How Do I Delight In My Bible? A Reflection on Psalm 1
For me there is a constant battle within myself to interact with the Bible out of a motive of delight. I often remember being disappointed with myself after opening the Bible and feeling no special “revelation” or when my mind continued to bounce off the holy pages like a tennis ball.
I also hear this struggle in the voices around me; the lack of desire for consistent study and the guilt that heaps; the fear of misunderstanding; the frustration of ending up with more questions than answers; the general disinterest that nags the soul. Opening the Bible feels heavy sometimes, like we are pushing a car uphill.
I suppose that’s why my heart stood still when I read Psalm 1:2 during this week’s reading:
“...but his [or her] delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law [she] meditates day and night.”
[Note: “the law of the Lord” is referring to God’s instructions. It’s God’s words about God’s ways.]
Delight. This man or woman moves toward Scripture because they find pleasure in the Word.
Honestly, that’s not what I felt this morning when I hit snooze for the third time and grabbed my Bible on the way out the door hoping to patch together some form of quiet time during my lunch break. I am far too easily motivated by guilt and shame, but how do I replace the guilt and turn up the delight when it comes time to open the Bible?
As I pondered this for several days, I first recognized how incredible is it that our God isn't satisfied with a heart pulled by guilt -- but a heart pulsing with delight. For the heart that truly finds pleasure in the words and ways of God, Psalm 1 goes on to describe how blessed this person will be. They are compared to a tree planted by a constant water source, never in fear of being unfruitful or withering away, but always growing. This is a product of delight.
Again -- honest moment here -- from a logical perspective, if I’m not delighting in the Bible, it most likely means that I’m not delighting in God, His instructions, or His ways. It could mean that I’m far too preoccupied with my ways or agenda and it’s numbing my soul to the treasures of the Word.
John Piper once said, “If you don't feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”
So I prayed scary prayers this morning.
“God, increase my dissatisfaction with cheap, worldly, self-obsessed things and help me delight in You alone. Help me put to death anything that is feeding that lust for pride and exaltation, let me only humbly approach Your Word with an undeserved joy. Shake my soul, wake me up to the beauty of Your ways, Your instructions, Your character. Intrude on my thoughts and meditations, You are welcome and invited here.”
I felt the clothes of guilt and boredom shed off of my heart. I felt delight return and glow.
Because the soul that delights in God, thinks about God often. And this is what propels us into meditation on the Word day and night. It’s like we can’t stop thinking about it!
So friends, as we launch into a summer of seeing God through Psalms, I want to pray those kind of prayers over us. May we be women who delight in the Bible because we adore Jesus. And may our hearts and minds be faithful to think on Him day and night, because He alone is the purest pleasure our hearts could know.
If you want some help breaking apart this psalm for yourself, make sure you download our free Psalm 1 short-study!