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Delighting in Scripture


As you read what Jonathan Edwards said about Scripture, ask yourself if it reflects your own point of view:

“I had then, and at other times, the greatest delight in the holy scriptures, of any book whatsoever. Oftentimes in reading it, every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light exhibited by every sentence, and such a refreshing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading; often dwelling long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; and yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders" (Personal Narrative).

How far removed this is from the declarations of boredom that I so often hear from people who describe their reaction to reading Scripture! I think what Edwards here refers to must be what the author of Psalm 119 had in mind when he spoke repeatedly of the impact of Scripture on his soul. Consider the following brief sampling, and ask yourself if such vivid and passionate language accurately portrays your attitude toward the glory and power of God’s Word:

“In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches” (v. 14).

“I will delight in your statutes” (v. 16).

“My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times” (v. 20).

“Your testimonies are my delight” (v. 24).

“Behold, I long for your precepts” (v. 40).

“for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love” (v. 47).

“The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (v. 72).

“Oh how I love your law!” (v. 97).

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (v. 103).

“Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart” (v. 111).

“Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold” (v. 127).

“I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil” (v. 162).

“My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly” (v. 167).


Edwards’ comments do indeed reflect my personal view, experience and attitude toward God’s word. As I have exercised discipline to spend regular quality time in study and meditation on God’s word, that discipline quickly became delight. I have learned to delight in God’s delightfulness (Ps. 27:4 - God’s beauty / delightfulness). I find that the things which seem to interest most people (even believers) are in fact boring in comparison to the treasures to be found in the insights and increased desire for more that God gives to those who delight in Him. (Ps. 37:4).

I start my bible reading every day with a verse or two from Psm 119. I am often saddened (but not enough) but how little the sentiment expressed can be said to be my experience. However, I take my hope and encouragement from picturing the words coming from the mouth of Jesus - who has eternally and will forever delight perfectly in the fellowship He has in the Godhead, and it is his obedience in which I rest.

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