WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 15, 2021
TOPIC: WHO DOES GOD DELIGHT IN?
BY T. O. BANSO
“The LORD hates people with twisted hearts, but he delights in those who have integrity” (Proverbs 11:20 New Living Translation).
Psalm 147:10-11 says of God, “He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (New King James Version).
The Hebrew word translated delight in this scripture is chaphets, which means “to delight in, to take pleasure in, to desire, to be pleased with” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon and Brown Driver & Briggs Hebrew Lexicon). The Bible tells us who and what God delights in and does not delight in?
Verse 10 of Psalm 147 says God does not delight in the strength of the horse or take pleasure in the legs of a man for success in life. The New Living Translation says, “The strength of a horse does not impress him; how puny in his sight is the strength of a man.” God does not need the help of a horse or the legs of a human being to accomplish whatever He wants to do. He is the Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.
Because God does not delight in the strength of a horse, don’t trust in chariots or horses, but remember the name of Jehovah God (Psalm 20:7). Don’t let anything on earth, no matter how great or effective it is, replace your trust in God. Only God does not fail.
1 Samuel 2:9b says, “For by strength no man shall prevail” (New King James Version). The New Century Version says, “Power is not the key to success.” According to The Message, “No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!”
In Psalm 33:16-17, the psalmist writes, “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (New King James Version).
So who does God delight in? I will discuss only two points.
1.Those who fear Him and hope in His mercy. As Proverbs 11:20b says, the LORD delights in those who fear Him and hope in His mercy. Fear the Lord. In other words, reverence Him. Also, let your hope or trust be in the mercy of God, which means you recognize His supremacy, the power of God in every situation, and His sovereignty. You should acknowledge that you may plant or water, but it is the Lord that gives the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). Therefore, you should trust Him to crown your efforts with success.
Hear the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 33:18-22: “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O LORD, be upon us, Just as we hope in You” (New King James Version).
Do you hope in the mercy of God? To hope in His mercy also means to put your hope in His unfailing love or loving-kindness or those who wait for His kindness. God delights in people who put their hope in His mercy, and He’ll not disappoint their expectations. He says He’ll be gracious to whom He’ll be gracious, and He’ll have compassion on whom He’ll have compassion (Exodus 33:19). That was what God told Moses.
Referring to this scripture, Romans 9:15 puts it this way: “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion”(New King James Version). Hoping in the mercy of God shows your dependence on Him, and this delights Him.
The New Living Translation presents verse 11 of Psalm 147 as “the LORD’s delight is in those who honor him.” Therefore, to fear the LORD also means to honour Him. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life (Proverbs 14:27).
Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; He will not be visited with evil” (New King James Version). Knowledge of what is good and what is evil is not enough; it is the fear of the LORD that makes people avoid evil (Proverbs 16:6). Proverbs 3:7 says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (New King James Version).
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10a; Psalm 111:10a). The fear of the LORD is also the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7a). As we have seen in Psalm 147:11, the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him. He is pleased with them.
David wrote Psalm 52 when Doeg the Edomite went to tell Saul in 1 Samuel 22:9-10 that David had gone to Abimelech the priest, who inquired of the LORD for him and gave him provisions.
David said in verse 8 of Psalm 52, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever” (New King James Version). Do you trust in the mercy of God? In other words, do you trust in His unfailing love? Lamentation 3:22a says through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed.
Do you trust in the mercy of God? According to Paul, it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy (Romans 9:16). If you fear the Lord and hope in His mercy, God will delight in you. He will be pleased with you.
2. Those who have integrity. Live a life of integrity. God delights in those with integrity. He delights in people who are truthful, who keep promises, and who don’t cheat others. Proverbs 11:20 says, “The LORD hates people with twisted hearts, but he delights in those who have integrity” (New Living Translation).
The New King James Version renders it thus: “Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the LORD, but the blameless in their ways are His delight.” To be blameless means to have integrity.
Integrity is defined as “Honesty, sincerity, singleness of purpose” (Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary). Holman Bible Dictionary defines integrity as “The state of being complete or undivided.”
According to Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight” (New King James Version). What does that mean? The New Living Translation makes it clearer: “The LORD hates those who don’t keep their word, but he delights in those who do.”
Keeping promises is part of integrity, and God delights in this. As much as possible, keep your promises. There could be some circumstances where, due to some factors beyond one’s control, fulfilling some promises could be difficult and sometimes impossible. However, as a lifestyle, keep your promises. That’s why you shouldn’t rush to make promises.
Using honest weights is also part of integrity. If you use honest or just weights you won’t cheat. Proverbs 11:1 says, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight” (New King James Version). It can actually shorten your days on earth! That was why God warned the Israelites against this practice. He is warning you, too. If you love your neighbour, as God has commanded, you won’t cheat him, either in the marketplace or in the courtroom.
Deuteronomy 25:15-16 says, “You shall have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure, that your days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD your God is giving you. For all who do such things, all who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the LORD your God” (New King James Version).
In Malachi 2:17b, the prophet Malachi said the people of Judah wearied God by their words, saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD and He delights in them” (New King James Version). That’s not true. That’s not in God’s character. David said He is not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4). Otherwise, He wouldn’t have said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20New King James Version).
Live a life of integrity. Don’t cheat; be content with reasonable, moderate profit. God hates exploitation. It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it (Proverbs 10:22). Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the LORD, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]” (Amplified Bible).
Integrity pays. David was a man of integrity (1 Kings 9:4; Psalm 26:1). He was a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22; Psalm 89:20; 1 Samuel 16:1-12). David said that the LORD brought him out into a broad place; He delivered him because He delighted in him (2 Samuel 22:20; Psalms 18:19; 7:8).
Also, Job was a man of integrity (Job 2:3, 9). God described him as a blameless and upright man, one who feared Him and shunned evil (Job 1:8; 2:3). He delivered him in his trials and restored his losses. He gave Job twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10). He blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning (verse 12). God delights in those who fear Him and hope in His mercy. He also delights in those who have integrity.
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 fear You and hope in Your mercy. Holy Spirit, help me to walk uprightly before you and avoid dishonesty. Help me to love what God loves and hate what He hates.
(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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