Because we have grown up in America, we are surrounded by excess. The products that flood our retail stores are truly beyond comprehension. The only reason that we are not stunned upon entry to a store perfectly lit, designed by folks to determine what catches the eye, and to know just how to present a product to make it eye catching for the customer looking for a great buy is that we are numb to the constant ads that seek our attentions.
Over the years, we have had guests come to our church from much poorer nations than the USA. And, in most cases we have the opportunity to take them to some of our shopping palaces that are over stuffed with things to make our lives more pleasurable. They are most often stunned by malls, food stores, and large “specialty” retail stores. For those from very poor nations, a trip to a local Walmart can create some anxiety to see so much “stuff” to keep American’s happy. On one occasion, I took an international guest to Bass Pro. As we left the store, he made the comment that “only” in America would there be a store that big just for outdoor recreation.
Pleasure is very much a part of a prosperous country. We work long hours to have the hope of a weekend to do pleasurable things. Our gadgets of communication are not complete unless they can access games, television shows, or movies for our pleasure. Automobiles are not just to move us quickly between points A and B. They are advertised to make the driving experience very pleasurable for the one behind the wheel.
Did you know that the Bible speaks of God knowing pleasure? Did you stop to consider the things that please Him? His “pleasure” and our “pleasures” are not on the same level.
The very concept of God having pleasure--the mighty Maker of the Universe being pleased like a child at things that take place on Earth--staggers the imagination. Most amazing of all is the revelation that it pleased Him to put His own Son through a terrible, bruising death, as the tremendous Messianic prophecy of our text reveals. Nevertheless, this was the only possible way whereby "the pleasure of the LORD" could be accomplished in the redeemed lives of lost men and women, whom He had created for eternal fellowship with the Triune god. "For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people. (Psalm 149:4).Five times we read in the New Testament that God the Father spoke from heaven assuring us that He was "well pleased" with His "beloved Son" (Matthew 3:17, 17:5: Mark l:ll; Luke 3:22; II Peter l:17). Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him. Had it not been so, none of us could ever have been saved, but the Lord Jesus Himself has confirmed to His own "little flock" that "it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).Thus, not only have we been created "for Thy pleasure" (Revelation 4:11), but also we have been predestinated "unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will" (Ephesians l:5). This is far beyond our comprehension, so we merely rest in the great truth that "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). We know that "the LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him, in those that hope in His mercy" (Psalm 147:11). Maybe a good question to consider: Is God finding pleasure in the lives we live “in Jesus’ name”? Or is our “pleasure seeking” creating displeasure for God?