RIVER OF PLEASURE

Ps. 36:8 – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

All of us have a huge thirst for pleasure, that is part of being created in the image of God. Obviously, the Lord Himself has an infinite thirst for pleasure. With Him there is a total contentment in Himself which is quite interesting. How can someone be satisfied yet at the same time long for more? That is the unusual characteristic of spiritual thirst. We too are ever thirsting even as we are totally satisfied in Christ alone. In this verse David sang of a river of pleasure. Ezekiel swam in it, John had a vision of it, and Jesus prophesied about it. David connected this river to the house of God. That is quite amazing. Today, that is exactly where this river is flowing. Churches, the house of God, is the place where this river can be found. Here is how Charles Spurgeon describes this verse.

“And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. As they have the fruits of Eden to feed on, so shall they have the river of Paradise to drink from. God’s everlasting love bears to us a constant and ample comfort, of which grace makes us to drink by faith, and then our pleasure is of the richest kind. The Lord not only brings us to this river, but makes us drink: herein we see the condescension of divine love. Heaven will, in the fullest sense, fulfill these words; but they who trust in the Lord enjoy the ante-past even here. The happiness given to the faithful is that of God himself; purified spirits joy with the same joy as the Lord himself. “That my joy may be in you, that your joy may be full.”

Spurgeon used an interesting phrase in his commentary, ante-past. This is a foretaste of the coming feast. In this life we drink as the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us. In the coming kingdom we will actually live in the river of His presence. If the foretaste is so satisfying and attractive, how much more when the fullness comes. David spoke of something more than casual satisfaction. The word he used could be translated soak, satiate, or intoxicate. David is describing an excessive encounter. If that is available in this life imagine the unbridled joy in heaven

DRINKING AND THE ANOINTING

Ps.36:7- O God, how extravagant is your cherishing love!

All mankind can find a hiding place

under the shadow of your wings.

All may drink of the anointing from the abundance of your house.

All may drink their fill from the delightful springs of Eden.

To know you is to experience a flowing fountain,

drinking in your life, springing up to satisfy.

In your light we receive the light of revelation.

The anointing is probably the most ignored element of our Christian faith. Many churches have set up their services where it would actually be impossible for the presence of God to manifest in any significant way. The tragedy of course is this, the purpose of the church according to Paul is to be the habitation of the Spirit. It is not to be just a habitation of some idea or belief about the Spirit, but actually the place He is welcomed and sought. It is the local church that is intended to be the main place the glory of God is on display to the world. The worship services should be the place where the corporate anointing, which is specific for each house, is nurtured. Actually the alternate translation for verse Ps.36:7 is this, “They will be satisfied [or watered] in the abundance of your house.” So it is in the house of God that we are watered or are intended to drink of the anointing.

In verse 8 David talked about the abundance of God’s house. The abundance he is speaking of is the abundance of the anointing. Here is how the Passion Translation Notes describe this.

“The Hebrew word for “abundance” is actually butterfat or oil. It is a symbol of the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

One of the shocking characteristics of the anointing is clearly seen in this verse. Drinking His anointing is the place where we experience God’s supernatural joy. This verse actually describes this place with the Hebrew word Eden. Here are the comments from the Passion Notes.

“Eden’s rivers of pleasure.” The garden of Eden had flowing rivers of delight. Eden means “pleasure.” The Hebrew word used here is the plural form of Eden, Edens.”

Putting this two ideas together we have to draw certain conclusions. The anointing is intended to be on display at church. When that is the case the church become the place of exceeding supernatural joy.

FISH AND BREAD

Ps.36:8 – They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

They shall be abundantly satisfied – they shall be saturated, as a thirsty field is by showers from heaven….they shall be inebriated. — Vulgate

One of my favorite miracles in the ministry of Jesus is the Feeding off the Multitudes. Every part of this miracle is rich with spiritual implications. Each part has something to say to us in our day to day life. After the Lord had multiplied the little boy’s lunch and everyone had been fed, the eye witness, Matthew, gives us a glimpse into the scene. This is what he said, “So they all ate and were filled”. Think about this, they ate that supernatural meal and they were filled. This was more than just food for the belly, this was food for their souls. In today’s verse David aptly describes this spiritual meal. He said that we are abundantly satisfied by the fullness of our Father’s house. Don’t you get it. The Lord had spread a table in the wilderness, they were eating heavenly food at the Father’s table that day, not just fish and bread.

The crazy thing about this story is that it tells us a lot about man’s spiritual condition. The overwhelming majority of the crowd missed the whole point. They proceeded to try and make Jesus their earthly king.

