Take Delight | a Contemplative Word Study of Psalm 37.4

Take Delight | a Contemplative Word Study of Psalm 37.4 September 13, 2023

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37.4, NLT

Jared | nothing like Ristretto | 09.13.23

Take delight

To “Take delight” is not only a verb, the verbal tense is in the imperative. In other words, we are commanded to “Take delight…”

What if we have no choice other than to delight ourselves in the Lord?

Take delight is a primitive verb, meaning it’s a root word. It can mean to be soft or pliable. It’s generally an effeminate verb. It can carry with it the idea of being luxurious or being delicate. It can mean to delight or sport oneself.
There seems to be a lot of self care going on here, but it is taking care of oneself in the Lord. Perhaps we could say something like basking in the Lord’s Presence.
My spin may be a little soft, basking in the Lord’s Presence. The verb is stronger, often used of amorous women.

In other words, this is like a Word-picture of God as the Husband and the people of God as the bride making ourselves attractive for Him. “Take delight in the Lord…”

and he will give

What I am not going to be able to do is read back into this verse through the lens of Reformed Theology. If I could I would try to tackle a question about “and he will give.”

The Reformed Theology question would be, does God give you your desires, or does He create within you your very desires?
Does He grant you your desires, or does He create your desires?
Are your core desires innate?

There are some strands of Theology that believe your very desires come from God. Therefore the great work of sanctification is to purify your desires, so you can uncover the root desires that God has for you anyway. This sounds like soft determinism.

To try to read back into the Text with such modern Theological questions is overthinking it.

will the Lord?

The greater question is will God truly grant my petitions (as “desires” can be translated)?

The verb “will give” is in the imperfect tense. This is curious because it is not a 1 time action. The imperfect tense means continuous activity.

The Lord is not simply granting a 1 time request.

Our Lord does not get tired of answering our pleas.

He looks out for us.

If we are making ourselves attractive to Him, taking delight in Him, then our Lord is committed to continually giving us our heart’s desires. It can be translated, “and He will continually be giving you your heart’s desires.”

That’s it.


I really want to examine more of the Passage, especially the following verse, for context.

However, for this brief Word study, this verse stands alone.

It also stands alone because a friend spoke it over me recently, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. I have been apprehended by Psalm 37.4 and have only committed my Bible reading time to reading and meditating on this verse for about a week and a half now.

What I mean is I have kept my Bible open to Psalm 37, and I have underlined verse 4.

I have kept myself from my normal Scripture schedule of reading chapter upon chapter.

Silence; I have committed myself to be silent before the Word of God, not allowing my mind to wander into countless questions I could be asking right now.

Obedience; I have felt compelled to delight in the Lord, to bask in His presence, to make my Bible and prayer time attractive to Him. I have confined myself to this verse, other than readings which are required for a group I am attending at church.

It’s an old verse and everybody knows it, but it is where the Lord has placed me. I’m in a process of discerning. I don’t even know what to desire. I don’t even know what I don’t know, but I’m delighting in the Lord.

Therefore, I receive the Rhema Word from my friend with the same enthusiasm that I would receive Rhema from a high ranking Bishop.

So the context for this brief dive into Psalm 37.4 happens to come from my life situation right now, my life context.

The song in the pic is “The Blessing – Radio Version” CLICK

For more readings like this, see the Word Study archive CLICK

Browse Our Archives