Monday, January 6

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The Way of Truth: January 6

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
—Psalm 119:103

If you looked down the aisles at a grocery store, you’d likely find a smattering of products with the word delight in them: Kellogg’s Chocolatey Delight Crisps, International Delight Iced Coffee, Quaker True Delights Bars, Yoplait Parfait Delights, Hershey’s Air Delight Kisses, and the list goes on.

Likewise, if you leafed through the pages of a cookbook, you’d find countless recipes featuring the word as well ( turned up 917 results with the word delight in the title—everything from Chocolate Delight to Raspberry Delight to Turkish Delight).
It seems that in our culture delight is something we tend to associate with food, with our taste buds, with sweetness.

And in a way, that’s precisely what the psalmist says about taking delight in God’s Word. In part of his long prayer to God in Psalm 119, he exclaims, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Nine times throughout Psalm 119, the psalmist uses the word delight to describe God’s Word:
“I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (verse 16).
“Your statutes are my delight” (verse 24).
“Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight” (verse 35).
“I delight in your commands because I love them” (verse 47).
“I delight in your law” (verse 70).
“Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight” (verse 77).
“If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction” (verse 92).
“Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight” (verse 143).
“I long for your salvation, Lord, and your law gives me delight” (verse 174).

But here’s the thing about delighting in God’s Word: although it is full of natural sweetness, it can be an acquired taste. We’re so used to the artificial flavors of this world—the rush of busyness, the thrill of human approval, the distraction of entertainment—that we may not be able to appreciate the deep, nourishing, and yes, delightful, goodness that is found in God’s Word.

Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is written as an acrostic poem. It is broken into twenty-two sections, each line of which begins with one of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The theme of the entire psalm is the goodness and wonder of God’s written revelation. In fact, God’s Word is referred to in all 176 of the verses except one (verse 122).

But even as the psalm focuses on Scripture, it never loses sight of its Author. God’s Word is always mentioned in close connection to God himself, and in fact, almost the whole psalm comes in the form of praise to him for his Word.

All these years later, Scripture extends the same invitation to us as it did for the psalmist. God’s Word shows us the way. Not a set of rules to memorize or a formula to follow or a standard of perfection to measure up to, but a way, a path—a whole new method for living life. Ultimately God’s Word is the way to him—and it is the way of delight.

What do you take delight in? Reread verses 16, 35, and 47 of Psalm 119. What would it look like to truly delight in God’s Word?

—Stephanie Rische

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