Seeking God’s Delight

10 His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, 11 but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.” Psalm 147: 10-11

(Note: The following is the gist of a devotional sharing done at our prayer service earlier this month)

To the world at large, one’s outward performance, with an ability to generate production and targets are the things that are highly valued. The much-used term, KPI – Key Performance Index is used to evaluate an organization’s or individual’s productivity level in hitting targets. What’s valued is one’s ability and strength as to what one can do. Pressured into hitting sales targets and the myriad of goals, many in the corporate ladder are led into trying to do and achieve something – in some scenarios, by under-handed means. The end justifies the means.

Conversely, it is instructive from Scripture that in the economy of God, having a right motivation as to why we do something is far more important than simply being able to do or achieve something. Drawing from the familiar image around him, the Psalmist refers to the strength of a horse, which of course is highly valued. ‘Slow and Steady wins the race’ is not how it works. Using this imagery, the Psalmist compares the strength of a horse to that of the legs of a man, pointing it to what God does not take pleasure in. From what the Psalmist surfaces, we are made aware that instead, God uses two different yardsticks as to what He takes delight in. It is these two yardsticks that should be our motivation as to why we do what we do.

Firstly, He takes delight in those who fear Him. Having nothing to do with being frightened of God, as if He is always all out to ‘get at us’, as soon as we take a misstep, such a fear speaks of reverence and respect. For example, Bible-reading plans are helpful. Being desirous of reading the entire Bible through the year is commendable. However, instead of simply trying to achieve one’s target, even if it means skimming over passages, one is to do so with the attitude of going through the plan in acknowledgement that what one reads is the Word of God. Glancing over passages just in order to finish a targeted plan may meet one’s goal. But this may not be what such plans are intended. Motivated that what is being read is the Word of God, and being desirous to hear the voice of God, it speaks of our reverence for God and His Word.

Secondly, He takes delight in those who put their trust Him. The Psalmist refers to it as hoping in His steadfast love. It is that of leaning on His mercy. In the context of not just doing something but having the right motivation as to why we do what we do, a good example can be drawn from our prayer services. Our motivation as to why we attend the services is critical.

We take delight in presenting the needs of our church and members before God, acknowledging that from everlasting to everlasting He is God. We entrust our cares and concerns before God’s throne of grace. In response, God takes pleasure in knowing that He is looked upon as our hope amid the challenges around us.

As we press on in our Christian journey, seeking to accomplish the tasks ahead of us in the months ahead of us, may we be motivated by a holy reverence for God and believing trust in Him.

Richard Lai