Back to Goldthorpe now, and Dave preached on Sunday night on ‘the pleasure of God’.

The Westminster Catechism was compiled by an Assembly of Church Fathers from England and Scotland in 1648. It was intended to teach the basic beliefs of the Christian faith and it has stood the passage of time and become one of the authoritative Creeds of the Christian church. It starts by asking the question ‘What is the chief and highest end of man?’ and answers this with ‘Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy Him forever.’

Job is one Bible character who really understood that it’s not all about us, but is all about God. Job was a God-fearing man who really did want to give his all for God’s service. In Job 1, we are given a glimpse into a conversation between God and Satan in which God asks Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant, Job?’ God took pleasure in Job’s life.

There are some things in which God takes no pleasure at all. Is 1:11 reminds us that God does not need our burnt offerings and sacrifices. We can be zealous in doing stuff for God, but outward obedience with no inner change of heart brings Him no pleasure at all. Ezek 33:11 also reminds us that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He wants everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).

God delights, rather, in those who fear Him (Ps 147:10-11). God delights when the prodigal returns home, when the lost is found (Luke 15). Eph 1:4-6 also shows us that God chose us to be His before the creation of the world ‘in accordance with His pleasure.’ We have been set completely free from the power of Satan; we are no longer slaves to sin and to the attractiveness of the world. We have chosen to turn from trying to live on our own resources and have decided to serve God and to live to please Him. Because we have done that, God has welcomed us into His presence. He has clothed us with the finest robe – the robe of righteousness.
He has prepared the most incredible banquet for us – the wedding Feast of His Son Jesus Christ. He has restored us into His family as His sons and daughters. We are, incredibly, through His mercy and grace, pleasing in His sight.