You Will Find Delight in the Lord

Pause from pursuing your own interests and acknowledge God’s lordship.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Meditating and resting.

Do you have a regular practice of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises? This is a vital part of the sanctification process, a separation and surrendering to the will of God for you.

Sanctification.

Sanctification is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful people, and in which they begin their course as Christians, followers of Christ. It is a separation to God; it is the relationship with God to which their sole title is the death of Christ. Sanctification is God’s will, his purpose in calling sinful people by the gospel, and must be learned from God as he teaches it by his Word. It must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, for the holy character is built up little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and following the example of Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.1

Lectio Divina.

I encourage you to practice Lectio Divina – taking in just a small bite of Scripture each day, and chewing on it all day, all week, all month, all year, all life long, giving Holy Spirit time and access to the deep recesses of your heart to cleanse and nourish your soul as you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1 Pet 3:18).

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. …the stages…

lectio (reading)… meditatio (reflection)… oratio (response)… contemplatio (rest), where we… simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within… The movement of the prayer is towards silence… The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

Ex 31:15 – Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

Ex 31:15 – Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.3

You were in this world without hope and without God.

Eph 2:11-12 – Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth — called the Uncircumcised by those who, merely because of an operation on their flesh, are called the Circumcised — at that time had no Messiah. You were estranged from the national life of Isra’el. You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise. You were in this world without hope and without God. (CJB)

Remember your former state.
At that time, you had no Messiah.
Estranged.
You were foreigners to the covenants embodying God’s promise.
You were in this world without hope and without God.

Ex 31:15 – Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. (ESV)

You will find delight in the Lord.

Isa 58:13-14 – “If you hold back your foot on Shabbat [Sabbath] from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, Adonai’s holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in Adonai [the Lord] — I will make you ride on the heights of the land and feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Ya‘akov [Jacob], for the mouth of Adonai has spoken.” (CJB)

If…
If you call the Sabbath a holy day worth honoring
You will find delight in the Lord.
Honor it by not pursuing your own interests
Or even speaking about them.
You will find delight in the Lord
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Sabbath: to rest, cease from labor. The “Sabbath” was the covenant sign of God’s lordship over the creation. By observing the “sabbath,” Israel confessed that they were God’s redeemed people, subject to His lordship to obey the whole of His law. They were His stewards to show mercy with kindness and liberality to all.

By “resting,” man witnessed his trust in God to give fruit to his labor; he entered into God’s “rest.” Thus “rest” and the “sabbath” were eschatological in perspective, looking to the accomplishment of God’s ultimate purpose through the redemption of His people, to whom the “sabbath” was a covenant sign.4

Ex 31:15 – Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. (ESV)

The heritage of Jacob.

Luke 23:50-55 – There was a man named Yosef [Joseph], a member of the Sanhedrin. He was a good man, a tzaddik [righteous man]; and he had not been in agreement with either the Sanhedrin’s motivation or their action. He came from the town of Ramatayim [Arimathea], a town of the Judeans; and he looked forward to the Kingdom of God. This man approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s [Jesus’] body. He took it down, wrapped it in a linen sheet, and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, that had never been used. It was Preparation Day, and a Shabbat [Sabbath] was about to begin. The women who had come with Yeshua [Jesus] from the Galil [Galilee] followed; they saw the tomb and how his body was placed in it. Then they went back home to prepare spices and ointments. On Shabbat the women rested, in obedience to the commandment; (CJB)

Pursuing God’s interests
Subjecting himself to God’s lordship
A righteous man,
He looked forward to the Kingdom of God.

Waiting.

Gen 49:18 – I wait for your salvation, O Lord. (ESV)

Luke 2:25 – Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. (ESV)

Luke 2:36-38 – And there was a prophetess, Anna… She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him [Jesus] to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (ESV)

Keep the Sabbath. Hedge about as with thorns, i.e. guard; protect, attend to; take heed to self; preserve the Sabbath. Cease your labor. Rest. Wait for the salvation of the Lord. Attend to your life, your true life, so that you won’t wander away into darkness, lostness, destruction, death.

God’s commands are unique, requiring an inner commitment and not just external obedience. An inner commitment that includes waiting and looking forward to and trusting in the redemption of his people.

How have and do people keep the Sabbath so that they may live?

God, you’re our only hope.

