Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Pleasure of God

What do you get for the person who has everything? That has always been a stumper. Now take it up to the nth degree — How do you please God?

It’s not hard. The Bible speaks of a number of things that please Him.

1. The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him.
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. (Psalm 147:10-11)
To fear the Lord means to love, honor and stand in awe of Him, to love what He loves and hate what He hates, to seek His favor above all else, and to avoid His displeasure at all cost. In the parallelism of Hebrew poetry, we see in this passage that those who fear the LORD are the ones who hope in His mercy — that is, they put their trust in Him.

The Hebrew word for “pleasure” is ratsah. To take pleasure in someone means to be satisfied with, to set one’s affection on, to delight in, enjoy, and show favor to them. The LORD is fully satisfied with those who love and trust Him. They are the object of His affection. He delights fully in them and shows them the abundance of His favor.

2. The LORD takes pleasure in His people.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation. (Psalm 149:4)
God has chosen a people — all those who love and trust in Him—and He beautifies them with salvation. To beautify means to adorn, to glorify. The Hebrew word for “salvation” here is Yeshua, which the name of Jesus. Jesus is the salvation of all who come humbly in faith before God. They are adorned with the Lord Jesus Christ, to share in His glory.

3. The LORD takes pleasure in the prosperity of His people.
Let the LORD be magnified,
Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. (Psalm 35:27)
The word for “pleasure” here is chaphets, which means to desire, delight in, have pleasure in. God delights in, and greatly desires, the prosperity of His people. “Prosperity” is the word shalom, the Hebrew word for peace. It refers to complete wholeness and well-being. God desires this fullness for all His people. The apostle John expressed God’s will when he said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2).

Let the name of the LORD be magnified, exalted and full of glory because of His great goodness toward His people.

4. The LORD is pleased to deliver His people.
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;
O LORD, make haste to help me! (Psalm 40:13)
The LORD delights to deliver all those who belong to Him, all who call on His name. He does not leave them in their predicament, but comes to snatch them away.

5. Faith pleases God.
All these things please the LORD, but not without faith.
Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. But with faith, it is impossible not to please Him, for faith is taking God at His Word, and God rewards that greatly. He is entirely pleased and satisfied when we believe Him, and delighted when we seek after Him.

It is very simple to please God. Just love, honor and trust Him. Take Him at His Word. He will pour out His favor and cause you to prosper. He will deliver you in time of trouble and show you His salvation — Jesus.