“This is great!”, they imagined. We have a king who will drive out the Romans, and provide our temporal needs. That’s why the next day when the Lord began to talk about His body and blood the crowds were appalled. As a matter of fact the crowds were gone. They weren’t interested in a heavenly kingdom, they wanted their best life now. Sound familiar!

Jesus proceeded to ask His disciples if they were going to leave too. Thankfully Peter finally got it right. His answer? “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Even though the large crowds were gone from the ministry of Jesus, His course had been set that day. He had come to set up a kingdom, just not the kind the crowds were looking for.

So in our modern world we have to ask ourselves the question, “Why am I following Jesus?” Is it for an earthly free ride or is there more to it than just fish and bread.

DRINK FROM THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Ps.36:8 – They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;

And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.

Have you ever pondered the thought that God Himself created pleasure. We may have a hard time seeing that clearly looking through the lens of our fallen nature but God Himself is the inventor of enjoyment. Who is the One who conceived of honey, watermelons, and bananas? Not only did He create a world filled with savory pleasures, He also invented tastebuds to enjoy them. What about mountain streams and cascading waterfalls, lush tropical forests and arctic tundras? Not to forget sunflowers, roses, and lilies. Then He had to create light, eyes (with all their complications), and a brain to process and enjoy the magnificent beauty all around us. All of these creations point to their source, the fountainhead of everything Who is God Himself. All of the pleasure that we see and enjoy in this life are only signposts pointing to Beauty Himself. As Solomon said, He is altogether lovely. Here are some thoughts on pleasure from C. S. Lewis.

“And in there, beyond Nature, we shall eat of the tree of life. At present, if we are reborn in Christ, the spirit in us lives directly on God; but the mind and, still more, the body receives life from Him at a thousand removes—through our ancestors, through our food, through the elements. The faint, far-off results of those energies which God’s creative rapture implanted in matter when He made the worlds are what we now call physical pleasures; and even thus filtered, they are too much for our present management. What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy. As St. Augustine said, the rapture of the saved soul will “flow over” into the glorified body. In the light of our present specialized and depraved appetites, we cannot imagine this torrens voluptatis, and I warn everyone most seriously not to try.”

So if there is a Creator and He made us with this thirst for pleasure maybe just maybe we should stop trying to limit our pleasures in this life and call that spiritual. Maybe what we are looking for is pleasure Himself. Maybe all these earthly pleasures are just pointing to the abundance of joy found in the presence of the Lord.

SEEING THE WORLD BY A WHOLE NEW LIGHT

Ps.36:9 – For with You is the fountain of life;

In Your light we see light.

I see the world differently than I used to. The light that revealed Christ to me has literally changed my view of everything. Things like marriage and money and football; my way of looking at all of those things has changed. I can’t even go for a drive or a walk in the neighborhood without being taken back by this glorious world of light. You see when Christ turned the light on in my life He lit up the whole world. Just think about it, when blind Bartimaeus was first awakened from his sleep he not only saw Christ, he saw his whole world differently. He had never been able to see children or waterfalls, he never saw an apple or a butterfly, he had never gazed into the sky or had seen the blazing glory of the sun; now his whole world was lit up. This is a great description of what happens to all people who are born again. Their world which was once dark is now ablaze with light. Everything is different now; church is different, the Bible is beaming with light, even our every day ordinary stuff caries a new shimmer of life. Christ has lit up our world. Here is how C.S. Lewis describes this.

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”

That pretty much tells the story, I now see everything else by this light that has awakened my soul. I can never look at my world in the same way that I used to, before I was feeling my way through life, now it is alive with the glory of the Lord.

That is the funny thing about being awakened from the slumber of spiritual darkness; we are blind and dysfunctional and don’t realize it. We think we are doing okay when we don’t even have a clue what real life is even like. We are stuck on survival in this physical world when the unseen world is just under our noses. Bartimaeus would never go back to those long dark days again, neither will I. He was too busy enjoying and exploring this world of light; like Bartimaeus, we live in a different world now.

SCRATCHING FOR CRUMBS

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Psa. 36:7 How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

Have you had the privilege of catching a glimpse behind the veil? Obviously, that veil in the temple pictures human flesh and everything in this life that blocks the striking view of the glory of the Lord. The veil has been torn by the death of Christ giving us access into this glory; but there remains a problem. Only faith can gain entrance into this amazing place. Many Christians spend their entire lives outside the veil never enjoying the very thing that has been purchased by the redeeming blood of Jesus. Looking at principles and precepts thinking that the best they can do is somehow improve their earthly life not knowing that another world lies just behind the veil. Many think that faith is about self improvement rather than access into the holiest of all. Here are some thoughts from Spurgeon on today’s verse.

