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Here we have a very simple but profound biblical maxim, an eternal truth consisting of a command that is followed by a promise. In this construction, the preceding requirement necessarily leads to the concluding promise. These two components form a coherent whole, an indivisible entity comprising the inseparable union of the divine imperative and indicative.
In order to understand the significance of this verse we must take note of its context. This Davidic psalm is an exhortation for God’s covenant people who are undergoing trials and troubles in life to avoid being disheartened by the puzzling prosperity of the wicked. It admonishes the people of God to shun discouragement by this apparent unfairness and to trust in the righteous protection of God. Accordingly, this Psalm begins with a very pointed and emphatic command: “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers!” v. 1. Its meaning is that the people of God must not burn with envy at the success of the wicked, cf. Pro 23:17; 24:19, because as the next verse states, “..they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb.” That is, their success is short-lived and superficial, one that is quickly ended when the harsh conditions of life return. The third verseprovides us with a sound contrast: instead of envying the wicked we are to conduct our lives by trusting in the Lord alone and to pasture or cultivate an enduring sense of faithfulness to him alone. Now comes our verse which seems to be the climax of the preceding three: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” v. 4. Given our brief analysis of the psalm thus far, what does this verse require?
In the first place it requires us to shift our gaze from the wicked to the Lord God himself. In so doing, we are to observe him in the excellence of his attributes, the external manifestation of his own glory. For example, we are to remember that he is glorious in himself and in all his deeds, Ex 40: 34-35; 15:6, 11; Ps 78:4; etc. We are to continuously embrace the truth that God is perfect, that is to say, he is complete and faultless, super-abounding in all that is good. Inherent in him is his just and moral perfection, "The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” Dt 32:4; see also Pss 18:25-26; 25:8; etc. In addition, the Lord God is perfect in his: works, Dt 32:4; 2 Sam 22:31; Pss 139:14; 145:4-6; Jer 32:19-20; etc.; will, Ps 9:7-11; Rom 12:2; word, Pss 12:6; 18:30; 19:7; etc.; knowledge, Job 37:16; Pss 139:1-6; 147:5; etc.; faithfulness, Ex 34:6; Dt 7:9; 32:4; etc.; love, 1 Jn 3:1; 4:8-12, 16-19. The creature cannot grasp the full import of the divine perfection, Job 42:3; etc., which the Lord God has condescended to reveal to man in the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ in whom all the fullness of the Godhead is pleased to dwell in bodily form, Col 1:19; 2:9.
These are some of the attributes of our great and awesome God that faithful believers must recall and grasp tenaciously when confronted with the pressing dilemma of the prosperity of the wicked and the adversity of the righteous. Rather than committing the error of Asaph who became very discouraged, even to the point of almost apostatizing from the faith, because he witnessed no advantages of holy living: “All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning.” Ps 73:1-14, our full attention and trust are to be placed in the Lord God alone. However, the psalmist goes further for not only are we to recall God’s full-orbed excellency (trust) but also we are to delight ourselves in him. In so doing, the Holy Spirit will reassure us of the faithfulness and steadfast love of our God, by which he will ultimately vindicate his righteous ones whom he will never leave or forsake, and also of his justice by which he will destroy the unrighteous. Encouraged by these assuring truths, the Christian is therefore to “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” Ps 37:5-7; see also 73:16-20; etc.