I have always wondered what Psalm 37 4 means.
Have you asked yourself what it really means to delight yourself in the LORD?
If you are even .01% like me, then the answer is almost certainly yes, then you have been brought by GOD to the right place.
Today, let me try to discuss the real meaning of Psalm 37:4-6 which most people either do not know about or care or reach out, dare to know about!
Psalm 37:1-6 NASB
Security of Those Who Trust in the Lord, and Insecurity of the Wicked.
A Psalm of David.
37 Do not get upset because of evildoers,
Do not be envious of wrongdoers.
2 For they will wither quickly like the grass,
And decay like the green plants.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good;
Live in the land and [a]cultivate faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
6 He will bring out your righteousness as the light,
And your judgment as the noonday.
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
For however long we have been a Christian, a short time or for a long time, there are those certain words and phrases which have a subtle tendency to settle into your vernacular, become commonplace, and lose their potency.
Any new believer, well-versed believer is certainly familiar with and, truthfully has probably memorized, David’s beautiful invitation in Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”
But what does it mean to delight yourself in someone—especially ‘the Lord’?
We’ve all had those days. “Do I believe in God?” “Why should I believe today?”
Circumstances go from bad to impossibly worse, creating an undercurrent of fear so strong that it tugs at your hope and threatens to pull you under. While you and I are trying to believe, to stay afloat on God’s promises, guilt sets in.
“Joy in the midst of trials is the mark of a true Christian,” you tell yourself.
In enters doubt with all the what-ifs that make your burden heavier.
You pray and put your trust in God. Now what?
You need a distraction to ward off anxiety.
Work, phone, binge-watching, ministry, mission—any of these should do.
But they don’t.
Somehow, they just seem to fall of the steepest cliffs into the deepest abyss.
Why does the call to ‘delight yourself in the Lord’ seem so distant in times of trouble?
What Does It Mean to ‘Delight Yourself in the Lord’?
Think back to a specific moment in time when you freely enjoyed the company of a loved one.
What made that moment special and memorable?
Did you laugh or cry together—like good friends often do.
Did you bond through the thrill of a shared experience? Did you boisterously celebrate a long-awaited victory together? Or perhaps you sat with each other in loving silence, grateful to know you didn’t have to carry a burden alone.
To experience deep, satisfying fellowship is a gift like no other.
But that kind of connection doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s silly to think we could find heartfelt delight with a stranger.
The same is true when it comes to delighting ourselves in the Lord.
What is the Psalm 37 4 meaning?
Psalm 37:4 is no doubt one of the most popular passages in the book of Psalms.
After all, it is a wonderful promise from God that many people hold on to.
Psalm 37 is a psalm of David in which he reassures the righteous not to be dismayed at the sight of evildoers. In this Psalm, David explains what will happen to the wicked, but at the same time, what the righteous should also do.
Since the fate of the wicked is already prophesied and understood, the righteous should not worry about them anymore, rather they should place their sole focus on their relationship with God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
That’s where Psalm 37 verse 4 comes in.
Psalm 37:4 is just one of the instructions David mentioned in Psalm 37.
As you can read:
- Verse 3 – Trust in the LORD and do good
- Verse 5 – Commit your way to the LORD
- Verse 7 – Rest in the LORD
- Verse 8 – Cease from anger, and forsake wrath
These are just some of David’s admonition in Psalm 37.
As you can see, Psalm 37:4 is part of a greater list of instructions.
But for now, let us focus on the meaning of Psalm 37:4.
What does delight mean in Psalm 37:4?
The first thing we need to ask is, what does the word “delight” mean?
It came from the Hebrew word, “anag,” which means to be happy about and to make merry over.
So, basically, delight means to take pleasure, to be happy, joyful, and excited.
The next question we need to ask is, to whom should we delight ourselves?
Psalm 37:4 clearly states that we must delight in the LORD.
LORD here is Yahweh, the personal name of God.
He is the ever-living, eternal, and supreme God of the entire universe. But at the same time, He is our loving, caring, and merciful Father.
If we put everything together, Psalm 37:4 tells us that we must take pleasure, we must be joyful, we must be excited about Yahweh.
It means our only source of joy and happiness should be our Heavenly Father.
Is it the right time to confess our real truth? Exactly Who or what is our source of delight?
However, as we look around us, where do people get their happiness?
Where do people usually take delight from?
They take delight in worldly and sensual things. They take delight in watching inappropriate and immoral entertainment. They take pleasure in material possessions. They take pleasure in people. Worst, they take pleasure in sin.
Now, it is not wrong to enjoy the blessings that God has given us as long as it does not lead to sin. Nevertheless, our ultimate source of delight must be God!
But the absolute bottom line truth be told – we ALL fall impossibly short.
This utterly dismal failure on our parts must not go unaddressed – otherwise, it will very definitely, very decisively not go unnoticed and unpunished by God.
Mark 1:14-15 NKJV
Jesus Begins His Galilean Ministry
14 Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel [a]of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God [b]is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Out of the most indescribable act of Love known, God acted, God sent His Son.
