“Lord, all my desire is before thee: and my groaning
is not hid from thee.” Psalm 38:9
All my desire is before thee. Nothing is hidden. Hebrews 4:13 says, “neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” All we desire He already knows!
Desire intonates a longing, something delightful or charming; a dainty that can be exceeding or greedy or lustful; to wish for or to covet. Yes, God knows our heart’s desire. Here in Psalm 38 the Psalmist is in a repenting frame of mind. His heart and desire is open before the Lord for examination. It is a good reference to Psalm 139:23, 24 where the Psalmist asks the Lord to examine his heart and reveal any wickedness.
Have you ever have a good intention or desire that quickly became tainted as you saw other less noble desires seeking fulfilment in the same action? For example, you want to do a kindness for someone, yet when you do, pride steps in, or greed, as you think how you might be repaid? We are truly faulty through and through. We groan with this old man and yet God loves us still. As his children he sees the glimmer of hope within us through the blood of Christ. God does not see our sinfulness. This is a paradox, yet God specializes in these!
All my desire and all my groaning are before him; still he looks on me with love. I do not need fear the “dark side” of my character. I also do not need to feed it, but allow the goodness of God (Romans 2:4) to lead me to the Psalmist’s attitude of repentance and openness before my Great Heavenly Father. God knows me thoroughly! There is nothing I can hide from Him.
Can you honestly pray this prayer? “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23, 24
“Unto the woman he said,…and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
“I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” Song of Solomon 7:10
“So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for He is thy Lord; and worship thou him.” Psalm 45:11
In Genesis and Song of Solomon the Hebrew word for desire is the same. It means a sense of stretching out after, a longing, and comes from a word that means to run after or overflow. So in these verses the desire between the woman in Genesis and the beloved in Song of Solomon is an intense longing that reaches out for (desires) the other.
Genesis 3:16 is a part of the curse. One would have to suppose that Eve must have had no real sense of longing toward Adam before the fall if this desire was added after the creation. So after the fall, she felt a real need or desire for her husband. Some say that this desire relates to being put under authority, but the definition does not lend to that interpretation. Where Eve was an individual created by God for a specific purpose in the garden, her individuality after the fall was now intertwined with her now natural desire for companionship with her mate.
Have a look at Song of Solomon. We belong to the Lord and his desire, his longing, is toward us. Since it is the same word, we can surmise that the attitude and action would be the same. The Lord’s desire is toward us. This does not mean that he is put under our authority. It means that he desires our company. He reaches out to us. He is not willing that any perish and Isaiah says that his hand is stretched out to us.
Psalm 45:11 says that the King, our Lord, desires our beauty. This word for desire gives the idea of being desirous, wishing for or coveting after. He does not desire our physical beauty, but spiritual. It is found in our worship and heart attitude toward him, that “hidden man of the heart (I Peter 3:4) which is in the sight of God of great price. It is based upon the blood of Christ shed for us; the blood that makes us righteous and of great beauty! Do you long after the Lord? Do you seek his attention? He desires yours!
“…and he shall give thee the desire of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4
Be careful what you pray for; you just might get it! God loves us and one of his greatest desires is to bless. He wants to express his love and blessing to us more than we desire to receive it - exceedingly, abundantly more as Ephesians 3:20 states.
As a child I would grant my mother three wishes. She would always say, “Health, wealth and happiness”. Her reasoning was that if she were healthy she would be happy. If she were wealthy she would be happy, and if she were neither healthy nor wealthy, at least she would be happy!
James says we have not because we ask not (James 4:2). Is that because we do not believe that God is able to give us our desires, or is it that our desires are not in line with God’s desires for us? We must be aware of the deceitfulness of our own hearts when it comes to our desires. True happiness is not found in the abundance of the things we possess or the success to which we attain.
God’s ability to bless is not dependent upon our own merits. He does not reward us according to our iniquity, nor does he withhold blessing just to be obstinate.
David, a man after God’s own heart, states in Psalm 84:11, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” So, an upright walk does place us in a position to be blessed.
Delight, obey, rejoice, seek, and turn your heart and its desire wholly toward the Lord. Then he can make all your dreams come true. You just might be surprised what form they take!
So, what do you desire? What three wishes might you make?
“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their hearts, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” Psalm 10:17
What might the humble desire? Surely it would be devoid of vice. It would most likely have God’s will as supreme. The Psalmist says that God prepares their heart so He can hear their prayers. A heart so attuned would have even their prayers aligned with God’s heart and will.
Proverbs 19:22 says, “The desire of a man is his kindness…” Matthew Henry explains “It cannot but be the desire of a man, if he have any spark of virtue in him, to be kind. It is far better to have a heart to do good and want (lack) ability for it than to have ability for it and want (lack) a heart to it.” Therefore, do kindness, do good, and withhold not!
Proverbs 11:23 and 10:24 state that the desire of the righteous is only good and shall be granted. So, being right with God and right before God yields fruit. Goodness is one such fruit. The desire for good comes from the work of the Spirit in our lives. God will honour His Word and work. Desires so placed will be granted.
Do my desires align with humility, kindness and goodness? “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:22 Are my desires properly placed? Am I in a position to receive the promise of God through kindness and humility?
“For the wicked boasted of his heart’s desire…” Psalm 10:3
“The desire of the slothful killeth him…” Proverbs 21:25
Misplaced desires are detrimental. The Psalmist said “…the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire…”, and the writer of Proverbs warned, “the desire of the slothful killeth him…” Both the wicked and the slothful seek to satisfy their desire without thought of God: the wicked is a braggart who tramples over others to attain his goals while the slothful dreams of instant riches without labour.
Psalm 78:29 says, “for he gave them their own desire”. Sometimes God gives men over to their desire, albeit to their own destruction.
For the righteous, attainment of desire is sweet. Proverbs 13:19 “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” And, it gives life. “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” Proverbs 13:12 God’s promise to the righteous in Psalm 145:19 is that “He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him…” This is vastly different from the motivation and outcome of the wicked and slothful.
So, let us make certain our desires are properly placed so we can be in position to receive the promise of God as recorded in Isaiah 26:8,9. “Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Lord, have we waited for thee; the desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”
Do you have misplaced desires? What are your life’s motivations? Are they working for you or against you?