“Here we enter into the Holy of Holies. Benevolence, and mercy, and justice, are everywhere, but the excellence of that mercy only those have known whose faith has lifted the veil and passed into the brighter presence of the Lord; these behold the excellency of the Lord’s mercy. The word translated excellent may be rendered “precious; “no gem or pearl can ever equal in value a sense of the Lord’s love. This is such a brilliant as angels wear. King’s regalia are a beggardly collection of worthless pebbles when compared with the tender mercies of Jehovah. David could not estimate it, and therefore, after putting a note of admiration, he left our hearts and imagination, and, better still, our experience, to fill up the rest. He writes how excellent! because he cannot tell us the half of it.”

If you pay careful attention to David’s words and the words of Spurgeon you begin to realize they both share a common experience. Both of them have seen something more precious than anything this world offers. They have not only seen this precious life, they have entered into it and embraced it. From the moment that this other life became theirs a new purpose gripped their souls. What was that new passion? It was to tell as many others as possible this new life that is available now. Don’t settle for a beggardly life (Spurgeon’s word) scratching around for crumbs when this amazing new life is right under your nose.

THE BALANCE OF GOD

Ps 36:8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,

And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.
The Lord has a way of taking care of our whole life, the spiritual and the natural are covered by the blessing of the Lord. David spoke here of the blessing of his Father’s house. I am sure he had his Father Jesse’s house as well as His heavenly Father’s house in mind. David came from a prominent family in Bethlehem. He had great memories of his father’s house. I can remember having those feelings, especially when I was struggling to make ends meet with my young family. My father’s house was like a refuge, a place of blessing and abundance. Parris and I would load the kids into the van and head to my father’s house, we knew the fridge would be full. David was also thinking of the abundance of His heavenly Father’s house. The spiritual blessings flow like a river, a river of life that never runs dry. Here are some thoughts from John Calvin on the blessings of the Father’s house.
“I have no doubt that by the fatness of God’s house the prophet means the abundance of good things which is not designed for all men indiscriminately, but is laid up in store for the children of God who commit themselves wholly to his protection. Some restrict the expression to spiritual graces; but to me it seems more likely, that under it are comprehended all the blessings that are necessary to the happiness and comfort of the present life, as well as those which pertain

to eternal and heavenly blessedness. It ought, however, to be observed, that in the style of speaking which the prophet here employs, the use of earthly blessings is connected with the gracious experience of faith, in the exercise of which we can alone enjoy them rightfully and lawfully to our own welfare. When the ungodly glut themselves with the abundance of God’s benefits, their bodies indeed grow fat like the flesh of cattle or swine, but their souls are always empty and famished. It is the faithful alone, as I have said, who are satisfied with the goodness of God towards them, because it is to them a pledge of his fatherly love.”
There is a carnal ‘fatness’ that comes from carnal indulgence. There is also a spiritual ‘fatness’ that comes from delighting in the abundance of our Father’s house. What kind of ‘fat’ are you?

THE EARTH CAN’T CONTAIN HIM

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY

“God’s love is meteoric, his loyalty astronomic, His purpose titanic, his verdicts oceanic. Yet in his largeness nothing gets lost; Not a man, not a mouse, slips through the cracks. How exquisite your love, O God! How eager we are to run under your wings, To eat our fill at the banquet you spread as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water. You’re a fountain of cascading light, and you open our eyes to light.”  (Psalm 36:5-9 MSG)

Sometimes it just does one good to expand your vocabulary to try to take in more of God. When we learn to selah, we will hear His voice speaking upon our souls. Let me break down the description the Message Bible uses.

1. Meteoric-transient brilliance, suddenness of appearance, swiftness

2. Astronomic-extremely large; exceedingly great; enormous:

3. Titanic- enormous size, strength, power, etc.; gigantic.

4. Oceanic-apparent limitlessness in extent or degree

Or you could say His love is of transient brilliance, his loyalty enormous, his purpose gigantic and his verdicts limitless. Makes you wonder how our world would look like if we lived in the realm of God?

Gill said, “How would yours look, my friend! if all at once a window in heaven was opened, and God glared in upon you? Set your lives side by side with Him. They always are side by side with Him whether you know it or not; but you had better bring your ‘deeds to the light that they may be made manifest’ now, than to have to do it as suddenly, and a great deal more sorrowfully, when you are dragged out of the shows and illusions of time, and He meets you on the threshold of another world. Would a beam of light from God, coming in upon your life, be like a light falling upon a gang of conspirators, that would make them huddle all their implements under their cloaks, and scuttle out of the way as fast as possible? Or would it be like a gleam of sunshine upon the flowers, opening out their petals and wooing from them fragrance? Which?”

Take God in today and let him expand your belief system. Pray again, believe again and take that step again.

