A Delighted God
by Zack Howard
God expects his people to obey him. But this is not an expectation that is impossible to meet, nor is it an expectation with no reward. God delights in those who obey him, and blesses them. In Deuteronomy 30.9-14, Moses outlines how to have God delight in us, and dispels a fear of difficulty that comes with faith.
God Delights In Those Who Obey:
Verses 9b-10 read: For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, 10 when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. God takes delight in his people who obey his commandments. God expects his people to obey his commandments that he has given to them. In the time that this was written, it refers to the law that God gave Moses; today it refers to the gospel that Jesus brought forth. However, while the law has changed, the principle has not.
God has always wanted his people to obey him, submitting their will to his, and living a life that exemplifies him and his son. This is reiterated in the New Testament. James 4.7-8 reads: 7Submit yourselves therefore to God…8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. God delights in those who obey, and this delight is reflected in the work of the servant. Verse 9a reads: 9 The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground.
God shows his delight by blessing the work of those who obey him. He shows his delight by taking care of his people—providing them with blessings in their work, their family, and their home. Jesus speaks about this in Matthew 10.31-33: 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
If we are obedient to God, he will take care of us. We only need to look as far as the creatures around us, who are fed and nourished; if they are being taken care of, then so shall we be. If I am obedient to God, then he will be delighted in me, and bless my life richly with his care.
Obedience Is Not Too Difficult:
When we think of obedience to God, it is easy to throw out excuses of hardship. “God expects so much of me” or “God’s expectations seem too high, no one can reach them” are thrown out to hide the fact that we feel daunted when it comes to obedience. In verses 11-14, that fear is acknowledged and dealt with: 11 “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
God is not commanding us to go beyond our abilities in our obedience. He is not telling us to go up to heaven and come back in order to get commands from God. He is not telling us to travel across the world to find the word. God has brought us the word and his will that he wants us to obey, in the form of his son. He has done the hard part, giving up his son so that we have an opportunity to be redeemed by the blood of the lamb. God is not asking us something that is too difficult or too hard to do; he is asking us to meet him where he has come to us. While the walk of faith will have difficult moments in overcoming trials and dealing with temptation, it is not too difficult for any of us to be obedient.
God delights in his people. His people are those who recognize that his commands are not too difficult to obey and obey him.