path to new beginnings

Delight in God’s Presence in the New Year

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

— Psalm 1:1-6

What gives you delight? You know, that sense of unparalleled joy, that amazing degree of enjoyment and pleasure, even to the point of rapture. That’s how the dictionary defines delight. But how do you define delight? Is it playing with your children or grandchildren, reading a good book, walking on the beach at sunset or working on scrapbook pages? Maybe you delight in running through rain-washed streets in the early morning or hiking in the mountains on a sunny autumn day. Maybe your delight is playing games or listening to music.

The psalmist defines delight as immersing oneself in the law of the Lord. He sings of the person who finds joy in listening to God’s voice in Scripture, who discovers with pleasure “the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God” (Romans 11:33). For this person, meditating on and understanding God’s Word are not a duty that fulfills an obligation, but it is willingly devoting time reading, thinking, even marking and memorizing passages that we have read. It means reflecting and asking God how we should change to be more like him and to live as he wants.

And what is the result of this constant delight in God’s Word? One becomes like a tree planted by a river. You’ve seen them—tall, vital trees, well-watered because they are rooted deep in the stream. This tree is resplendent with foliage in rich shades of green. It’s a tree that can withstand biting frost, harsh winds and blazing sun.

A person who delights in God’s Word will prosper and have integrity, will speak truthfully and exhibit stability and strength. This is the person who will reflect the face of God like a river reflects the sun in dappled waves. This one is truly blessed.

The book of Psalms is a wonderful place to introduce yourself to the idea of delighting in God’s Word. The poetic music of the psalms is rich in metaphors and images that let your imagination soar with the grandeur, majesty, wisdom and unsurpassing love of God. You will see him as a rock, a fortress, a strong tower, a nurturing mother and so much more. He rides on the wind and shows himself in the starry heavens. Delight yourself in singing along with the psalmist and plant your roots deep in the nourishing living water of God’s Word.

Article drawn from a devotional in the NIV Women’s Devotional Bible.

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