Psalm 147:8-11 - He covers the heavens with clouds; He prepares rain for the earth; He makes grass grow on the hills. He gives to the beasts their food, and to the young ravens that cry. 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 saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good" (Genesis 1:31a). God loves the world He created and, as the psalmist tells us, the Creator continues to care for the earth, sending rain to make the grass grow and feeding beasts and birds. Although He does not delight in the strength of the horse, God gave that strength to the swift animal that on a battlefield "swallows the ground" with fierceness and rage (Job 39:24b; see v. 19). While He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man, God created men and women, with our bodies so "fearfully and wonderfully made" (Psalm 139:14b).
Even though the Lord found His creation "very good," He finds delight in something else He has created in the power of His Spirit. "The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love." What pleases the Lord is faith, created in our hearts by the Holy Spirit at work in the Gospel Word. In fact, "without faith it is impossible to please Him" (Hebrews 11:6a). In repentant humility, we may view ourselves as more of a disappointment than a delight in the sight of God. We are often less than faithful, following our own desires rather than walking in fear of the Lord. But for our sake, there was Another with whom the Lord was pleased.
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God the Father testified at Jesus' Baptism and again at the Savior's transfiguration that this was His beloved Son, with whom He was well pleased (see Matthew 3:17; 17:5). Through Baptism we are clothed in Jesus' righteousness, and God takes pleasure in us because He is pleased with His Son. The obedient Son laid down His life for us and was raised up from death. Exalted to reign at the Father's right hand, our Savior intercedes for us. As the psalmist wrote, God is not pleased with burnt offerings. The sacrifice He desires is "a broken and contrite heart" (Psalm 51:17b; see v. 16). We come before God in faith, acknowledging His awesome majesty and redeeming love. We fear God when we repent of our sins and trust in Him alone for forgiveness and life.
God once pronounced His creation to be "very good." One day, with similar words of pleasure, He will welcome into His presence all who have placed their hope in His steadfast love. "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master" (Matthew 25:23).
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I give You praise and thanks for the gift of Your Son, my Savior Jesus Christ. My hope is in Your steadfast love. In His Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you think much about the act of God creating things?
2. What do you think it means, "the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him"?
3. What special thing do you try to offer to God?
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