What’s Your Pleasure?
I will praise the LORD with my whole heart,
In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.
The works of the LORD are great,
Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
Psalm 111: 1-2
In what do you find pleasure? What makes you happy? What makes you feel joyful and free? Is it finding extra money in your bank account? A lower number than you expected on the scale? Perhaps it’s the weekend that makes you feel happy, or praise from your boss after an especially difficult project. These things are all good, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling happy about them. But today, I’d like to suggest a different approach to finding happiness, and it comes from these two little verses in Psalm 111.
These verses caught my eye in my quiet time this morning, because of that last line: “Studied by all who have pleasure in them.” Having done my time in school, I can’t really say that I’ve used the words, studied and pleasure in the same sentence too many times! I do appreciate studying because I like to learn new things, but pleasure to me is more indicative of recreation or relaxation, not the diligent work of learning that studying is.
Yet, the Lord says that those of who take pleasure in His works will study them. So, what are the works of the Lord? Well, this word is repeated a number of times in the Psalm. In verse three, we learn that his works are honorable and glorious. Verse four says they are to be remembered. Verse six tells us that the power of His works has been declared to His people.
But the really important clue about God’s works comes in verses seven through nine:
The works of His hands are verity and justice;
All His precepts are sure.
They stand fast forever and ever,
And are done in truth and uprightness.
He has sent redemption to His people;
He has commanded His covenant forever:
Holy and awesome is His name.
Truth and justice are God’s works! Think about that. In light of all the “fake news,” lies of our culture and the enemy, and even our own self-deception, God’s works are always true, and His precepts (or commandments) are always sure. For all eternity, they will never fail, and they will never change. They will never be unfair, or partial to a particular people group. Always upright and true, God will remain absolutely unaltered and unquestionably pure and perfect.
I’d like to encourage you today to take some time to dwell on this truth. Truly take pleasure in the study of God’s unchanging perfection. In the midst of struggles with your bank account and the scale, your difficulties at work, or your dread of another Monday, take a moment just to think about God’s unchanging nature. He is always right, always true, always just. He will never change, even as your account balance, your job, and the seasons of your life surely will. These truths will bring you to that place of pleasure that I described in the beginning of this article. I can relax because I know that my sovereign, unchanging God, who redeemed His people (including me), will never change, will always do what is right, and will always be holy and awesome. Praise Him with your whole heart, and then go tell the whole congregation of the pleasure you’ve found in studying His works!