EBible Fellowship Sunday Bible Study – 25-Oct-2009


by Robert Daniels


I want to look at a couple of things today.  This will, by no means, be an exhaustive study.  There are a lot more verses in the Bible that we could look at, but we will look at a few verses. 

I often wonder what God delights in.  What does God delight in?  What does He have pleasure in?  The Bible has a lot to say about what God delights in and what He has pleasure in, as well as what He does not have pleasure in.  We will look at some verses that speak about these things today. 

We will look at what God does not delight in first.  Let us look at Ezekiel 18 in the Old Testament.  God tells us there what He does not have pleasure in.  We read in Ezekiel 18:23: 

Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

God does not delight over throwing men into hell.  No.  All of us were made in the image of God, and here He says that He has no pleasure or delight in destroying man.  He is not a God up there just sitting there and saying, “This person messed up, so let me take him out.”  No.  God is a merciful God.  He delights in mercy.  This is one of the things that He tells us about Himself. 

He tells us a lot of things about Himself.  He is full of compassion.  He is a God of love.  He is a God of mercy.  He tells us that He is plenteous in mercy and truth.  All of these things in the Bible tell us a little bit about God, and one thing that we do know is that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. 

Look at verse 30 of the same chapter.  Ezekiel 18:30 says: 

Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves… 

We have to be careful with this verse.  He tells us here to repent.  It is a command of God for us to repent, but we know that repentance is a gift of God.  Man can repent to a certain degree.  He can stop drinking.  He can stop smoking.  He can stop a lot of things; but even though we are to stop these things, this is not what God has in view.  God has to give us repentance.  We are to repent from our evil hearts, and God is the One who has to give us a new heart.  Repentance is a gift of God the Bible says. 

Again, Ezekiel 18:30: 

…Repent, and turn yourselves

We know that God has to turn us to Himself.  We cannot turn ourselves. 

Turn over to Psalm 80.  There are many other verses that we could look at.  This is just one verse where God tells us that He has to turn us.  In Psalm 80:18-19, God tells us: 

So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name. Turn us again… 

Who turns us? 

Turn us again, O LORD God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved. 

So we know that God is the One who has to turn us to Himself.  He has to give us repentance in all of these things.  Salvation is a gift of God.  It is not of any works that we do, so God is the One who has to turn us. 

Then back to Ezekiel 18:30-31; God says: 

…Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. 

Iniquity is sin. 

Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed… 

God is telling us to do these things.  Of course, we cannot.  We cannot of ourselves, but Christ has done this on behalf of His people.

…whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart… 

He is telling us to do these things.  He is saying: 

…make you a new heart and a new spirit…

But this is something that is impossible for us to do.  We cannot create within us a new heart.  God has to this, if He so wishes to do. 

…for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 

Then He says in verse 32, Ezekiel 18:32: 

For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

You see, He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked,” none whatsoever.  We can see here that He has no pleasure in destroying mankind.  If He did, He would not provide this wonderful salvation that He has given to His people.  God is indeed a merciful God, you see.  He has no delight in destroying people. 

We know, however, that God must do what He says, and He declares in the Bible that “the wages of sin is death.”  He must do what He says, so this penalty must be carried out.  In the meantime, His wonderful grace is available.  God is still saving sinners.  Although we see the day approaching, we know that salvation is still possible. 

So He tells us to turn from our wicked ways, “for why will ye die?”  There is an escape from eternal destruction, and yet there are many in the world who live as if there is no tomorrow, as if there is no God.  But God is indeed merciful; and as we see that May 21, 2011 is quickly approaching, we can still beg for mercy. 

Turn over to Ezekiel 33, and we will see this same idea there.  In Ezekiel 33, we will see this again, and there are other places in the Bible that you could look at in your own time to see that God has no delight in the death of the wicked.  As we read through this chapter, God tells us that we are to blow the trumpet.  As we see Judgment Day coming, we are to warn the world that the end of the world is almost here.  In Ezekiel 33:10, we read: 

Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

Then we read in verse 11, Ezekiel 33:11: 

Say unto them, As I live…

You see, God has taken an oath: 

…As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? 

Do you see God’s mercy and compassion to us?  God is indeed merciful, but we know that He will not always have this door of mercy open.  In the day in which we are now living, the door of salvation is wide open.  It is wide open.  The possibility of salvation still exists because we know that “God is no respecter of persons.”  This is what the Bible tells us.  So the potential exists for any one of us that He might save us.  No matter who we might be, we can beseech God for His mercy. 

Here we see that He has “no pleasure in the death of the wicked.”  But man in his pride, in his rebellion, thinks that he is wiser than God, and he thinks that He knows more than God.  Man continues on in his evil way, but we know what the end will be.  For those who continue on in their rebellious ways, they are headed for judgment.  In that day, the day of mercy will have come to an end and the day of salvation will no longer be possible.  God must do what He says and He says, “For the wages of sin is death,” and this death is total destruction, total destruction. 

Let us turn over to Psalm 5 where I will start reading in verse 1.  Psalm 5:1-6 says: 

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness… 

God has no “pleasure in wickedness.”  Do you see why God tells us that we are to turn from our wicked ways?  This is a command of God.  We are to turn from our wickedness, from our sin.  Of ourselves, we know that we cannot. 

It continues: 

…neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish [the unsaved] shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.

He has no pleasure in wickedness, none whatsoever.  He has no delight in man’s rebellion. 

Let us look at another concept in Hebrews 10.  This is by no means an exhaustive study.  We are looking at just a few verses.  We know that the nation of Israel was in a works gospel.  Here God tells us in Hebrews 10:1-2: 

For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 

This is referring to the sacrifices that the Israelites made.  Hundreds and hundreds of animals were slaughtered.  We know that this was something that they were doing.  They were doing something, but that would never take away their sin.  And this is like someone today who is in a works gospel.  They are doing something that will never save them. 

But all of this was a shadow that pointed to Christ.  This is like someone who is in a works gospel and who is doing something for their salvation, and they are no different than the Israelites.  The nation of Israel was in a works gospel, and so are many today. Many today are in a works gospel where they think that if they repent, if they believe, if they do this or that then they are saved.  No, it is the work of Christ that saves us.  There is nothing that we could ever do that would merit salvation. 

We continue on in verse 3, Hebrews 10:3-4: 

But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

So all of their sacrifices did nothing in taking away their sins.  We know this.  According to the Bible, they perished in the wilderness “because of unbelief.”  They perished. 

Then verse 5 says, Hebrews 10:5-6: 

Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

He had “no pleasure.”  God did not delight in what they were doing.  Just as someone today who is in the works gospel, God has no pleasure in it.  It is only the true Gospel that God delights in.  It is like someone who is doing something, like thinking that they can walk up the aisle for salvation, and God has no delight in it.  You are showing that you are still on your way to hell because you are trying to do something for your salvation when God has no pleasure in this, none whatsoever. 

God picks this up back in Isaiah 1 where He speaks a little bit about this, which gives us a little bit more information on Hebrews 10.  In Isaiah 1:9-11, God tells us: 

Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant… 

God’s people are a tiny remnant compared to the unsaved.  We are a very small remnant whom God is saving out of this world or: 

…we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 

And we know what happened to the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim.  God destroyed them.  If God had not elected a people for himself, we would all be destroyed. 

It continues: 

Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 

He had no delight in all of the thousands of animals that were slaughtered back in the Old Testament days of Israel.  It was a shadow that pointed to Christ who was to come.  He had no delight in this.  The washings and the feast days and the sin offerings, all of these things, God had no delight in them.  They were doing these things thinking that it would bring them salvation.  This is why I said that those who are doing something for salvation are yet under the wrath of God, because God tells us that our works will never save us.  It is the work of Christ. 

Then in Isaiah 1:12-13, He says: 

When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me… 

You see, these things are an abomination unto Him. 

…the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 

Then verse 14, Isaiah 1:14-19: 

Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth… 

You see, God had no pleasure in them. 

…my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you… 

Here God is commanding: 

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 

So God had no pleasure in what Israel was doing, none whatsoever.  He had no delight in these things. 

We need to really look at the Gospel that we are following to make sure that it is based only on the Bible and that we are not trying to do something for our salvation, because God has no delight in these things.  He only delights in truth, in the true Gospel, in what the Bible says.  Therefore, we have to be careful in what we are doing. 

