What does Psalm 37:4 mean?

Have you ever wondered what Psalm 37 4 means? Have you asked yourself what it really means to delight yourself in the LORD? If yes, then you came to the right place. Today, let me discuss the real meaning of Psalm 37:4 that most people don’t know about!

What is the Psalm 37 4 meaning?

Psalm 37:4 is no doubt one of the most popular passages in the book of Psalms. Why not? After all, it is a wonderful promise from God that many people hold on to.

Psalm 37 is a psalm of David in which he reassures the righteous not to be dismayed at the sight of evildoers. In this Psalm, David explains what will happen to the wicked, but at the same time, what the righteous should also do.

Since the fate of the wicked is already prophesied and understood, the righteous should not worry about them anymore, but rather they should focus on their relationship with God.

That’s where Psalm 37 verse 4 comes in.

Psalm 37:4 is just one of the instructions David mentioned in Psalm 37. As you can read:

  • Verse 3 – Trust in the LORD and do good
  • Verse 5 – Commit your way to the LORD
  • Verse 7 – Rest in the LORD
  • Verse 8 – Cease from anger, and forsake wrath

These are just some of David’s admonition in Psalm 37. As you can see, Psalm 37:4 is part of a greater list of instructions.

But for now, let us focus on the meaning of Psalm 37:4.

Misunderstanding Psalms 37:4

A lot of people are familiar with Psalm 37:4 where we read:

We read:

“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

While this verse is popular, it doesn’t mean that most people really understood it. In fact, some people have misunderstood this verse to the point that it is being used to support the prosperity Gospel.

They claim that if you delight yourself in the LORD, you will definitely get what you want in life. 

But is this really what it means?

Or is there a more important lesson we can learn from Psalm 37:4?

Thus, in this post, let me help you learn more about delighting in God and see what Psalm 37:4 really means.

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What does Psalm 37:4 mean?

The first thing we need to ask is, what does the word “delight” mean? 

It came from the Hebrew word, “anag,” which means to be happy about and to make merry over. 

So, basically, delight means to take pleasure, to be happy, joyful, and excited.

The next question we need to ask is, to whom should we delight ourselves? 

Psalm 37:4 clearly states that we must delight in the LORD.

LORD here is Yahweh, the personal name of God. He is the ever-living, eternal, and supreme God of the entire universe. But at the same time, He is our loving, caring, and merciful Father.

If we put everything together, Psalm 37:4 tells us that we must take pleasure, we must be joyful, we must be excited about Yahweh. It means that our source of joy and happiness should be our Heavenly Father.

Who or what is our source of delight?

However, as we look around us, where do people get their happiness? Where do people usually take delight from? 

They take delight in worldly and sensual things. They take delight in watching inappropriate and immoral entertainment. They take pleasure in material possessions. They take pleasure in people. Worst, they take pleasure in sin.

Now, it is not wrong to enjoy the blessings that God has given us as long as it does not lead to sin. Nevertheless, our ultimate source of delight must be God!

We must examine ourselves, then. 

How about us? 

Where do our joy and delight come from? If we look at our activities and schedule for the day, can you find God in it? Can you honestly say that you are delighting in God?

Does the very thought of studying the Bible make you excited? Or do you simply make it an optional thing, that you only do it when you have extra time?

Do you still find time for prayer and meditation? Or are you too busy that you don’t have time to pray?

Does preaching the Gospel make you happy and blessed? Or you think it’s boring and useless?

Is your mind filled with God’s word, peace, and love? Or are you filled with worries, anxiety, and fear?

The answers to these questions would determine whether you truly delight in Yahweh or not.

How Psalm 37:4 changes your life?

Now, here’s something you need to realize. Psalm 37:4 is a life-changing verse. 

It literally changes your perspective in life. 

If you delight in Yahweh, you take on a new mindset. 

No matter what happens in your life, as long as you delight in God, you are still at peace. 

You are still filled with Joy. 

You still feel blessed.

I strongly believe we, as individuals, need to delight in God more than ever. As we go through this pandemic and our freedom is restrained, we are forced to stay in our homes and not be able to gather together. 

If we don’t delight in God, we all can easily drift away. We can all easily become weak in faith and eventually, forget about our brothers and sisters in Christ.

But if we continually delight in the Eternal, the government may take away our freedom, but they can never take away our faith.

The connection of Psalm 37:4 to gratefulness

Here’s another important key we should not forget about delighting in God. It is being grateful both for the things we have and the things that we don’t have.

Take note of this:

You can never truly delight in Yahweh without being grateful and you can’t be truly grateful without delighting in Yahweh.

That’s why we must always be thankful for whatever situation we might be in. 

Think about this, we might not have everything, but we always have something

We never come to a point where we have nothing. 

So, stop murmuring or complaining.

Instead of complaining that you don’t have shoes, be thankful you have feet.

Instead of complaining that you eat almost the same thing every day, be thankful you still have something to eat.

Instead of complaining about how hard your work is, be thankful that you still have a job.

Instead of complaining about how unfair life is, be thankful, you’re still alive.

What I’m telling you is that people who truly delight in God see His blessings. 

These blessings move them to be more grateful and worship God.

All these are part of delighting yourself in the LORD.

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Psalm 37:4 and the desires of our heart

Now, what happens when we delight in Yahweh, we read the rest of Psalm 37:4, “He will give you the desires of your heart.”

This verse does not mean that if we delight in God, He will give us any desires of our hearts! 

Now, that’s a dangerous teaching. 

Why? 

Because not all desires that we have are good for us!

You see, friends, it doesn’t mean that if you delight in God, you will become rich, you will have a new smartphone, you’ll have a big house. You’ll have a lot of money in the bank. It doesn’t mean that everything you want would be given to you. No, that’s not how it really works.

Listen to this: 

If we truly and genuinely delight in Yahweh, the desires of our hearts will eventually align with God’s will and purpose in our lives. 

This means that your ultimate desire will not be limited in this world anymore, but it will be God’s desire.

The problem with so many people, and that includes you and me, is that we determine our desires first before we delight in God!

Instead, what happened should be is that we FIRST delight in God so that we will have the right and proper desires in our hearts.

I hope that we come to the point that whether we receive what we ask from God or not, we are still thankful and would still delight in God. 

If God gives what we’ve asked, then, praise God! 

If God doesn’t give it, then we still praise Him because you know that He has your best interest in mind.

That’s exactly what it means to delight in God. 

It is never conditional. 

Whether God grants our prayers or not, we still choose to delight in Him. 

God has become our ultimate source of happiness, joy, and peace.

So, friends, let me end this message by reading Psalm 37:4 again:

“Delight yourself in the Yahweh, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

What does Psalm 37:4 mean?

In conclusion, Psalm 37:4 means that we must delight in Yahweh, the supreme Ruler of this vast universe. It means that the object of our gladness, joy, and delight should be God. Psalm 37:4 should remind us that the ultimate Source of our joy should be our Heavenly Father.

When we delight in God, He will give our desires, but our desires have already been in line with His will and purpose in our lives.

Psalm 37:4 does not support the prosperity Gospel. In contrast, it teaches how we can better understand God and have a more meaningful and intimate relationship with Him.