It is but poor comfort to the believer to be able to talk well to others upon the ways of God, and even to "bear the reproach" of His people, when his own heart is cold, insensible, and dull. But why does he not rouse himself to the active exercise of faith, "I will delight myself in Your commandments?" That which is the burden of the carnal heart is the delight of the renewed soul. The former "is enmity against God: and therefore is not, and cannot be, subject to His law." The latter can delight in nothing else. If the gospel separates the heart from sinful delights, it is only to make room for delights of a more elevated, satisfying, and enduring nature. Satan, indeed, generally baits his temptations with that seductive witchery, which the world calls pleasure. But has he engrossed all pleasure into his service? Are there no pleasures besides "the pleasures of sin?" Do the ways of the Lord promise nothing but difficulty and trial? What means then the experience of him, who could "rejoice in them, as much as in all riches," and who "loved them above gold, yes, above fine gold?" The "fatted calf" of our Father's house is surely a most gainful exchange for "the husks" of the "far country." The delights of holiness go deeper than sensual pleasures. The joy of the saint is not that false, polluted, deadly joy, which is all that the worldling knows, and all that he has to look for: but it flows spontaneously from the fountain of living waters, through the pure channel of "the word of God, which lives and abides forever." No, so independent is it of any earthly spring, that it never flourishes more than in the desolate wilderness, or the sick-bed solitude; so that, "although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, yet we will rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of our salvation." Men of the world see what religion takes away, but they see little of what it gives; else would they reproach—not our folly—but their own blindness. "Thus says the Lord God, Behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit." The love and delight of the soul first fixes on the commandments. Then how natural is the flow of delight in them! even at the very time that we are "abhorring ourselves in dust and ashes" for our neglect of them; and God never has our hearts, until something of this delight is felt and enjoyed. But do we complain of the dullness of our hearts, that restrains this pleasure? Let us seek for a deeper impression of redeeming love. This will be the spring of grateful obedience and holy delight. Let us turn our complaints into prayers, and the Lord will quickly turn them into praises. Let us watch against everything, that would intercept our communion with Jesus. Distance from Him must be accompanied with poverty of spiritual enjoyment., "They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Your house: and You shall make them drink of the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life: and in Your light shall we see light."
Next to liberty and courage comes delight When we have done our duty, we find a great reward in it. If David had not spoken for his Master before kings, he would have been afraid to think of the law which he had neglected; but after speaking up for his Lord he felt a sweet serenity of heart when musing upon the word. Obey the command, and you will love it; carry the yoke, and it will be easy, and rest will come by it After speaking of the law, the Psalmist was not wearied of his theme, but he retired to meditate upon it: he discoursed, and then he delighted; he preached, and then repaired to his study to renew his strength by feeding yet again upon the precious truth. Whether he delighted others or not when he was speaking, he never failed to delight himself when he was musing on the word of the Lord. He declares that he loved the Lord's commands, and by his avowal he unveils the reason for his delight in them: where our love is, there is our delight. David did not delight in the courts of kings, for there he found places of temptation to shame, but in the Scriptures he found himself at home; his heart was in them, and they yielded him supreme pleasure. No wonder that he spoke of keeping the law, which he loved: Jesus says, "If a man love me he will keep my words." No wonder that he spoke of walking at liberty and speaking boldly, for true love is ever free and fearless. Love is the fulfilling of the law; where love to the law of God reigns in the heart, the life must be full of blessedness. Lord, let your mercies come to us, that we may love your word and way, and find our whole delight therein.
The verse is in the future, and hence it sets forth, not only what David had done, but what he would do; he would in time to come delight in his Lord's commands. He knew that they would neither alter, nor fail to yield him joy. He knew also that grace would keep him in the same condition of heart towards the precepts of the Lord, so that he should throughout his whole life take a supreme delight in holiness. His heart was so fixed in love to God's will that he was sure that grace would always hold him under its delightful influence.
All the psalm is fragrant with love to the word, but here for the first time love is expressly spoken of. It is here coupled with delight, and in verse 165 with "great peace." All the verses in which love declares itself in so many words are worthy of note. See verses 47, 97, 113, 119, 127, 140, 159, 163, 165, 167.