Summary: Do you have any idea how the Sovereign God finds pleasure? Is His Supreme Delight exclusively His and only His Sovereign prerogative that we would be unable to partake during this present time?
“He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him’” (Matthew 17:5, ESV).
We find pleasure in our hobbies, in our job, in our friends, in our family, or in whatever that we delight to spend our time.
We also experience great pleasure when our salary is raised, when we are healed from a long time illness, when we are able to travel and reach our much desired destination or place, or when we marry the one we love.
In the church, there is pleasure when there is increase in membership or income, when a powerful sermon is preached, when bigger church building is built, or when more ministries are established.
The Bible tells us that “in the last days” – meaning, in our days – people will find pleasure in themselves, in money and other pleasure of sins (2 Tim. 3:1-4; Heb. 11:25).
Now, do you have any idea how the Sovereign God finds pleasure?
Is His Supreme Delight exclusively His and only His Sovereign prerogative that we would be unable to partake during this present time? Or, it is also possible for us to enjoy now what He finds pleasurable?
Let’s examine His Word and learn where the Sovereign God finds pleasure, or what really brings Him great delight.
Let’s start in Psalm 147:10-11: “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
God finds pleasure in those who fear Him. Notice those who “fear Him” do not run away from Him. They do not recoil in timidity. Rather, they hope “in His steadfast love.”
Next, let’s read Ecclesiastes 5:4-5, “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.” God finds pleasure in those who fulfill their promise.
Let’s go to Matthew 11:25-27 and read it in New International Version:
“At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children, yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’”
God finds pleasure in making Himself known to the elect. In fact, He prefers to reveal His Goodness and Greatness than to show us the solutions to our problems.
We can also read Ephesians 1:4-6, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (NIV).
God’s finds pleasure to adopt the elect as His children.
Jesus Christ said in Luke 12:32, “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (ESV).
God finds pleasure in giving to His flock – the elect – the Kingdom. As we also read in Colossians 1:13-14, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Let’s now consider Psalm 51:16-17, “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifice of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God you will not despise.”
In other words, God finds pleasure in those who are repentant – those who have “a broken spirit.”
And if we acknowledge Him as our Heavenly Father, we need to fear Him, fulfill our vows to Him, become acquainted with Him, behave as His children, subject ourselves to His rule and repent every time we sin. By doing so, our Father will not only be delighted, but it should also be our delight.
But are we are aware of His Supreme Pleasure?
The Everyday Bible translates Matthew 17:5, “While Peter was talking, a bright cloud covered them. A voice came from the cloud and said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love, and I am VERY PLEASED with him. Listen to him!’”
In his book The Pleasures of God, John Piper wrote: