He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me and were too strong for me. They attacked me at a moment when I was in distress, but the Lord supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me. (NLT)
It is a familiar theme in the Psalms that the Psalmist is in deep trouble and then is rescued by God. That is why the Psalms are so meaningful to us. They speak honestly about our human condition so that we don’t feel weird or deficient just because we need help. And they speak reassuringly of how God comes to our aid so that we don’t sink into despair.
What may escape our notice, though, is what is mentioned in the very last phrase of this Psalm. God rescues him because he delights in him. Here we do not have a picture of God dispassionately doing good out of some sort of duty. Instead we have a God who is delighting in the one in trouble. To put it rather daringly and metaphorically, we can imagine God having a smile on his face as he does so.
When God comes to our aid, he does so out of love. He does so because he delights in us. Even if we have gotten ourselves into the mess in the first place, he still delights in us. Even if he helps us over and over again, he still delights in us.
This is no egotistical assertion by the Psalmist. He is not setting himself up as God’s pet favourite. He is not boasting of his own goodness. He is simply reminding himself that he is not loved in some abstract, dutiful way. He is the object of divine delight. And so are we.