**As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. ** Song of Solomon 2:3
Recently, we talked about the things that delight the Lord. Things like goodness, humility and truth. Sincerity, justice and equality. Because the Lord is Holy, and evil has no place in Him, these things give Him great delight.
As I think about this list of good things that delight the Lord when He sees them manifested in His children, I think of my own children and how delighted and proud I am of them when they do right. I am thrilled to know that my children have a good testimony. I am at peace when I see that they have kept the things that we tried to teach them and that they learned in Sunday School. I delight in the good news that I hear about my children.
But there are some things that delight me even more.
When they call me. When they spend time with me. When they confide in me their struggles, showing me that they trust me. When they are happy to catch up on our lives and when they not only tell me their victories and their struggles, but they are also willing to take my advice and go forward with that advice having faith in me that I will not steer them wrong. That fills me with joy and contentment that my kids still depend on me at times to show them the right path.
The Song of Solomon is a passionate love letter between the Lord and His Bride, the church. In this letter, there is a constant tension of closeness and distance. Intimacy and separation. One minute the two are embracing and the next they are miles apart. The relationship is volatile and unpredictable.
Delight enters the picture when the bride is as close to her groom as she can get. When she is not in confusion, listening to other voices or seeking solace in the arms of strangers, but when she is completely under her lover’s protection. It is when she has wandered away that the confusion and heartache envelops her.
You see, our relationship with God is just like this love story.
When we are dedicated to being near the Lord, and hearing His voice, hanging on every Word, both He and us are filled with delight. The nearness, the trust, the peace, the security that we experience when we are seeking Him and needing His encouragement and support, delights our Savior because He basks in His Bride depending on Him.
We, in turn, are filled with peace and delight because we know that our Lord will not fail us. He will do what is right and good for us. We feel safe. Both parties delight in the intimacy of perfect mutual trust.
To be full of delight in our relationship with the Lord, we must put ourselves completely under His shadow. To be in His shadow means we must stay close. We must confide in Him for every trial. We must thank Him for every detail, good or bad in our lives, knowing that all of it is for our good.
And it must be done willingly. What joy do we get when our own children come to us out of obligation? Don’t we want them to come to us with the anticipation that we can really help and they can trust us to show them a better way?
Have you ever tried to go out on a date with your spouse because it was on the calendar and not because you were thrilled to have that private time with him? Doesn’t it turn out as a waste of time? But if you excitingly anticipate your special time with him, doesn’t it turn out amazing? Even the problems can be taken in stride and they don’t steal your joy?
Such it should be with our time with the Lord. Anticipated. Grateful. Intimate. Trusting. Believing that He is truly there and that He truly enjoys His time with us as we do with Him.
When we pull away from Him, He is concerned and He has a heavy-heart. When we are close, He is joyful, delighting in our conversation and closeness. And His delight spills out over us.
To be delightful, full of delight, is to be as close to the Lord as we can get. Up close and personal, where we can’t hide anything. When we are transparent in every way before Him. When we leave our religion behind us and just seek relational intimacy. It is when we completely depend on Him from minute to minute, to speak to us, to speak for us, to guide us and to even stop us in our tracks when necessary. It is when He truly becomes our all in all.
Anticipating, yearning for our time with Him, to let Him be everything He is and not what we want Him to be.
**Delight thyself in the Lord. **