Photo credit to delightinginthelord.com
“…and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord,’ says the Lord God, ‘when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.’” Ezekiel 36:23
I want to think about what God shared with Ezekiel in this chapter, chapter 36, while also thinking about David’s words in Psalm 1:2, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law does he meditate day and night.” I want to think about both of these because I think they are closely related.
Imagine God having somebody prophecy to mountains. Sounds crazy, huh? But that’s exactly what He tells Ezekiel to do here. “Prophecy to the mountains of Israel.” Why? Because the surrounding nations had been mocking them and inhabiting them as though there was nothing special about them. They didn’t realize that the land itself was tied to the people who were tied in to God. To mistreat the land or mock the land was a reflection on the people of Israel which was a reflection upon God Himself. So, how the heathen treated the land, or even how Israel treated the land represented how they saw and responded to God.
Now why would God care so much about particular mountains or a particular land area like that? Number one, because He can. It’s all His anyways. He made it and He is represented in it. It shows forth part of His glory. Number two, because He can and because He attached it to His people who are another representation of His glory. Well, at least the land and the people are supposed to be representations of His glory.
Let’s think about that. God created, you know, back in the beginnings of what we know. Why? Because it pleased Him. What in the world does that mean? Did God have a whim that He needed to satisfy? I don’t think that’s it. Isaiah 42:21 shares, “The Lord is well pleased [chaphets} for His righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honourable.” I don’t think that God runs around all day thinking, “This is good. Oh, yes, let’s do this. This is good. I really like this.” I don’t think that’s the idea. I think the truth is that God is pleasure and goodness and righteousness and justice. I believe that these things are joyful in God just by being a part of His nature. That this is His presence and this is His person and that all the things that we think of as being happy and joyful and pleasing and delightful begin their existence in God. I believe that He is Delight. Chaphets, the inclination toward pleasing, delight itself, originates in God. What if that’s true? What then?
David talks about the righteous man in Psalm 1:2 saying, “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he meditates day and night.” This thought of God being delight itself, means that this verse isn’t about memorizing and having a head knowledge of Scripture. This is about delighting in, chaphets”ing” in God Himself. It’s about entering into the presence of God and all that He loves and all that He does and all that He is. The law isn’t just about archaic Hebrew teachings. The Law is the word of God to mankind. The Law is God’s ways and the leading of His Holy Spirit. If I can’t delight and find joy and peace and hope in God in His word, then I am missing out on God. It ought to be a joy for me to spend time anywhere in God’s word. It ought to prick my heart, whether for encouragement or for reprimand to spend my time meditating in Him. It ought to draw me as though it was life itself drawing me to take my next breath, and my next, and my next. I won’t be drawn away by sin, or scoffing, or whatever. I will be drawn by that which is of God and which fills and encourages and empowers and imparts life and fullness.
Just as God never stops being God, our delight in Him should never cease. Day and night isn’t talking about just two times a day. All my day I should revel in who God is and that I am in Him and all night long that should guide my living and my sleeping. Psalm 37 shares, “But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” To know Who I am in, Who is empowering me, Who is caring for me, Who is God of gods and Lord of lords, fills me with this abundance of peace. God is God and I am in Him.
It’s not about me working harder to please this God that I’m not sure how to please. It’s not about serving Him better and then He’ll give me the desires of my heart. The verse says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Why? Because the desires of my heart will become the desires of His heart. When I start to grasp His nature and live in Him and rely on Him and it overjoys my soul whether in abundance or lack, then I start to understand that it’s not about me. It’s all about Him, this God who is everything. And in being everything, He is everything that completes and fills me. He becomes truly all I need. He becomes shear delight. God is Delight.
I can’t work to obtain peace. I must enter it. Paul speaks of that rest that some did not enter. It’s a rest that we begin entering while here on earth by entering into the delight of God Himself. It’s this rest for the people of God. You have to cease from your own works to enter it. Even God ceased from His works for that day during creation. It does take diligence though. Because entering into God’s delight and rest isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s the hardest road we must ever travel. But to choose anything else is to follow the road of unbelief, and that will never lead to rest or relationship in God.
Delight isn’t about making ourselves happy. It’s about experiencing God. It’s about “having a happy response” so to speak. Another blogger called it responding “to the surprising, amazing goodness of the Lord.” And it’s not like God hasn’t told and shown us how to walk in Him. He even sent Jesus so we would understand what we hadn’t understood so far. And Jesus payed the price to redeem us from sin’s shame so that we could be a glory to God again. Listen, “a glory to God again.” That means that whatever God does, whatever comes from God and flows from Him ought to be flowing from us and coming from us. “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8) This is our purpose. As I walk, God’s character should flow through me and God’s glory will be made known. This is delighting in the Lord. Responding to Him and in Him is delight. Dwelling and walking in Him is the evidence of my delight.
Do I love kindness? Walk in Him. Do I love mercy? Walk in Him. Do I love goodness and faithfulness and steadfastness and justice? Then walk in Him. Because if I walk in Him, and His character flows from me, I demonstrate to all of earth and all of heaven where my delight is. The measure of my delight is the measure of my life. How much do I look and live like the image of the Son of God who was the spitting image of the Father? He delighted fully in Him and wanted to know nothing outside of Him. What about me? What would the mountains say about me? What would God prophecy to the mountains about if He were talking about me? What would the nations say who see my life? Would I be a mockery or a sham? Or would I be a light, living out God’s glorious image, and drawing others to Him? God has shot the arrow. Actually, His is the arrow. Have I let Him hit His mark by submitting fully in Him with the greatest of all my desires and all of my being? Or am I shooting the arrow, only to have it fall to the ground because I can never hit the mark on my own?
Here’s the good news. God Himself, the Holy One who is Delight, desires to sanctify Himself in each of us, to return us to the glory in Him we were created for. There’s no better place I want to be. What about you? Will you enter his delight? It’s worth living for and it’s worth dying for. There is nothing else in life or eternity that is worth more. One day all the heathen will know that God is God and that He alone is delight. But how sad for that day to be a day to find out that delight is only accessible in Christ in God and not on our own. How sad to see delight and to know you can never attain it anymore because the time is past. Let’s listen to the prophecy that the mountains heard and let’s draw close to the Lord while there is yet time.