Delight in the Lord

 Isaiah 11:3-5 (NKJV

On first reading this passage I unintentionally failed to recognize the capital letters in the pronouns referring to He and His. That left me to believing that this text describes the steps or activities that grow a person’s righteousness. Of course, emulating Him does in fact nurture one to grow in righteousness.

So, to become righteousness I will aim to find delight in the respectful recognition and adulation of the LORD. (See my earlier story on the Lord God.) My wife’s teaching assistant is named Delight. And a few years ago she had a pupil whose middle name was Delight. I like that name. My daughter’s middle name is Joy! Can you imaging experiencing delight and joy whenever we think of our Lord. But remember, we are thinking Lord which in Yahwe Elohim translates into Loving Master. We respect the power that flows from the lastname of God which is Elohim/Master. But we delight when we are on a firstname basis with our God and his first name Yahwe/Loving pops into our minds and fills us with His gentle warmth. When on a firstname basis with God we experience only delight on seeing Him and being with Him and talking with Him.

The key to righteousness I believe is this focus on the delightful, Loving nature of our Master God. We do not fear our Loving Lord because he doesn’t judge by any ugliness He might see in us or hear us speak. When we look his direction and automatically smile with delight He returns our smile with His constant smile. We may never be absolutely perfect this side of heaven and thus we may, under our saint’s robe of righteousness sometimes let our ugly rags slip beneath the hems of our Lord given white robes. Regardless, our Lord see’s only us, our smile and not the human nature that is part of the baggage of sin in this world.

He judges with righteousness the poor (in spirit?) and decides with equity for the meek of the earth. The poor may be with us always but the poor are never 2nd class citizens or 2nd class relatives of the Lord. Yes, our Lord is also God. We must never forget His lastname Master. He does strike the earth with the rod of His mouth and with the breath of His lips he shall slay the wicked. He is Master of the universe. And in seeking to become righteous we recognize Him as our Master. But with our Lord God we delight in the Lord because when wearing the robe He gives us, despite any drooping rags, our Lord see’s only our delight.

Finally come the last two lines of this verse. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. If we are to stay righteous we must keep our pants on. Keeping our pants on means that we will keep our drawers (underpants) on. To be holy and righteous we must do what is possible to resist temptation and refrain from sin. If we so much as remove our belt we will lose our pants and subsequently we will willingly remove our underwear to rush into sin.

Our Lord can focus on our delightful smiles of recognition when we look up at him. Rags fringing the bottoms of our gowns of righteousness he will never see. But when we remove our belt of righteousness holding our gowns tightly on us we will eventually go further and remove our rags also. With neither gown nor rags we will certainly strip to a nakedness in sin that will cause our Lord to fade in our minds to only powerful God, no longer perceived as Loving. And when we are naked He will slay us someday with the rod of His mouth and the breath of His lips. A tongue lashing from our parents or employer will not kill us. But God need not strike us with his arm nor kick us with his foot. When we are naked before God, whom we no longer recognize as Loving Lord, we will die from simply hearing His spoken word and feeling His breath.

May we always wear the belt of righteousness.  This belt enabled our Lord to successfully rescue us from guaranteed eternal death when He lived on this world as Jesus. Wearing this belt we can confidently delight in the recognized smile of our Lord.

His delight is in the fear of the Lord,
And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,
Nor decide by the hearing of His ears;

But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,
And decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,
And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins,
And faithfulness the belt of His waist.