Psalm 37:4 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Psalm 37:4, NIV: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4, ESV: Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4, KJV: Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Psalm 37:4, NASB: Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4, NLT: Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart's desires.

Psalm 37:4, CSB: Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart's desires.

What does Psalm 37:4 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse is easily misapplied, as are many such references to the promises of God. To "delight in the Lord" is to enjoy all the blessings found in Him, because they are from Him, not merely because they are to our benefit. It's often said that the person who delights in the Lord values the Giver more highly than His gifts. The Hebrew word translated as "delight" here is from a root word that implies pleasure and enjoyment.

In context with the surrounding verses (Psalm 37:3, 5), this clearly refers to those whose desires are in harmony with those of God. A person who "delights in the Lord" has righteous desires. He will not desire anything that springs from selfish desires. No one can expect God to give something contrary to God's will, or the Lord's glory. So far as our wills are attuned to the will of God (John 14:15), our requests will be granted (John 14:14; Matthew 6:33). This idea is expressed often in the Psalms (Psalm 21:2; 145:19).

Some commentators suggest this statement could be interpreted to mean the Lord will place into our hearts those desires which are godly. In other words, when we delight in God, He makes us want what He wants (Romans 12:2; Galatians 5:16–24).

Psalm 16:11 assures us that in God's presence there is fullness of joy, and pleasures that last forever are at His right hand. A truly joyful life, one which extends through eternity, is based on our delighting ourselves in the Lord. The book of Ecclesiastes traces Solomon's search for happiness and meaning in a variety of things, but his search led only to emptiness until he found happiness and meaning in a personal relationship with God. At the end of the book he counsels his readers: "Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, 'I have no pleasure in them'" (Ecclesiastes 12:1).