For God has given us these times of joy; they are scheduled in the laws of Israel.

~Psalm 81:4, TLB


The fruit trees of heaven bend over the walls so that you can pick a little fruit here and now.

~Vance Havner

When I say the word JEW, what pops in your mind? Tight, small, frugal, shrewd, sly, crafty or perhaps obnoxious. Did any of you think “Joy”? We don’t associate joy with Jews because they do not seem to be a happy people but there have been periods of history, brief as they were, when the Jews were happy but this joy was always linked to their obedience to God. If you study their history, there have not been that many generations of obedience. By and large, the Jews are a stubborn and rebellious people. They are bull-headed and stiff-necked. They want instructions from no one not even God. Three times in Psalm 81, God says, “O Israel, if you would only listen.” But of course, they refused to listen or to obey and God gave them over to their own devices.

Let me ask you a question: what if Israel had obeyed the LORD and became a LIGHT to the nations? What if they had embraced the Messiah and became the instrument of spreading the gospel to the world? I can tell exactly what would have happened. God would have blessed them and they would have become the most prosperous and powerful nation on earth. They choose to ignore Him and became a curse and a byword. They can cast themselves as victims if they want but the truth is–they are responsible for their plight. But as usual, I digress; so let me get back to the subject.

God want us to be happy but our happiness is bound up in holiness. God says, “Be holy, for I am holy.” He did not say, “Be happy for I am happy.” But I think you will agree with me that God is not unhappy. Jesus was full of joy. He was a joy to be with; a joy to know. God intends for us to have joy and that is why Moses scheduled “Joy” days on the calendar. The Jews had both fast days and feast days on the calendar. We need some feast days. We need festivals and festivities. I thought of Mandy when I wrote this blog. She always has her cruise dates and beach dates marked on her calendar. She keeps them before her at all times. Likewise, we keep our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Jesus endured the cross by focusing on the joy awaiting Him. Vance Havner was fond of saying, “The fruit tress of heaven bend over the walls and you can pick a little fruit now.” If a beach or a baseball game brings you joy here and now, just think how wonderful heaven will be.

Two new words for me. One I may have already shared because he came up a couple of weeks ago. It is vagaries, unexpected and inexplicable change is a situation or behavior. It is a kin to vicissitudes. The other one is totally new and it is ineffable which means too great or extreme to be described in words. God’s grace is ineffable.

I don’t like to cancel services in this cancel culture but it almost a sure way to insure our safety. When we cancel, nothing happens and that is good. Josh chases tornadoes but I don’t. I’ve been close, as close as a mile, but never been in one and I don’t care to have that testimony. As the kids say now a days, “I’m good.”

Really Big! Josh and I are praying about something that is really big. Remember the Andy Griffith show where Barney uses the phrase, “It’s big Andy, real big.” Andy says, “What is it Barn?” Barney reply, “It’s big, really big.” Well we are praying about something big.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *