Pleasure is from God and for God. As humans we have been wired by God to pursue satisfaction and to avoid pain. Unlike God, we tend to pursue pleasure more from earthly sources. Earthly pleasures can be very fulfilling because God has blessed us with enjoyable experiences on earth, but they can also be destructive when disconnected from God’s commands. God Himself takes greater pleasure in eternal things. He delights in those who fear Him, love Him, and humble themselves before Him. In this sense there is a pleasure found in a relationship with God that goes beyond any carnal pleasure we might enjoy.
God’s delight. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His steadfast love. – Psalm 147:11 ESV
Delight in God. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11 ESV
Delight from God. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. – Psalm 36:8 ESV
Pleasure in wisdom. Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. – Proverbs 10:23 ESV
Exercise self-control. Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat. – Proverbs 23:20 ESV
Pleasure can’t be ultimate. I said in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity. – Ecclesiastes 2:1 ESV
Sin is pleasurable. Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. – Proverbs 9:17 ESV
Sexual pleasure can be a snare. Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman and embrace the bosom of an adulteress? – Proverbs 5:20 ESV
When enjoyed in the context of God’s purpose, pleasure is a gift from our loving God to be enjoyed for His glory. Christians should enjoy sex within marriage, good food and drink in moderation, and healthy rhythms of work and leisure. The world needs to see Christians appropriately enjoying what God has created. This is because of greater importance than human pleasure is God’s pleasure and His purposes in creating it. God’s greatest delight is people who delight in Him. As we take pleasure in God and the things God has created, He will create opportunities for us to point others to the ultimate source of all pleasure, God Himself.
Song of Solomon
2 Timothy 3:1-5
1 John 2:16-17
Desiring God, by John Piper
Intended for Pleasure, by Ed and Gaye Wheat