I recently asked my two oldest children, “What does daddy love to do?” (Just for fun, try asking your kids that at some point this week.) I had no idea what to expect, and their answers were a little underwhelming. My daughter half-asked, “Jogging?” and my son responded with “Work.”
Surely, I asked the question in a confusing way.
But my son followed up with a sincerely curious question, “What do you love to do?”
Well, that is the question, isn’t it? What do we love? Is it what we ought to love? When do our children catch a glimmer of delight in our eyes? When do they hear passionate exclamations of joy? Do we delight in that which is truly delightful?
After meditating for 96 verses on God’s law, the psalmist of Psalm 119 can’t help himself. He bursts forth with, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” For an unbeliever, that sudden exclamation might seem a little odd. But for someone acquainted with the beauty of Scripture, it’s totally understandable. We were made to delight in God; therefore, we treasure every word He speaks to us. We delight in the Bible.
At the same time, we live in a world where all manner of delights compete for our love and passion—some of them worthwhile, some of them corrupt. The glint of the world often catches our eye. The busyness of life fatigues our spiritual muscles. Other appetites displace our delight in God’s Word. In comparison to other pursuits, opening our Bible to behold the face of Jesus Christ feels like plain work.
So, let’s take a look at a psalm devoted to the topic of delight and ask, “How do I grow my delight in God’s Word?” Psalm 1 provides a three-part blueprint for dads who love the Bible but want to love it more.
Step 1: Choose God’s Path
The first few lines of the entire book of Psalms introduce two possible paths:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Ps. 1:1–2).
In order to grow your delight, you have a choice you must make: reject ungodly words and embrace God’s Word.
Reject Ungodly Words
The dangerous progression pictured in verse 1 highlights three aspects of the wrong path you must reject: ungodly advice, ungodly actions, and ungodly attacks. All of these will ultimately corrode your delight in God’s Word.
A few months ago, my wife and I were streaming a show we found on Amazon Prime. It contained a lot of elements we both value in a show—clever script-writing, uncontrived acting, and a compelling plot. As we watched, however, we became increasingly uncomfortable with how the characters thought and spoke, and their attitudes about life. Because those attitudes were beginning to affect our own thinking, we both decided to call it quits on the show.
As believing dads, we must make a decided effort to reject the path of the ungodly.
Embrace God’s Words
You may not play the lottery, but pretend you were given a free winning ticket and told to go claim your prize. Chances are, that might be a day you remember. You would probably think about it, talk about it, and exclaim about it. That ticket will probably change the way you live your life. You might even end up on My Lottery Dream Home and buy a house that is way beyond your annual means and that you’ll have to sell in a few years to pay your kid’s college bills.1
The point is—when you treasure something, it changes your life! How much more should we treasure God’s Word, worth more “than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (Ps. 119:72). When you do, it will change your life!
- It will change how you think. The word “meditate” carries the idea of pondering on something by talking to yourself. Do you let Scripture talk to you throughout the day?
- It will change how you feel. Do you park on God’s Word long enough that the temperature of your soul begins to rise? Do you respond to it with praise?
- It will change how you react. When the Bible is in your bloodstream, it’s going to impact those moments when you only have time for a knee-jerk reaction. When you’re “pricked” by a difficult circumstance in the home or workplace, do you “bleed” a Bible response?
You may be wondering, “That all sounds good, but will it really work?” If we choose God’s path, how do we know it will increase our delight in Him and His Word?
Step 2: Trust His Promise
Here’s the promise:
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away” (Ps. 1:3–4).
It’s a fact: those who intentionally choose God’s Word are going to produce fruit. Whether it’s the rainy season or an intense drought, a tree by a river doesn’t run dry. As you read this, you may feel you don’t have the strength to face the rest of this week. God promises you a life-giving source in His Word! Verse 3 doesn’t mean that your life will be trial-free. It does mean that every circumstance you face, instead of impeding your growth, actually becomes God’s tool for growth.
Consider two Christian men, both experiencing an especially bad week at work. Both have missed deadlines despite their best efforts, both have been reprimanded by their boss, and both are feeling strained by the stress of it all. Yet, a key difference exists between these men. To one, it is a week of failure. To the other, it is a week of growth. What makes the difference? One is neglecting God’s Word, and the other is drinking deeply from God’s Word.
Step 3: Adopt His Perspective
A continual delight in God’s Word becomes more than just what you do. It impacts who you are and who you are becoming.
Verses 5–6 give us God’s eternal perspective:
“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
In contrast to those who do not have a relationship with God, a dad who seeks God through His Word is qualified to worship, not because of any righteousness of his own, but simply because he has been given the righteousness of God. When he reads the Bible, it’s more than just black words on a white page. He’s experiencing a relationship.
So picture a dad with bedhead in his gym shorts sitting at the kitchen table with a stiff cup of coffee and an open Bible. There’s more going on in this picture than at first meets the eye—much, much more. He is beholding the God of all the universe, listening to Him, and communing with Him. He actually has a relationship with God, a relationship which will continue for eternity. He will continue to behold this infinite God well beyond his short stay here on earth.
So, what should you do? May I suggest three simple actions?
- Block out a time. You may need to get creative. Maybe listen to Scripture on your commute, or use your break time at work to read a chapter from the Bible.
- Designate a place. This isn’t always possible, but it’s helpful to have a consistent place where you will not be distracted.
- Get a plan. Since all Scripture is profitable for you (2 Tim. 3:16) it’s so important that you get to all of Scripture on a regular basis. Google “Bible reading plans” if you need suggestions.
Psalm 1 gives us a helpful blueprint for delighting in God’s Word. But, interestingly, Psalm 1 isn’t just about you and me. I believe that, ultimately, Psalm 1 introduces the Messiah, the “blessed Man” who always delighted in the law of God. If you want to be truly blessed, you must “take refuge in Him” (Ps. 2:12). Your delight in God’s Word is only possible through the finished work of Jesus Christ. When you trust Jesus, His law is written on your heart. And as you behold Him in His Word, His image will be imprinted on your very being.
If you want to know what the Bible says about using the lottery to increase wealth, check out Proverbs 13:11. ↩