6 Reasons to Delight in the Word (10th Anniversary)
My goal in writing is simple. I want to increase every Christian’s love for God by increasing their delight in His Word, the Bible. That’s why I wrote my first book, Delight in the Word, and have just released the 10th Anniversary eBook edition.
One of the burdens of my heart, and a goal for my ministry, is to convince believers that you cannot separate love for God from love for the Bible. No one can truly love God if they do not also love His Word. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me” (John 14:21). By demonstrating how sufficient the Scripture is in addressing the needs of the human heart, I trust that the Holy Spirit will accelerate His counseling ministry in your life and thereby lead you into a deeper, more loving obedience to God (John 16:13). There are at least six reasons why it is spiritually profitable for us to mimic the psalmist’s resolution, “I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word” (Psalm 119:16).
Delighting in the Word leads to spiritual stability and fruitfulness. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:1–3). Abundant fruitfulness and oak-like stability in the Christian life are experienced in direct proportion to the extent to which we delight in God’s Word. It was not merely what this man avoided (foolish and worldly counsel) that made him blessed, but what he embraced—biblical truth. Therefore, he who delights in the counsel of God will be blessed in all he does.
Delighting in the Word feeds a desire to do God’s will. I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart (Psalm 40:8). Delighting in the will of God is tied to a commitment to the Word of God cherished in the heart. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). When Jesus first taught this truth He was referring to the everyday choice of where we invest our wealth—in a temporal earth or an everlasting heaven. However, the principle also applies to other contexts. In other words, it is always true that our hearts follow our treasure. Therefore, the more we treasure God’s precepts by delighting in them “more than gold” (Psalm 19:10), the greater will be our desire to obey the will of God as revealed in that Word.
Delighting in the Word is a cure for depression. Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your word (Psalm 119:24-25). When depression strikes (or creeps in unnoticed), we need help from God. In the middle of a thick fog of depression we desperately need the piercing light of divine truth to break through with clear objectivity. So we pray: “Let Your tender mercies come to me, that I may live; for Your law is my delight” (Psalm 119:77).
Delighting in the Word fortifies obedience to God, even when others care not. Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it (Psalm 119:33–35). Those who truly delight in the Bible will, in turn, possess an intense desire to live in obedience to its precepts. Theirs will be a determined obedience, a steadfast adherence to truth, even in the face of opposition. The proud have forged a lie against me, but I will keep Your precepts with my whole heart. Their heart is as fat as grease, but I delight in Your law (Psalm 119:69, 70).
Delighting in the Word nurtures a love for Scripture meditation. The delight of the blessed man “is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). Charles Spurgeon described this man as one who “takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God.” The more we grow in our love for God’s Word, the more it will dominate our thinking about every area of our life. Then, and only then, will our minds be truly renewed, according to the promise of God (Romans 12:2). And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love. My hands also I will lift up to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes (Psalm 119:47, 48).
Delighting in the Word sustains us in times of trial. Trouble and anguish have overtaken me, yet Your commandments are my delights (Psalm 119:143). When the trials of life seem to drain every ounce of spiritual, physical, and emotional energy from us, God’s Word will be our strength. It will minister to the deepest agony of our hearts and help us gain and keep an eternal perspective. Renewing our mind with such truths as, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18), will compel us to agree with the Psalmist: “Unless Your law had been my delight, I would then have perished in my affliction” (Psalm 119:92).
This is just a brief sampling of what the Word of God will do for us as we make it our delight and treasure.
[Adapted from the Introduction to Delight in the Word, 10th Anniversary Edition]