Delight, Pleasure, Favor

31 Days on Delight


He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.  The Lord favors those who fear Him, Those who wait for His lovingkindness.
Psalm 147:10-11 NASB

He doesn’t take pleasure in the strength of horses. He doesn’t take delight in the strong legs of warriors.  The Lord takes delight in those who have respect for him. They put their hope in his faithful love. Psalm 147:10-11 NIrV

The first thing I notice with reading these two versions of the Bible is that the words “delight” and “take pleasure” seem to be interchangeable. This is confirmed by looking up the words in the dictionary.

Delight and Pleasure  Delight

1. a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture: She takes great delight in her job.
2. something that gives great pleasure: The dance was a delight to see.
verb (used with object)
3. to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly: The show delighted everyone.
verb (used without object)
4. to have great pleasure; take pleasure (followed by in or an infinitive): She delights in going for long walks in the country. Pleasure


1. the state or feeling of being pleased.

2.  enjoyment or satisfaction derived from what is to one’s liking; gratification; delight.

5. sensual gratification.
6. a cause or source of enjoyment or delight: It was a pleasure to see you.

Pausing to Discover

I’ve learned it’s important to look up English words and confirm the definitions that were understood at the time the English version of the Bible was being interpreted from the original Greek and Hebrew.

Cultural terminology emphasizes or substitutes words at different times in history. A word can change the context of a Bible verse if read with modern interpretations.

Recently words like special and extra have not had a complete change in definition, but there is a shift that may cause someone to be called special. It can now be understood as being called special as a negative thing.

Taking all of that into account, it seems reasonable to conclude that when delight is used instead of pleasure the definition for either word is enjoyment or satisfaction.

Delight and Favor

The Lord favors those who fear Him

 The Lord takes delight in those who have respect for him. Favor

1. something done or granted out of goodwill, rather than from justice or for remuneration; a kind act: to ask a favor.
2. friendly or well-disposed regard; goodwill: to win the favor of the king.
3.the state of being approved or held in regard:
The definition of delight doesn’t change, so where we see that favor and delight are interchangeable we understand that the word delight could be understood as “to win the favor of the king”.


When I break out the synonyms and definitions of delight in this way it confirms to me that I have been drawn to the word delight accurately.

I long for God to enjoy my choices, and to enjoy a relationship with me. I desire to win the favor of my King. Confirmation of understanding is an important step, but the how of delight has not yet been revealed.

I’m participating in Write 31 Days this month. I’ll be writing on Delight. Join me here each day in the month of October for a short reflection on something I’m learning about what God is delighted by, and how delight connects us to him.