Marks of a Christian: Delight in God’s Word

By necessity, to delight in God is to likewise delight in His word.  We cannot separate the two.  Delighting in the Bible means we delight in the God of the Bible.  This is a foundational stance for Christians, as we must believe that God has revealed Himself, His purposes, His ways, and His will to us.  How else are we to know and obey Him?  How else are we to glorify and enjoy Him?

In the last mark, Delight in God, we observed that it spoke to the purpose for which God has created us—to glorify and enjoy Him.  Well, the Shorter Catechism goes on to ask,

Q. 2. What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
A. The word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.

You see, God wants us to delight in His word because He wants us to delight in Him.

The Bible gives numerous reasons as to why we should delight in it: it is God’s word (2 Tim. 3:16a), it contains the wisdom that leads to salvation by faith in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15), it is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16b), it equips (2 Tim. 3:17), it gives guidance in our lives (Ps. 119:105), it is truth (Jn. 17:17), and it has the power to create spiritual life (1 Thess. 1:4-5; 1 Pet. 1:22-23).  The list could go on, but you get the point—the Bible, as God’s word, consists of numerous spiritual and eternal benefits.  For these reasons we are to delight in God’s word.

So what exactly is it to delight in God’s word?  In essence, it is to accept and embrace the Bible as indeed being the word of God, submitting to its authority, and rejoicing in its truth.  Like the Psalmist we cry out, “I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word” (Ps. 119:16; cf. v. 35; 112:1).  The word of God is our eternal treasure, desired more than all earthly and transitory fortunes.

In Psalm 1 we find that the righteous man delights in the law of the LORD, and meditates on it day and night (v. 2).  The Psalm concludes with the glorious affirmation, “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous….” (v. 6a).

In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 we find the central importance of the word in the life of the church (cf. Acts 2:42).  It is significant to note that this forceful charge from Paul to Timothy to “preach the word,” even though it may be unpopular and ill-received, comes immediately after Paul teaches on the Divine origin, power, and profitableness of the Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15-17).  Paul is essentially telling Timothy that he must remain faithful to the ministry of the word because of the nature and power of the word.  Paul’s command to preach the word resembles that of Isaiah’s: “To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn” (Isa. 8:20).  Such a commitment to God’s word, especially in the face of countless opposition from false teachers and wicked men, can only come from someone who has become acquainted with and convinced of its God-given authority and power (2 Tim. 3:14).  Such a commitment could only have come from someone who finds ceaseless delight in God’s word, being life-changing and soul-searching.

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