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Psalm 37:4—“Delight Yourself in the LORD”

Psalm 37:4—“Delight Yourself in the LORD”

 “Find exquisite delight in Jehovah, and he will grant you the desires of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4, New World Translation.

 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4, English Standard Version.

Meaning of Psalm 37:4

 The psalmist urges worshippers of God to find joy in having a close friendship with Him. All who enjoy that friendship can be sure that Jehovah a God will fulfill their legitimate desires.

 “Find exquisite delight in Jehovah.” This expression can also be rendered “find your greatest joy in Jehovah,” “take delight in serving the LORD,” or “take delight in what the LORD has promised you.” Put simply, we should “find [our] greatest joy” in worshipping the true God. (Psalm 37:4, footnote) Why is that the case?

 Those who worship Jehovah view matters from his perspective, as revealed in the Bible. They not only know God but also have the wisdom to obey him. As a result, they maintain a good conscience and avoid many of life’s pitfalls. (Proverbs 3:5, 6) For example, they are not consumed with anger or envy when greedy or dishonest people seem to prosper. (Psalm 37:1, 7-9) God’s people are happy in the knowledge that he will soon end all injustice and reward the faithful for their good conduct. (Psalm 37:34) They also take great joy in knowing that they have their heavenly Father’s smile of approval.—Psalm 5:12; Proverbs 27:11.

 “He will grant you the desires of your heart.” These words can also be translated “he will answer your prayers” or “he will give you what you desire most.” Of course, Jehovah will not grant just any request. Like a good parent, Jehovah knows what is best for His children. Moreover, our petitions, along with our lifestyle, must harmonize with his standards and his will. (Proverbs 28:9; James 4:3; 1 John 5:14) When that is the case, we can approach the “Hearer of prayer” confident that he will listen to us.—Psalm 65:2; Matthew 21:22.

Context of Psalm 37:4

 Psalm 37 was composed by King David of ancient Israel. He wrote the psalm in an alphabetic, or acrostic, style. b

 David suffered many injustices. He was hunted by King Saul and others who wanted to kill him. (2 Samuel 22:1) Yet, David always had complete trust in his God. David knew that Jehovah would eventually call the wicked to account. (Psalm 37:10, 11) Even if they appear to prosper, like “green new grass” they will eventually be gone.—Psalm 37:2, 20, 35, 36.

 Psalm 37 contrasts the outcome of those who submit to God’s standards with the outcome of those who disregard them. (Psalm 37:16, 17, 21, 22, 27, 28) The psalm therefore helps us to gain wisdom and to be the sort of persons whom God approves.

 Watch this short video to see an overview of the book of Psalms.

a Jehovah is the common English rendering of the personal name of God in the Hebrew language. To find out why many Bible translations use the title Lord instead of God’s personal name, see the article “Who Is Jehovah?

b In this style of composition, the first verse or group of verses begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the next group with the second letter, and so on. This structure may have served as a memory aid.