Statement of Faith
The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell
Listen to this week's message!
Map to the Church
"The Longing of Our Delight"
Wednesday AM Bible Study
February 19, 2003 - 10AM
"I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight"
"I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight"
"I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight" (NIV).
"O LORD, I have longed for your salvation, and your law is my delight"
"I long for Your salvation, O LORD, And Your law is my delight" (NASB).
What do you long for in a time of trial? What, in a time of trial, do
you take delight in? In this verse, we see that those two things - longing
and delight - are related. When God's word is our delight, our hearts
are inspired with a sense of longing for His salvation; and when we are
longing for God's deliverance, His word becomes even more delightful to
I. THE PSALMIST'S LONGING: "I long for Your salvation, O LORD ..."
A. Note, first, the specific object of the psalmist's longing - salvation.
This, of course, can be taken in two ways. It can, first of all, be
taken as a temporal salvation as if from a time of trial. If that's
the case, the psalmist would be saying, "I hope for and earnestly expect
You to deliver me from this trial, O Lord." Or second, it can be taken
as as spiritual and eternal salvation. And if that's the case, the psalmist
would be saying, "I place all my hopes in your grace, and confidently
expect that I will be forever in Your love and care in heaven - and,
in fact, long for that." Either is possible; and perhaps both are intended,
because the God who saves us unto the eternal realm is the same God
who has pledged to unfailingly protect us and care for us in the temporal
B. Next, look at the manner in which the psalmist looks to this object
- that is, with longing. To long for salvation in this way would imply:
1. That it isn't in our own capability to bring it about ourselves
or realize it in our own power. If we could save ourselves, then there
would be no need to "long" for it.
2. That it is of great value to us. We don't "long" for something
we don't have unless it is something that we would earnestly want.
3. That it's something worth asking for. These words are the words
of a prayer in which the psalmist expresses his dependency upon God
for the thing for which he longs.
4. That he is waiting upon God for that thing for which he longs.
To "long" for it means that he does not yet possess it in its fullness.
C. Finally, look at the source to which the psalmist looks for the
satisfaction of this longing - that is, to the LORD (i.e., YHWY; the
covenant-keeping God of Israel). He does not say, "I long for salvation,
and so I will now get up and make it happen." Nor does he look to some
other source than the true one. Salvation is of the LORD (Jonah 2:9);
as the source of salvation, it is His alone to give (Psalm 3:8), and
He alone will receive the thanks for it (Rev. 7:10).
II. THE PSALMIST'S DELIGHT: "... And Your law is my delight."
A. Notice object of his delight - that is, God's law. "Law", in this
case, is a figure of speech for the whole of God's revealed word. This
whole psalm is really encompassed in this one verse; because it is one
great expression of the delightfulness and benefits of God's word.
B. Notice the manner of his appreciation for the law - "my delight".
To delight in the word of God suggests such things as taking comfort
in it, drawing pleasure from it, finding fulfillment and satisfaction
through it. It suggests that it is not only a delight in and of itself,
but also that it is that by which other delights are obtained.
C. And notice again the source of the object of his delight - this
same covenant-keeping God of Israel. The God from whom he hopes to receive
the salvation for which he longs is also the God from whom he receives
the word in which he delights. An expression here of longing is joined
together with an expression of delight in an inseparable way. We cannot
have the longing for salvation satisfied unless the word is our delight;
and we cannot delight in the word of God without having salvation increasingly
become our heart's longing.
It may seem like an odd thing to do; but perhaps a lesson from this
is that, in a time of trial - when our longings are most intense - it
would be good for us to stop and examine what it is in which we delight.
If God's word is our delight, then we will long for the things in those
trials He is most ready to give; and we will be most inclined to look
to the source of salvation that we might receive it from Him in His time.