When we favor something in our humanness it’s very easy to assume that God aligns with our preferences. But Scripture is clear that God doesn’t delight in everything. God has preferences and refers his delight to things that align with them.
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
It’s important that we look at the context of the content with every passage of scripture. In particular, when we believe we are in alignment with God it’s worth a second look to confirm this is true rather than seizing on an inaccurate assumption to make ourselves feel better about our personal opinion. In Psalm 147 we see that God distinguishes a difference between strength and fear.
God does not delight in the strength of the horse.
Independently we could interpret this sentence to mean that God doesn’t delight in the strength of animals, that God doesn’t delight in strength, or that God doesn’t delight in horses.
God does not take delight in the strong legs of warriors.
Adding in this second phrase it becomes easier to connect that strength is not a factor in delighting God. Thankfully, we aren’t left to wonder long.
God Delights In:
- Those who respect/fear him
- Those who wait on him
- Those who trust him
This isn’t the only place we see God differentiate between that which he delights in and that which he abhors. In Numbers 32 Moses sends 12 spies to go check out the Promised Land and report back to the rest of the Israelites. Only 2, Caleb and Joshua point out that they should trust that God will guide them to victory as they press forward in obedience and take back the land he has set aside for them. The other 10 spies spread lies until the rest of the Israelites are afraid and decide they want to try to stone Moses and Aaron.
But when the whole community of Israel talked about stoning Moses and Aaron to death, they all saw the glory of the Lord ?shining? at the tent of meeting. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to trust me in spite of all the miraculous signs I have done among them? I’ll strike them with a plague, I’ll destroy them, and I’ll make you into a nation larger and stronger than they are.”Numbers 32:10:12 (NIV)
In this passage, God is clear that he has met the end of his patience with the Israelites. He isn’t interested in their distrust in his promises any longer, and his preference was to start over with a new group of people. Moses intercedes on behalf of the Israelites and God relents because God delights in Moses who respects, fears, and trusts him.
Readers Note: As I explored this word in 2017 I participated in Write 31 Days. I’m slowly updating these posts starting in October 2020 to extend what I’ve learned about delight, what God is delighted by, and how delight connects us to our Savior.