Look also at Psalm 51:16: 

For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. 

He has no pleasure in this.  God does not delight in the things that Israel was doing, in the burnt offerings. 

What He delights in is what we read in verse 17, Psalm 51:17: 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit…  

You see, we have to come to God broken before God for salvation, not with our bag of good works.  He says here: 

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. 

This is what God has delight in, not in something that we think that we are doing.  No, that is an abomination, just like Israel was.  Therefore, we have to make sure that the Gospel that we are following is only based on God’s Word, the Bible.  God delights in “a broken and a contrite heart,” not in something that we think that we are doing that could ever merit salvation.  This will never, never work. 

Let us look also back in Isaiah 66.  This goes along with what we read in Isaiah 66:1-2: 

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. 

These are the ones whom God delights in, those who are coming to God with a broken spirit and pleading for mercy, those who recognize that there is nothing good about them and that they could never do anything to merit salvation.  God has delight in this person, but not on those who are coming with their good works, whatever they might be.  You see, God delights in this kind of person.  This is how we are to come to Him, and it just might be that God might look upon this person with grace and favor. 

Let us look at some of the things that God has pleasure in.  We see that He does not have pleasure in these things, as far as doing something for salvation, or in wickedness, these types of things.  He has no delight in these things, so let us look at a few verses to see what He delights in.  What does God delight in?  What does God have pleasure in? 

Let us look at Ephesians 1.  There are many, many, many other verses that we could look at.  These are only a few.  In the first few verses of Ephesians 1, God speaks about His election program.  Many people are afraid of this.  You start speaking about election and they are just beside themselves.  They have to realize that if God had not elected a people for Himself, none of us would be saved.  “We should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah,” and we would all be destroyed on the last day.  God’s election program is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and we should thank God that He did this.  In Ephesians 1:5, we read: 

Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 

You see, it is God’s “good pleasure” and His delight, we might say, that He has elected a people for Himself.  He has pleasure in doing so.  He is actually showing His mercy and how merciful He is.  It is His “good pleasure” that He has elected a people for Himself, because He did not save us because we were better than someone else.  It is not because we did not commit murder, or because we are a good guy, or whatever we might say.  No.  He did not say that it was because of those reasons. 

In Ephesians 1:6, He tells us why He saves us: 

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 

Do you see why He saves us?  We were saved for the praise and glory of God. 

Then it says in Ephesians 1:7-9: 

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure… 

It was God’s good pleasure that He save a people for Himself and that He make known to us, His people, the mystery of the Gospel.  As we have heard many times, this is not because we are smarter than anyone else.  It is just because of God’s mercy.  He says it is: 

…according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 

Let us look some other verses where God takes great delight in His people.  While we are in the New Testament, let us look at 2 Thessalonians 1.  In the first few verses of 2 Thessalonians 1, it is speaking about God’s judgment.  Then we read in 2 Thessalonians 1:8-12: 

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness… 

When He comes, He is going to “fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness”: 

…and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 

So God is going to take great pleasure and delight in His people.  He says in verse 10 that He is coming back: 

…to be admired in all them that believe… 

It depends on what side of the fence you are on.  Judgment Day is going to be a great day for God’s people.  For those who are left behind on that day, it is going to be a day of horror and judgment.  It depends on what side of the fence you are on. 

Let us turn over to Psalm 149.  We are looking at the things that God delights in and what He takes pleasure in.  If we are truly a child of God, we also ought to take great delight and pleasure in the same things that God delights in. This is because if God’s Holy Spirit indwells us, then we are going to love the same things that God loves.  We are going to take great delight in the things that God loves.  It says in Psalm 149:1-9: 

Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people… 

Do you see what He takes pleasure in?  He “taketh pleasure in his people,” in “his people,” God’s elect. 

For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD. 

We can see from verse 4 that God takes great pleasure in His people.  These are God’s elect.  Their sins are paid for and they are going to be praising God throughout all eternity in the new Heaven and the new earth forevermore.  God takes great delight in this. 