Sent to save the World, NOT TO CONDEMN IT as would be His right to do so.
Salvation in no other name or condemnation in no other name?
Absolute Delight in YAHWEH or Absolute delight in the World?
These realities are ever before every one of us – if we acknowledge them!
Some choose to acknowledge, come to believe – their delight is YAHWEH.
Others, refuse to acknowledge, do NOT make the decision or flat refuse the invitation to believe and subject to condemnation – delight – the World.
We must examine ourselves, then.
How about us?
Where do our joy and delight come from?
If we look at our activities and schedule for the day, can you find God in it?
Can you honestly say that you are delighting in God?
Does the very thought of studying the Bible make you excited?
Or do you simply make it an optional thing, that you only do it when you have extra time?
Do you still find time for prayer and meditation? Or are you too busy that you don’t have time to pray?
Does preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ make you happy and blessed? You think it’s boring and useless? Divisive or politically incorrect?
Is your mind filled with God’s word, peace, and love? Or are you filled with worries, anxiety, and fear?
The answers to these questions would determine whether you truly delight in Yahweh or not.
How Psalm 37:4 changes your life?
Now, here’s something you need to realize.
Psalm 37:4 is a life-changing verse.
It literally changes your perspective in life.
If you delight in Yahweh, you take on a new mindset.
No matter what happens in your life, as long as you delight in God, you are still at peace.
You are still filled with Joy.
You still feel blessed.
I strongly believe we, as individuals, need to delight in God more than ever.
As we go through these Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 times and seasons under the sun, we are coerced, forced to make many difficult moral choices and ethical decisions.
Choices and decisions which no one can claim would be delightful or desirous.
If we don’t delight in God, we all can easily drift away. We can all easily become weak in faith and eventually, forget about our brothers and sisters in Christ.
But as we continually delight in the Eternal, what then become the possibilities?
Connection of Psalm 37:4 to gratefulness
Here’s another important key we should not forget about delighting in God. It is being grateful both for the things we have and the things that we don’t have.
Take note of this:
No one can never truly delight in Yahweh without FIRST and FOREMOST being grateful and you can’t be truly grateful without delighting in Yahweh.
That’s why we must always be thankful for whatever situation we might be in.
Think about this, we might not have everything, but we always have something.
We never come to a point where we have nothing.
So, stop murmuring or complaining.
Instead of complaining that you don’t have shoes, be thankful you have feet.
Instead of complaining that you eat almost the same thing every day, be thankful you still have something to eat.
Instead of complaining about how hard your work is, be thankful that you still have a job.
Instead of complaining about how unfair life is, be thankful, you’re still alive.
What I’m telling you is that people who truly delight in God see His blessings.
These blessings move them to be more grateful and worship God.
All these are part of delighting yourself in the LORD.
Psalm 37:4 and the REAL desires of our heart
Now, what happens when we delight in Yahweh,
we read the rest of Psalm 37:4, “He will give you the desires of your heart.”
This verse does not mean that if we delight in God, He will give us any desires of our hearts!
Now, that’s a dangerous teaching.
Because not all desires that we have are good for us!
You see, friends, it doesn’t mean that if you delight in God, you will become rich, you will have a new smartphone, you’ll have a big house.
You’ll have a lot of money in the bank.
It doesn’t mean that everything you want would be given to you.
No, that’s not how it really works.
Listen to this very carefully:
If we truly and genuinely delight in Yahweh, the desires of our hearts will eventually align with God’s will and purpose in our lives.
This means that your ultimate desire will not be limited in this world anymore, but it will be God’s desire.
The problem with so many people, and that includes you and me, is that we determine our desires first before we delight in God!
Instead, what happened should be is that we FIRST delight in God so that we will have the right and proper desires in our hearts.
I hope that we come to the point that whether we receive what we ask from God or not, we are still thankful and would still delight in God.
If God gives what we’ve asked, then, praise God!
If God doesn’t give it, then we still praise Him because you know that He has your best interest in mind.
That’s exactly what it means to delight in God.
It is never conditional.
Whether God grants our prayers or not, we still choose to delight in Him.
God has become our ultimate source of happiness, joy, and peace.
So, friends, let me end this devotional by reading Psalm 37:4 again:
“Delight yourself in the Yahweh, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
What does Psalm 37:4 mean?
Psalm 37:4 means that we must delight in Yahweh, the supreme Ruler of this vast universe.
It means that the object of our gladness, joy, and delight should be God.
Psalm 37:4 should remind us that the ultimate Source of our joy should be our Heavenly Father.
When we delight in God, He will give our desires, but our desires have already been in line with His will and purpose in our lives.
Romans 8:28New King James Version
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
My ABBA, My Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times when I have delighted myself in wrong things. Keep me from fretting over much over evildoers in this increasingly confusing world and help me to keep the eyes of my heart on Jesus and to delight myself in the things of God.
Align my thoughts to Your thoughts, I pray, and my will to the will of God. May the desires of my heart unite with Your perfect will and eternal purposes, for Your everlasting praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus’ name, Alleluia! AMEN.