manifest the character of God in the measure that is possible as a human being. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children”(Ephesians 5:1 New King James Version). Imitate God. God expects you to do good, seek justice, be merciful, help the vulnerable, and so on. Micah 6:8 says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (New King James Version).
This is godly living, and anywhere God sees what is consistent with His character or attributes, He is delighted; He is pleased. God expects to see His character in His saints – the chosen, those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. That is why the saints are His delight.
The Bible refers to Jesus as the beloved Son of God in whom He is well pleased (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Mark 1:11; 2 Peter 1:17). According to Psalm 16:3, the saints (the godly) who are on earth, are the excellent ones, in whom is all God’s delight. That is God is pleased with them or takes pleasure in them. “The godly people in the land are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them!” (Psalm 16:3 New Living Translation).
When Jesus was on earth, He said the Father had not left Him alone, for He always did those things that pleased Him (John 8:29). You, too, should seek to please God. Hebrews 11:6a says without faith, it is impossible to please Him. First, you must put your faith in Jesus Christ – you must be born again. Then you must learn to walk with God by faith – you must obey Him.
1 John 3:22 says we will receive from Him whatever we request because we obey Him and do the things that please Him. God delights in those who live to please Him. Do you? Will you take that decision now?
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I will obey Your voice; I will obey Your Word. I will live an upright life through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His Word. Help me Holy Spirit to live a life that God will delight in.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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