His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. (Psalm 147:10–11 ESV)
I can not fathom any person in all of creation that would take pleasure in my legs. My wife and children tell me that I have “chicken legs,” and it is no wonder that God himself doesn’t delight in them.
I do not think the verse above is speaking about the legs of man being a pleasurable object to look at, I just found it a bit funny this morning to ponder 😊. I think what God means is that he does not take pleasure nor delight in the abilities of man or animal. The horse has the ability of strength, and the man (at least in that day) had the ability to run long distances to communicate a message that a text would do in a split second today. It is striking though that God does indeed take pleasure in certain men, women, and children. God takes pleasure in those whom fear him and who hope in his steadfast love.
I like that fear and hope are coupled together in this text. Fearing God is a good thing. It is the beginning of wisdom, it enables us to depart from sin, and is the chief purpose of mankind according to Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13. But the thing that pleases God is when this fear is grown in a heart that hopes in our Redeemer’s steadfast love. I think the reason has to do with the depth of our knowledge of God.
It is one thing to refrain oneself from committing acts of sin because you fear judgement from an all knowing Judge on the last day. It is quite another to know that this just Judge has an eternally unchanging depth of love for you. Knowing God at this level brings our all knowing Judge a delightful pleasure. He does not delight in our abilities, but in our sweet fearful resting upon his unchanging love toward us through Christ.