Psalm 37:4 and the Desires of our Heart

Lesley Mitchell

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
King David wrote Psalm 37. It's important to read verse 4 in context with verse 3: "Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart."

King David truly trusted in the Lord and delighted in him. "I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me. He send from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me. God sends his love and his faithfulness" (Psalm 57:2-3).

It is interesting to note that not everybody is given the promise that the Lord will give them the desires of their heart. The "you" refers to those at the start who "do not fret because of evil men" (verse 1) but who "trust in the Lord and do good" (verse 3). They "delight in the Lord" (verse 4) and "commit their way to the Lord" (verse 5). They are "still before the Lord" and they "wait upon the Lord" (verse 5). They "refrain from anger and turn from wrath and do not fret" (verse 8). They are meek.

The Psalmist was clearly referring to those in ancient times who were in covenant relationship with the living God. The desires of their hearts included living in the Promised Land (verse 3) and pasturing their flocks in safety. They longed to see justice, with wicked people being thwarted (verse 7). In fact, the whole Psalm keeps repeating the assurance that such righteous people "will inherit the land and dwell in it forever." This idea of inheriting the Promised Land speaks of trust in God's promises to Abraham and to Moses, that their descendants — who remained faithful to the covenant — would dwell securely in that Promised Land forever.

Today, the principle of verse 4 still holds good. Those who are in the new covenant can trust God's promises that they will gain a heavenly inheritance — a new heavens wherein righteousness will dwell. They know they are included in the promise to Abraham that all nations would be blessed because of his faith. They rest in God alone. The troubles and injustices of this world do not make them fret, for they know everything hidden will be brought into the light before the judgement throne of Christ. The wicked will be cast down and the righteous (those who have Christ's righteousness imputed to them) will be welcomed into the blessing of God. Their heart's desire is for God to be vindicated and for justice to flow like a river.

When our heart's desire is in harmony with God's desires, then we receive the promise of our heart's desire. Rather than seeking after wealth, fame, power and pleasure (in which there is nothing but emptiness), we desire to be in relationship with God and to seek his Kingdom first, and then everything else will be added. But our priority is for God's will to be done, not our own.

Image Credit: Pezibear; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | False-Teaching  | God-Father

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Published 6-18-15