Proverbs 21:15

It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
– Proverbs 21:15

The word for joy means gladness, or pleasure. Judgment refers to justice, or just dealing. It can mean a legal verdict in the official sense of justice, or it can refer to the just respect and treatment of others in our dealings. The word for destruction means ruin, or terror. The just and upright delight in justice being done and it terrifies the wicked, because they want justice to be bendable to their advantage (Proverbs 17:23). This proverb complements Proverbs 10:29 where the way of the Lord, which is the way of judgment, is a fortification for the upright but a terror to the wicked.

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Proverbs 18:2

A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
– Proverbs 18:2

This proverb amplifies the point of Proverbs 17:28. Fools are described as having little to no control over their tongues throughout Proverbs, and this lack of control easily marks them a fool before others. The word for delight means to take pleasure, or we could say, inclination. The word for understanding means intelligence, but not innate mental capacity. It refers more to the skill of discernment, to distinguish between. Solomon instructs his son to seek it diligently as searching for hidden treasure (Proverbs 2:1-5). To acquire understanding, one has to humble himself to be instructed (Proverbs 5:1). Acquiring understanding is also a spiritual issue, since you must begin with the fear of the Lord and comprehend that understanding comes “out of his mouth” (Proverbs 2:5-6), i.e., God’s word (Matthew 4:4). Acquiring understanding is impossible independent of, or contrary to, God (Proverbs 21:30).

The fool has no delight in the instruction and correction of wisdom. Rather his joy rests in speaking his own thoughts and feelings. The word for heart often means mind, but the context is appropriate to say thoughts and feelings. The word for discover itself means to expose, or uncover. The fool doesn’t want to be taught, but is rather always waiting for opportunities to empty his emotional bucket (Proverbs 15:2). Fools have no joy in life until they’ve exposed themselves in some manner (Proverbs 13:16), and Solomon elsewhere described them as always advertising their folly (Ecclesiastes 10:3).

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Proverbs 16:13

Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.
– Proverbs 16:13

The word for righteous means justice and righteous lips is put for honest speech. A wise king delights, or takes pleasure in truthfulness rather than flattery and bribes (Proverbs 15:27; 28:16; 29:4). The word for right means straight. Kings and those in authority with any wisdom value honesty in their counselors (Proverbs 14:35; 22:11). By the previous proverb, such kings know that righteousness in their rule establishes their throne and wickedness overthrows it.

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Proverbs 15:8

The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
– Proverbs 15:8

This proverb deals with worship and our approach to God. It is consistent with the rest of Scripture in that worship is a matter of spirit and not outward form (1 Samuel 15:22). The word for sacrifice refers to the slaughter of an animal, and contextually to the purpose of offering to the Lord. It is a ritual act. Even if the outward act is performed impeccably, the wicked condition of the offerer’s heart makes it an abomination to God (Isaiah 1:10-15). The wicked despise God’s word and want to perform a ritual for acceptance, but God hates and rejects it (Proverbs 21:27; 28:9; Luke 6:46). The contrast is the delight, pleasure or acceptance, of the prayer of the upright (Proverbs 15:29; 1 Chronicles 29:17).

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Proverbs 11:20

They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
– Proverbs 11:20

The word for froward is common in the Proverbs and means twisted, or perverse. I like to think of it as bent, as in bending away from wisdom. A perverse or twisted heart is abhorrent to God and the line suggests they invite his judgment upon them. By contrast, the upright walk according to wisdom and are his delight. Therefore, they invite his pleasure and blessing upon them (Psalm 18:25-26; 11:7; 140:13).

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Proverbs 11:1

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
– Proverbs 11:1

The law forbade conducting deceptive transactions and cheating the scale (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13-16). God rebuked Israel for this sin through the prophets (Amos 8:5; Micah 6:10). Wisdom likewise teaches the abomination of false balances (Proverbs 16:11; 20:10, 23). A just weight is a complete measure, or we might think of it as accurate. God delights in this sort of honesty, fairness, and just dealings.

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Proverbs 5:18

Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.
– Proverbs 5:18

Solomon admonishes to be delighted in your wife. The verses in this section emphasize the physical relation of a husband and a wife, but the physical relation is never entirely physical. This is one of the reasons Paul warned the Corinthians against fornication (1 Corinthians 6:15-16). The physical in marriage is one of the aspects of the bonding of husband and wife together. All these work together over time to deepen the bond in marriage physically, emotionally, mentally, etc.

The second phrase is laden with meaning. To rejoice is to be glad, it speaks of more than a resigned contentment. It is a happiness that is shared and enjoyed. The wife of your youth refers to the design of marriage to be one man and one woman for life (Ecclesiastes 9:9). God has designed for husband and wife to live together from youth and share all the experiences of life together. To grow old together and to stand by one another through all that comes. Neither a wife nor a husband should ever be worried about the love and loyalty of their spouse (Malachi 2:14). This is the path of wisdom and the path of a blessed and satisfying life on earth.

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Proverbs 5:15

Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.
– Proverbs 5:15

Verses 15-19 give a beautiful picture of delight in marriage. The Bible employs some delicacy in euphemism when addressing such matters. Though the physical occupies a prime place in these instructions, it is never dealt with crassly. For example, the Song of Solomon speaks of marital intimacy by painting beautiful and poetic word pictures like a banquet in a garden. We shouldn’t shrink back from anything in the Bible, but we should let the Bible also guide us and give indication as to how certain topics should be publicly discussed and taught.

The first images used are that of a cistern and a well. The picture is of a man finding lasting satisfaction from water in his own well or cistern. The well is continual source and also a private source. God has designed marriage for a man and a woman to find a deepening relationship that exists only between them and satisfies them both mentally, emotionally, and physically (1 Corinthians 7:2-5). It’s not that a husband or wife take ownership of the other, but that each is to give themselves to the other.

Faithful marriage promises and provides lasting satisfaction, which the strange woman, fornication, and adultery do not (Proverbs 5:3-5). Faithful marriage provides a constancy between a husband and a wife and a growing relationship on an intellectual as well as emotional and physical level. The strange woman is unstable and unknowable and whatever momentary thrill she excites is nothing in comparison (Proverbs 5:6). Drinking water from your own well is also a picture of delight at home. The strange woman is not building a home but gadding about (Proverbs 7:10-11) and giving herself to many (Proverbs 6:26).

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Psalm 119:47

And I will delight myself in thy commandments,
which I have loved.
~ Psalm 119:47

If we consider all the Psalms together, they run the gamut of expression. There are great depths of sorrow, misery, dryness and crumbling because of sin, confession, repentance, praise, God’s glory, and prophecy. It’s a pity these are not demotic, but perhaps that is why they are striking.

Verse 47 of this great Psalm has another expression of this sort. The Psalmist speaks of God’s commandments and speaks of delight and love. This expression is common throughout this Psalm (Psalm 119:47-48, 97, 127, 140, 167, 174).

The word for delight here is also used to speak of a child playing (Isaiah 11:8) and conveys the thought of seeking pleasure or enjoyment. The word for love is used to speak of a diversity of types of affection. So the Psalmist has great affection for the Word and seeks his delight in it. He has obviously made a high treasure of the Word and consequently his heart follows.

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