Episode #54 Discover One of God’s Favorite Things – For the Fun of It
From Today's Episode:
Welcome! We're in our For the Fun of It Series and today's topic is Discover One of God's Favorite Things.
Micah 7:18; Psalm 136:1-5, 10-12, 16, 23-26
God, how can I continue to delight in steadfast love this week?
Here's the episode transcript
Have you ever had the experience of wanting to do an activity with someone because it's something that they enjoy? And because you enjoy spending time with them and you know they enjoy it, you are excited to go share that experience with them? It's basically like, "Oh, you like that activity? Well, yeah, let's do that together." That same approach is something that we're going to do with God today, right here in this episode.
As I was talking with God about the topic for this specific episode, knowing we're doing things right now for the fun of it with him as we're enjoying our relationship with God, one of the questions I had for him was, "God, what do you think is fun?" "What do you enjoy?" And I found a passage in Micah 7:18. It says,
"Who is a God like you? Pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance. He does not retain his anger forever because he delights in steadfast love."
He delights in steadfast love. That word delight means to take pleasure in, to be pleased with. It's not necessarily fun, uh, but to me I'm like, okay, God delights in this. He takes pleasure and is pleased with this.
Don't hold me to my pronunciation here, but the word in the source language an ancient Hebrew is huhfates. "Delights", to take pleasure in, to be pleased with, to desire, and he delights in steadfast love, which is hesed which is kindness or loving kindness or mercy or loyal love. This word hesed is used approximately 250 times in the Old Testament. And we don't really have an exact term for it in English to really match it, but this is an essential part of God's character and how he acts toward us. This is why we will translate it in so many different ways, from loving kindness to loyal love, to mercy, to steadfast love.
God delights in steadfast love. God huhfates hesed. This isn't one of the qualities of God that doesn't translate to us. That's only for him. It actually translates to us, we as humans can act in loving kindness and steadfast love.
We also can huhfate hesed. We also can delight in steadfast love.
And I got so excited when I saw this in the Bible because this is something that is so clearly part of what God delights in and who God is, and what he's passionate about and what he takes pleasure in. And I started thinking back to this analogy of when you go and do something with someone because you love them and you enjoy the thing, sure, but like, it's their jam. Like they love it, they celebrate it, they're super passionate about it. And it also got me thinking about times that you're in a conversation with someone and you hit on a topic that they're super passionate about. And I know you know what I'm talking about because we've all been there. Their eyes light up. And they lean in. Maybe their voice even gets louder, or they get more emphatic in their hand movements. When you start talking about a topic that they delight in, they get so much more engaged.
And maybe this is just me because this is just me imagining here. But I picture God's face lighting up about hesed, lighting up about loving kindness. I'm gonna read for us from Psalm 136, which recounts the acts of God's loyal love and kindness. And in each verse, in each stanza, it echoes for his steadfast love, his hesed, endures forever. I'm not going to read the whole psalm, but I'll read several verses for us. And as I do, I encourage you to echo that back to God. "God, for your steadfast love endures forever." Maybe you'll say it with me or repeat it after I say it, or just echo it in your head.
God delights in loving kindness, and we can take these few minutes right now to delight in it with him for his steadfast love endures forever. I'll read for us. Psalm 136:1-5, then verses 10-12, 16, and 23-26. It says,
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of god's, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever; and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever; with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever. It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever; and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever, he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever."
I feel my heart stirred as I recount this. It's telling from creation and how God is creator and sovereign overall. It speaks of the Israelites rescue from oppression and it then it speaks to us, all of us who can relate to being in a low estate and receiving God's loyal love and receiving his loving kindness. My heart is stirred to think about God delighting in this thing that we're talking about right now, Him delighting in the recounting of his loving kindness. Him delighting when we talk with each other about it, to even hear us as his children speak of this thing that he delights in that is so integral as a part of who he is as our good loving God.
And so, I encourage you to continue this conversation with him. Even as the episode ends, this conversation with God doesn't have to. This is a topic and an aspect of who God is that he delights in. And it's also an aspect of who he is that we get to engage in, and we get to even exemplify in how we live. And so, here's a question that you can bring into that conversation with him:
God, how can I continue to delight in steadfast love with you this week?
Have a good talk.
And if you've been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!
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