Let us also look at Psalm 147:11.  Here we read: 

JEHOVAH taketh pleasure in them that fear him… 

These are God’s people.  Remember that God tells us that we are the ones who are going to begin to fear Him.  He tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,” and only God’s elect will do so. 

JEHOVAH taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. 

Do you see whom He takes pleasure and delight in? 

There are other verses.  Turn over to the Gospel of Luke.  I believe that He tells us in that verse that it is the Father’s pleasure to give us the Kingdom.  What Kingdom is that?  It is the new Heaven and the new earth.  In Luke 12:32, He tells us: 

Fear not, little flock… 

He is speaking about His people: 

…for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

This is God’s delight.  It is His pleasure to give His people, His “little flock,” the Kingdom.  This is for the true believers.  They are the ones who are going to be the inheritors of the new Heaven and the new earth, and it is God’s delight to have it so. 

Look also back to a verse in the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.  In Jeremiah 9:24-25, we read: 

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight… 

You see, God is not only saying that He is going to bring judgment on man, which He will, but He says that He has: 

…lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised;

Then it goes on to say in verse 26, Jeremiah 9:26: 

Egypt, and Judah, and Edom, and the children of Ammon, and Moab, and all that are in the utmost corners, that dwell in the wilderness: for all these nations are uncircumcised… 

And if you are uncircumcised in heart, then you are not saved; and God is the One who has to circumcise our hearts. 

…and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart. 

So we can see from verse 24 that God delights in these things.  He delights in mercy.  And there are a lot of verses where we can see that God tells us what He delights in.

Let us look at Psalm 119.  When we read through that whole chapter of Psalm 119, especially, we can see that this ought to be the delight of the true believer’s heart.  This is because if we are indeed a child of God, as I said earlier, then we are going to delight in the things that God delights in.  You can read through the whole 176 verses and see how God writes these things and how the true believers love the Word of God.  If we are a true believer, we are going to delight in the Word of God; this is our pleasure.  Psalm 119:16-20 says: 

I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word. 

Who will do this?  God’s people.  We are going to delight in these things. 

Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word. Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law. I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me. 

We are strangers in the earth.  The Bible tells us that we are “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” if we are a true believer.  This is not our home, you see.  We are just here “but for a moment.” 

My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times. 

This is what the true believer loves.  We love the things of God, and we are going to delight in these things.  There are many, many verses that I could continue to look at.  These are only a few verses that show us what God has pleasure in, what He delights in, and we ought to be delighting in the same things that God delights in. 

When we become saved, God has given us a new heart, He has taken away the stony heart from us, He has given us a heart of flesh like Christ’s, and we are going to delight in the things of God.  If you see yourself not delighting in the Bible, if you see that you have a hard time reading the Bible and yet you call yourself a child of God, something is wrong.  We should always be delighting in the Word of God. 

God tells us in the Bible that we ought to be meditating on the Bible.  If we are a child of God, we are going to do so, we are going to carve that time out in our busy schedule some time during the day, get alone with ourself, and listen to God speak to us from the Bible, because this is the only way that He speaks to us.  He does so from the pages of the Bible, and we are going to delight in these things.  We are going to pant after spiritual things, and that is what we ought to be doing. 

Let us stop here.  As I have said, there are many verses, many, many, many other verses that I have, but I think that I had better stop here.  Let us pray. 

Father in Heaven, we thank You O Lord that Thou art merciful.  We know Lord that the only way that we are going to delight and have pleasure in what You have pleasure in is if You have given us a new heart.  O Lord, we thank You Lord that You take pleasure in thy people.  O Lord, we thank You also that today is still the day of salvation.  As we see the day approaching, Judgment Day is only 18 months away.  If there is anyone amongst us who might not be a child of God, O Lord could it be that You might work in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure.  We pray that You might give us repentance and faith to believe and draw us to Thyself.  All of this is something that You have to do for us.  We cannot do this of ourselves.  Salvation is of the Lord.  O Lord, we pray for all of the activities of this day.  We pray that all things might be done to the praise of Thy glory.  We thank You Lord for all of us who are here, that You have provided a way that we could fellowship together around Thy Word, and for those who are listening over the Internet.  Thank You for making this possible.  Lord we thank you for Thy mercy.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen. 

(There was no question/answer session pertaining to this study.)