GENESIS 2:15–17 – The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
THEME OF THE DAY. CREATED FOR PLEASURE. Human beings are “hard-wired” for pleasure. It is part of who we are as those created in God’s image. God is a God of pleasure and He created us with the desire, ability, and means to have it.
When it comes to pleasure, there are three things to consider. First, God takes pleasure in His creation. Take time soon and read the first two chapters of the Old Testament book of beginnings; Genesis. As we do, watch each day of creation unfold. God took pleasure at the end of each day with His Word saying, “And God saw it was good.” It is not hard to imagine the great delight in the Lord over His creative acts. But then, He gets to the high point of creation. He makes us on the sixth day and at the end, we read “And God saw everything He made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). The Lord is a pleasure-seeking God and He takes great pleasure in His powerful and beautiful acts of creation; even great pleasure in us!
The next consideration about pleasure is that God richly gives us all things in life to enjoy or take pleasure in. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy this truth, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17). The beauty of a sunrise, flower, and joy in human relationships are only small samplings of the wonderful things God provides for our pleasure. But there is a third truth about human pleasure . . . and a very important truth.
Lasting pleasure; the kind that satisfies the soul, puts the heart at rest, and will never fail to keep us in a spirit of contentment is found in God Himself. It won’t be things He gives which fulfill our longing for satisfaction. It is Him. And should we try to enjoy the pleasures He gives us without Him, they will not deliver. Oh, we will experience temporary pleasure. We even will get that in pursuing sinful things and sinful relationships. Yet, neither will meet what we were created for – God’s pleasure and to be satisfied in Him as our chief pleasure. And we may know if we are people seeking pleasure without God. The indicators we are doing so will be the inevitable discontent that will settle into our hearts and the vain pursuit of something or someone new to satisfy our inward yearning.
So, in the pursuit of pleasure, let’s strive to remember a couple of things. We are created for pleasure and its highest form is in God, Himself. When it comes to pleasure, let’s strive to be able to proclaim with all sincerity and praise these words of the Psalmist . . . “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). It is Him, the Lord Himself, who is our greatest pleasure. Don’t waste time, effort, and emotional energy on anything or anyone else to give what only God can give; pleasure in the soul we were created to have.
PRAYER: “Father, help to see my greatest joy and path to happiness is in obeying You.”
QUOTE: “Low levels of obedience to God’s Word produce low levels of joy and happiness.”