“Sing, Daughter Zion; shout aloud, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, Daughter Jerusalem!. The Lord has taken away your punishment, he has turned back your enemy. The Lord, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm. On that day they will say to Jerusalem, “Do not fear, Zion; do not let your hands hang limp. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” – Zephaniah 3:14 – 17
A little background may be in order before we go on. The book Zephaniah is a small book, nestled in the midst of the Minor Prophets, toward the end of the Old Testament. The book of Zephaniah was written during the reign of King Josiah, likely between 635 and 625 BC.
In the passage that began this devotional, we see a picture of the delight that we can have with the Lord: Verse 17 tells us that yes, “the Lord your God is with you” and then it says that “He will take great delight in you.” … and rejoice over you with singing.” So we are to delight in Him and He will delight in us. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” While our delight may be found in many different things, the Bible commands us to find our delight in the Lord. That same “delight” that we try to find in so many things, we are to find in Him.
But what does delighting in the Lord look like in practice? What specifically are we supposed to do? King David was a person who was able, for much of his life, to find his delight in the Lord. What did he do? For one thing, He got up early to spend time with God. Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” This indicates the commitment that David had to walk with God in prayer first thing in the morning. If we want to seek God and to delight in Him, then we too need to make a commitment to to start our day with Him.
David also sought God in His word. Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 55:17 tells us, “Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.” That did not mean that he only prayed at those three specific times, but that at every portion of the day, he was found walking with God, delighting in Him. This is what we must do, too, if we would delight in the Lord; we must walk with Him constantly throughout the day.
I fall short of the depth of what it means, to really continually “delight yourself in the Lord.” And I imagine that some of you could say the same thing. But that is what I am working toward and I know you are too. Because the bottom line is this: Our greatest help is not going to be found somewhere else, because what we need more than anything, is to delight in the Lord.
Because if we really learn to delight in Him, then we will have what it takes to live truly enjoyable lives no matter what happens with all the other things that we think will bring us delight. And the truth is, even if you have all of these other things, you will never enjoy life as God intended us to do, until we learn to delight in the Lord. My prayer this week is that God will help us to learn to “delight ourselves in the Lord.”
- Do you spend a few minutes with God each morning? If not, why not?
- In what circumstances are you most tempted to stop delighting in God? If you were to talk to Him in those circumstances, what would you want to hear from Him?
- Do you delight in God in between the big moments in your life?
- If you changed the way you delighted in God, what would that be? If God were to change the way you delight in Him, what would that be?