Ps 40:1 – I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. (ESV)

Ps 62:1 – For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. (ESV)

Ps 85:7 – Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation. (ESV)

Ps 119:41 – Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise; (ESV)

Ps 119:174 – I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. (ESV)

Ps 123:2 – Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. (ESV)

Ps 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; (ESV)

Isa 8:17 – I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. (ESV)

Isa 33:2 – O Lord, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. (ESV)

Lam 3:25-26 – The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (ESV)

Mic 7:7 – But as for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (ESV)

Matt 1:21 – She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (ESV)

Rom 8:19-23 – For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. (ESV)

Gal 5:5-6 – For it is by the power of the Spirit, who works in us because we trust and are faithful, that we confidently expect our hope of attaining righteousness to be fulfilled. When we are united with the Messiah Yeshua, neither being circumcised nor being uncircumcised matters; what matters is trusting faithfulness expressing itself through love. (CJB)

Ex 31:15 – Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death. (ESV)

If…
If you call the Sabbath a holy day worth honoring
You will find delight in the Lord.
Honor it by not pursuing your own interests
Or even speaking about them.
You will find delight in the Lord
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

Prayer means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him. It is thus something much more than uttering petitions for good things external to our own deepest concerns…

We wish to gain a true evaluation of ourselves and of the world so as to understand the meaning of our life as children of God redeemed from sin and death. We wish to gain a true loving knowledge of God, our Father and Redeemer. We wish to lose ourselves in his love and rest in him. We wish to hear his word and respond to it with our whole being. We wish to know his merciful will and submit to it in its totality. These are the aims and goals of meditation and oratio.5

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

Christ’s rest is not a rest from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development.6

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Sanctification: A. Noun. hagiasmos (<START GREEK>a)giasmo/$ <END GREEK>, NT:38), “sanctification,” is used of (a) separation to God, 1 Cor 1:30; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; (b) the course of life befitting those so separated, 1 Thess 4:3,4,7; Rom 6:19,22; 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. “Sanctification is that relationship with God into which men enter by faith in Christ, Acts 26:18; 1 Cor 6:11, and to which their sole title is the death of Christ, Eph 5:25,26; Col 1:22; Heb 10:10,29; 13:12.

“Sanctification is also used in NT of the separation of the believer from evil things and ways. This sanctification is God’s will for the believer, 1 Thess 4:3, and His purpose in calling him by the gospel, v. 7; it must be learned from God, v. 4, as He teaches it by His Word, John 17:17,19, cf. Ps 17:4; 119:9, and it must be pursued by the believer, earnestly and undeviatingly, 1 Tim 2:15; Heb 12:14. For the holy character, hagiosune, 1 Thess 3:13, is not vicarious, i. e., it cannot be transferred or imputed, it is an individual possession, built up, little by little, as the result of obedience to the Word of God, and of following the example of Christ, Matt 11:29; John 13:15; Eph 4:20; Phil 2:5, in the power of the Holy Spirit, Rom 8:13; Eph 3:16.

“The Holy Spirit is the Agent in sanctification, Rom 15:16; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2; cf. 1 Cor 6:11…. The sanctification of the Spirit is associated with the choice, or election, of God; it is a Divine act preceding the acceptance of the Gospel by the individual.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 115, 271.

For synonymous words see HOLINESS.

  1. Verb. hagiazo (<START GREEK>a(gia/zw <END GREEK>, NT:37), “to sanctify,” “is used of (a) the gold adorning the Temple and of the gift laid on the altar, Matt 23:17,19; (b) food, 1 Tim 4:5; (c) the unbelieving spouse of a believer, 1 Cor 7:14; (d) the ceremonial cleansing of the Israelites, Heb 9:13; (e) the Father’s Name, Luke 11:2; (f) the consecration of the Son by the Father, John 10:36; (g) the Lord Jesus devoting Himself to the redemption of His people, John 17:19; (h) the setting apart of the believer for God, Acts 20:32; cf. Rom 15:16; (i) the effect on the believer of the Death of Christ, Heb 10:10, said of God, and 2:11; 13:12, said of the Lord Jesus; (j) the separation of the believer from the world in his behavior — by the Father through the Word, John 17:17,19; (k) the believer who turns away from such things as dishonor God and His gospel, 2 Tim 2:21; (l) the acknowledgment of the Lordship of Christ, 1 Peter 3:15.

“Since every believer is sanctified in Christ Jesus, 1 Cor 1:2, cf. Heb 10:10, a common NT designation of all believers is ‘saints,’ hagioi, i. e., ‘sanctified’ or ‘holy ones.’ Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians, Col 3:12; Heb 3:1.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 113, 114.