“The Lord overshadows his people as a hen protects her brood, or as an eagle covers its young; and we as the little ones run under the blessed shelter and feel at rest. To cower down under the wings of God is so sweet. Although the enemy be far too strong for us, we have no fear, for we nestle under the Lord’s wing. O that more of Adam’s race knew the excellency of the heavenly shelter! It made Jesus weep to see how they refused it: our tears may well lament the same evil.” Treasury of David

Let his overwhelming love surround you and take you further and deeper than you could ever dream. Breakthrough!

ARE YOU SATISFIED?

“‘They shall be abundantly satisfied with the abundance of Thy house; and Thou shall make them drink of the river of Thy pleasure’ Ps.36:8.

Satisfied; that is a really descriptive word. Could you describe your life as satisfied? Several individuals come to my mind when I think of satisfied. First, I think of the old prophet Simeon after he had prophesied over the infant Jesus and his parents. Next, my thoughts go to Mary of Bethany, she was satisfied or content at the Master’s feet. Then there is the Apostle Paul in prison in Rome, he had learned about contentment and satisfaction that sustained him in those long prison days. And of course, we have to mention King David. It wasn’t his conquests, his wealth, his power or even his wives that brought him satisfaction; it was basking in God’s glory in his tent tabernacle. David had discovered that “one thing” which is the secret of life. Here are some thoughts by F.E. Marsh on contentment found in the Lord.

“The word rendered abundantly satisfied (in today’s verse) means to give satisfaction, to satiate, and is variously used. The word is used of a ground soaked with blood (Isa. 34:7); of a mother who feeds to satisfier child with her breast (Prov. 5:19); of the rain which watereth the earth (Isa. 40:10); of God He is said to have satiated the weary soul (Jer. 31:25); and one made drunken (Lam. 3:15). Thus when the Lord promises to abundantly satisfy, it means to soak and drench the soul. What a commentary we have upon this in what is said of the early disciples; they said ‘these men are filled with new wine.’ Surely, too, there is some correspondence in the Lord’s Word, when He commands and says, ‘Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled (drunk) with the Spirit.’ As a man filled with spirits will do things he would never otherwise think of doing, so the Spirit-drenched believer is moved into the supernatural and accomplishes things beyond the human and is wonderfully and enthusiastically satisfied with Christ, so that sin and worldly pleasures have no charm and attraction.”

So my question comes to mind again, are you satisfied in life? You can be. It won’t come from your house, your possessions, your retirement plan, or from your vacations. It won’t even come from your kids or grandkids. Take it from David, “they shall be abundantly satisfied with the abundance of Your house…”

BURST ALL THE GOURDS

BLAST ALL THE GOURDS…

Psa. 36:8 They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house;
And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.

All of us have a huge appetite for joy. Actually, it is a God-sized appetite. Just think about it, no species other than human beings has such a longing for pleasure. This longing for pleasure was created in all of us by God; it was twisted and distorted by the fall. It’s not that our desires for pleasure are too strong, they are just misdirected. Humans from the dawn of time have been hotly in pursuit of pleasure, we can’t help ourselves. It is in the very make up of our being. Charles Spurgeon spoke about the satisfying of that pursuit. Check this out.

“Blast all his gourds (like Jonah), and he will find shadow beneath the Rock of Ages; sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord. The heart is as insatiable as the grave till Jesus enters it, and then it is a cup full to overflowing. There is such a fullness in Christ that he alone is the believer’s all. The true saint is so completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he thirsts no more-except it be for deeper draughts of the living fountain. In that sweet manner, believer, shalt thou thirst; it shall not be a thirst of pain, but of loving desire; thou wilt find it a sweet thing to be panting after a fuller enjoyment of Jesus’ love. One in days of yore said, I have been sinking my bucket down into the well full often, but now my thirst after Jesus has become so insatiable, that I long to put the well itself to my lips, and drink right on. Is this the feeling of thine heart now, believer? Dost thou feel that all thy desires are satisfied in Jesus, and that thou hast no want now, but to know more of him, and to have closer fellowship with him? Then come continually to the fountain, and take of the water of life freely. Jesus will never think you take too much, but will ever welcome you, saying, Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.”

Spurgeon is describing the only thing that will fulfill our thirst for joy in this life, drinking from the well of Living water provided for us when we meet Jesus. Have you been to the fountain? David called it a “river of delights”, Jesus called it a “well of living water”, and Ezekiel said “it was a river we can swim in”. Every generation has those that discover and embrace this joy of all joys that satisfies the seemingly unsatisfiable soul of man. Have you found this unseen river? If you have, you would know. Even though it can’t be seen with our natural eyes it is more real than any natural river you have ever swam in. Once you discover this river of joy, the unsatisfiable thirst in your soul will finally be slaked.