I’ve got something to share as an intermission of sorts to my Psalm 91 series. I’m just too excited about the picture the Lord gave me this morning! It does fit with last week’s post as well.
Let’s look at Psalm 37:33:
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
I’d like to focus on three words in this verse.
I looked up the word “steps” there on BlueLetterBible to see what the Hebrew word was. I discovered that the word “steps” is not referring to us making our way through life. It is referring to the same thought that our English phrase “following in His footsteps” evokes, except it also has an element of companionship in it.
The word “delight” is actually the word I was looking up when the Lord showed me these things about this verse. It is tied to the concept of showing favor on someone. When you like someone well enough to find pleasure in doing things for them, you delight in them.
But the Bible also talks about us finding delight in God’s commandments. Finding pleasure in understanding and doing His will.
It also talks numerous times about God finding delight in the things He is doing. I picture someone who absolutely loves their job.
A week ago in my Psalm 91 series, I talked about how the word “way” is used to describe the course of someone’s life, as determined by the choices they make.
I once thought that it was saying that if you are seeking God, then as you make choices in life, God is there, blessing them. But now I see a fundamental difference. God’s not there establishing our steps after we take them. Indeed, that word “established” is more often in the Bible interpreted as the verb “directed.” So as all this fell together in my mind, I saw this picture.
There is a master gardener who takes great pleasure in his work. He created a beautiful garden and carefully laid a pathway for someone to use. As he made it, he carefully tested out the spacing of the steppingstones by walking them out. He made sure that the path’s direction achieved his purposes which were both to carry the person to the intended destination and also to ensure that the viewpoint of each step was exactly as he intended. The path was intended to be a journey of discovery, so that new views and delights were discovered at each bend in the path. All this he tested by walking the path first. And then, when the path was ready and the one whom the path was designed for came to walk that path, the gardener walked along with him, and he delighted to see his companion’s enjoyment. He delighted in how perfect that path was.
That is what this verse is talking about! The Passion translation actually portrays this picture the best:
The steps of the God-pursuing onesfollow firmly in the footsteps of the Lord,and God delights in every step they take to follow him.
God goes before us, preparing this path for us to follow Him in. And He finds great delight in doing this for us! For His plans are good!
Here are some more verses:
“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” – Jer. 29:11
“Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it!” – Ps. 119:35
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” – Deut. 31:8
“You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.” – Ps 139:5
“I will go before you and make the rough places smooth;
I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars.” – Is 45:2
Previous Post in this series: Psalm 91: The guard that is dispatched along the Way
Next Post in this series: Psalm 91: When the path ahead of you looks like it’s full of traps