Read Psalm 147:11
Take a slow, deep breath. Unclench your jaw. Take your tongue off of the roof of your mouth. Lower your shoulders, relax your hands, and release any other tension you may find in your body. Now let’s read our verse again.
“The Lord takes delight in his faithful followers, and in those who wait for his loyal love.”
In the verses preceding this one, the psalmist urges God’s people to praise God for who He is and all He’s done by recounting a number of attributes of God’s character: His power and wisdom, faithfulness to His people, care and provision for His creation, to name a few. The psalmist alternates between examples of God’s grandeur (creating and sustaining all things) and God’s intimate nature (setting His people apart and caring for them intimately), and illustrates these attributes with verbs: The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem and gathers exiles (verse 2), counts and names all the stars (verse 4), provides the earth with rain (verse 8) and gives food to the animals (verse 9), lifts up the oppressed (verse 6), and bandages the wounds of and heals the brokenhearted (verse 3).
As we come to our verse, the psalmist identifies what God loves, and we get a glimpse of the Father’s heart. “The Lord takes delight in his faithful followers and those who wait for his loyal love” (emphasis added). In considering a list of verbs that could explain why God would delight in His people, verbs like pray, serve, give, evangelize or study, may come to mind. But here we see that God’s delight is not in those who do a lot or have all the answers. In fact, the preceding verse says that “He is not enamored with the strength of a horse, nor is He impressed by the warrior’s strong legs.” Instead, we see that God’s delight is in those who wait for His loyal love.
Wait for his loyal love. Wait is a verb and an action, but it implies stillness. It is not passive or without focus, as we see what God’s faithful followers are to wait for: His loyal love. The definition of wait is “to stay in place in expectation of.” Other translations of this verse use the verb hope. There is perhaps no greater example of God’s loyal love being displayed than through the life, death and resurrection of His Son Jesus.
The psalmist begins and ends the psalm with this phrase: “Praise the Lord!” This Advent season may we, as we wait expectantly for the coming of Christ, Praise the Lord.
There are many ways we are tempted to earn God’s delight. Take a moment to consider what these may be for you. As they come to mind, bring them before the Lord. Ask him to show you what it means for you to “wait for His faithful love.”
Take a few moments to praise God. Consider ways you’ve seen or experienced God’s loyal love in your life. Take some time to taste and see that God is good: Maybe reflect on scripture or a song, spend time in nature or eating a delicious meal, or write down a few things you’re grateful for.
Father, I praise You for who You are! You are the creator and sustainer of all things, yet You know and love me intimately. Thank You for the ways you have continued to show Your faithfulness to me, even as I have been unfaithful to You. Help me to wait expectantly on Your faithful, loyal love.
Janelle has attended Scarlet City Church for 10 years. She serves with the music team and leads a City Group.