“For seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.”
~Deuteronomy 16:15, NASB
The ways of God, in the end, all lead to joy.
What is your favorite holiday? For most Christians, it is Christmas with Thanksgiving running a close second. When does Christmas come? It comes at the end of the year. For the ancient Jews, Sukkot, the feast of Tabernacles was the favorite holiday and it came at the end of the year. It was very close to our THANKSGIVING because it was a harvest festival. This feast was filled with celebration. I love to watch the Jews celebrate; I love their music and dancing. I can’t sing, dance or make music but I can enjoy observing them. Moses commanded them to be joyful. I wish I could command joy; I would do it before every worship service.
In this world, the greatest things, including pleasures come first. In our youth we can run, jump, play ball, hike, swim and do all sorts of things but there are not that many 72 year old athletes. I loved to run but my running days are over. There are some other things that are over and I’m not talking about bad or evil things: I am speaking of things older people no longer enjoy. We do enjoy eating. So, what is my point? Pleasure is not an evil thing and it is not the devil’s creation but we have to face the facts, in life here on earth, these pleasures do not last. They are fleeting; they grow old and they pass away. I watched my mother age. She enjoyed reading until she got in her 90’s; she also enjoyed the game shows on TV but eventually she lost interest in both. Finally, she lost interest in food and she lived about three more weeks. All I am saying is that these earthly pleasures like sports, sex, entertainment and food will pass away as you grow older. But in the Spirit, you grow younger and younger. Your faith will grow stronger and so will your love for others. Moses grew old physically but younger in spirit. The writer of Hebrews said, It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. Remember, not all pleasures are sinful but all earthly pleasures are fleeting and will pass away.
In God’s kingdom, the darkness, death, pain, sorrow, sacrifice, grief all come first and He saves the best for last. Everything in His kingdom leads to joy. Sorrow may spend the night but JOY is going to show up at daylight. We are talking Omega Joy; Joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. You take your best moment here on earth and multiply it by a trillion and you still will not arrive at this infinite JOY that is coming to all believers. Very few weeks pass that I don’t visit the hospital, nursing home and funeral home and I hate all three. I go from sickness; to the dying and then to the dead. I feel like Jehu. When the messenger ask Jehu if his mission was PEACE. Jehu responded, “How can there be any peace as long as Jezebel is on the throne.” How can we have fullness of joy with sin and death on the throne? This old world is coming to an end and for those of us who believe in Jesus, JOY will dawn like the sun in the morning and will drive the sorrow away just as light dispels darkness.
Wow, Fall is here in more ways than one: it is cool this morning and going to dip to 40* tonight. It is not looking good for the cotton crop which needs heat and sunshine. Have a good day and thanks for reading the blog.
Pray for Joyce Chaney. The Nursing Home is in complete lock down and they would not allow me to see her yesterday. She is not doing well.
Jean and Perry Smith are headed for Vandy this morning around 11:00–Jean could be there for a few days.