(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.” From: Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

4Sabbath: To Cease: A. Verbs. chadal OT:2308, “to cease, come to an end, desist, forbear, lack.” This word is found primarily in Hebrew, including modern Hebrew. In the Hebrew Old Testament, it is found fewer than 60 times. The first occurrence of chadal is in Gen 11:8 where, after man’s language was confused, “they left off building the city” (RSV).

The basic meaning of chadal is “coming to an end.” Thus, Sarah’s capacity for childbearing had long since “ceased” before an angel informed her that she was to have a son Gen 18:11. The Mosaic law made provision for the poor, since they would “never cease out of the land” Deut 15:11; Matt 26:11. In Ex 14:12, this verb is better translated “let us alone” for the literal “cease from us.”

Shabat OT:7673, “to rest, cease.” This word occurs about 200 times throughout the Old Testament. The root also appears in Assyrian, Arabic, and Aramaic.

The verb first occurs in Gen 2:2-3: “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”

The basic and most frequent meaning of shabat is shown in Gen 8:22: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” This promise became a prophetic sign of God’s faithfulness: “If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever” Jer 31:36.

We find a variety of senses: “…even the first day ye shall put away leaven out of your houses…” Ex 12:15. “Neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meat offering” Lev 2:13 NASB, KJV, NIV, “do not leave out”. Josiah “put down the idolatrous priests…” 2 Kings 23:5. “I will also eliminate harmful beasts from the land” Lev 26:6 NASB, KJV, “rid”; RSV, NIV, “remove”.

  1. Noun. shabbat OT:7676, “the sabbath.” The verb sabat is the root of shabbat: “Six days you are to do your work, but on the seventh day you shall cease from labor…” Ex 23:12, NASB, KJV, “rest”. In Ex 31:15, the seventh day is called the “sabbath rest” (NASB, “a sabbath of complete rest”).

A man’s “rest” was to include his animals and servants Ex 23:12: even “in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest” Ex 34:21. “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” Ex 31:17.

“…Then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the Lord” Lev 25:2. Six years’ crops will be sown and harvested, but the seventh year “shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the Lord…” Lev 25:4. The feast of trumpets, the day of Atonement, and the first and eighth days of the Feast of Tabernacles are also called “a sabbath observance” or “a sabbath of complete rest” Lev 23:24,32,39.

The “sabbath” was a “day of worship” Lev 23:3 as well as a “day of rest and refreshment” for man Ex 23:12. God “rested and was refreshed” Ex 31:17. The “sabbath” was the covenant sign of God’s lordship over the creation. By observing the “sabbath,” Israel confessed that they were God’s redeemed people, subject to His lordship to obey the whole of His law. They were His stewards to show mercy with kindness and liberality to all Ex 23:12; Lev 25:1.

By “resting,” man witnessed his trust in God to give fruit to his labor; he entered into God’s “rest.” Thus “rest” and the “sabbath” were eschatological in perspective, looking to the accomplishment of God’s ultimate purpose through the redemption of His people, to whom the “sabbath” was a covenant sign.

The prophets rebuked Israel for their neglect of the sabbath Isa 1:13; Jer 17:21-27; Ezek 20:12-24; Amos 8:5. They also proclaimed “sabbath” observance as a blessing in the messianic age and a sign of its fullness Isa 56:2-4; 58:13; 66:23; Ezek 44:24; 45:17; 46:1,3-4,12. The length of the Babylonian Captivity was determined by the extent of Israel’s abuse of the sabbatical year 2 Chron 36:21; cf. Lev 26:34-35. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

5Thomas Merton (2014). Contemplative Prayer (pg 45-46). New York, NY: Image Books, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC.

6Rest: anapausis (<START GREEK>a)na/pausi$<END GREEK>, NT:372), “cessation, refreshment, rest” (ana, “up,” pauo, “to make to cease”), the constant word in the Sept. for the Sabbath “rest,” is used in Matt 11:29; here the contrast seems to be to the burdens imposed by the Pharisees. Christ’s “rest” is not a “rest” from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections — of will, heart, imagination, conscience — because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J. Patrick, in Hastings’ Bib. Dic.); it occurs also in Matt 12:43; Luke 11:24; Rev 4:8, RV, “(they have no) rest” [KJV, “(they) rest (not)”], where the noun is the object of the verb echo, “to have”; so in 14:11… (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

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