by Cindy Bleuler Tucker
“Delight in the Lord…” Psalm 37:4
How can I delight in the Lord when I feel so sad?
When I don’t meet my expectations?
When others don’t meet my expectations?
When trials last a lifetime?
When every day is a struggle?
When I can’t get past the frailties of my own flesh?
I know the platitudes, I love You and believe You, but today I just can’t get past the sadness and disappointment.
I can cling to You, but I can’t delight.
“…and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 34:7
I have been meditating on “Delight in the Lord” for the past few days and in the midst of discouraging and disappointing circumstances I have a veil of sadness that covers my joy. How can I delight in the Lord with this sadness that floods my soul?
I started seeking Him by reading His word and contemplating His commandments. In Genesis 12, God makes an everlasting covenant with Abraham which extends to all of Abraham’s offspring. Years later, God establishes His law which is our guideline to fulfilling our part of the covenant. The Lord commands His people not to make idols but to worship only Him. He states, “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of their parents, to the third and fourth generation of those reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20;5-6
At first glance, such harsh words; but notice that “the anger of God and the grace of God are not equally balanced. The rabbis looked at the three or four generations who suffer in comparison to thousands of(i.e. at least two thousand ) generations who are blessed and concluded that God’s gracious love is at least five hundred times as powerful as His anger. Elsewhere we read ours is a God of mercy and generosity whose “anger is but for a moment” but whose “favor is for a lifetime”(Psalms 30:5). ” Doing Right, David W. Gill
Joy flooded my soul as I delighted in a righteous and holy God who passionately loves us and gives us unmerited mercy and grace. He not only keeps His part of the covenant, but when we failed to keep our part, He paid the penalty for us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
So delight in the Lord comes through meditating on Him, our truly delightful God.
For some of David Gill’s comments on the punishment to the third and fourth generations, please read my comment below.
David Gill offers some explanations for how and why God visits “the sins of the fathers on the children of the third and fourth generations.” Scripture does teach ‘that we are personally responsible for our own sin, not for those committed by others.” “Parents shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their parents; only for their own crimes may persons be put to death” (Deuteronomy 24:6) However, we do not live in isolation. “We both benefit and suffer from what others do. In this sense God visits consequences on others not by a direct decision to punish Joe for what Jane has done but by His general action…allowing things to take their course according to our decisions.”
Gill also explained that in this society, often three or four generations of a family would live together or in very close proximity. Children see the sin and bad example of their elders and are held responsible if they choose to follow in that path. “Our actions have consequences on those around us” so we should be mindful of this as we make choices. We often only know in hindsight how much pain we may bring to ourselves and others when we choose to sin.
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