Rejoice–It’s An Order


Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob… this is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

~Psalm 81:1,4, NIV


We fail to worship because our minds are attached to useless things. If is impossible to worship God when our mind is not focused on HIM.


Did you notice? The Israelites were commanded to sing for joy and to shout aloud. The Hebrew word translated ‘decree’ here by the NIV is khōke [pronounced coke, like a soft drink]: it means a statute, an ordinance, something prescribed or due. The second word used is mish·pät’ which can be translated judgment, justice or ordinance. It could even mean the time of judgment or the sentence. I suppose our first response would be…“You cannot legislate joy,” but remember, God can do anything. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that JOY can be a mandate. What do we need to mandate JOY?

I would think that it would begin with an OBEDIENT ATTITUDE. You can see rebellion in a person’s eyes and there are some who are not going to sing and they are not going to shout. I do believe Jason could put his AK-47 right up to their temple and put his finger on the trigger and say “Shout of die,” and they would choose death. If you are bound and determined to be unhappy, you will be unhappy. We only ask that you keep it to yourself which of course, you will never do. Misery loves company. The second thing you need is GRATITUDE. If you are obedient and grateful, joy can be mandated–I’m getting happy just thinking about it. The third thing you need is APTITUDE translated into good music. Music stirs the soul. The Psalmist said, “Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre.” [Psalm 81:2] What does the old Christmas Carol say, “Strike the harp and join the chorus, (Fa la la la la, la la la, fa la la la la, la la la) Follow me in merry measure…” What would Christmas be without music? We need music in worship. Paul encouraged the Ephesians to use music in their worship {Eph.5:19}. This brings us to number four which is a MULTITUDE or people and the more, the merrier. Obviously, if you have a band {Timbrel, Harp and Lyre}, you have more than one. Sometimes we need others to help cheer us up. This is why the book of Hebrews tells us not to lay out of church. Those who forsake the assembly discourage those who are present. No one can fill your shoes when it comes to encouragement. How encouraged would your pastor be if 90 percent of the members showed up this Sunday? He would be ecstatic or as the old folks say, “fit to be tied.”

In 1970 I was an officer in the BSU at Athens College. During the Christmas break, actually around New Years, I attended a conference for college students in Atlanta. It was called MISSION 70. Jerry Newby of Athens attended this conference with me. We walked out of the Omni just after the dawning of a new decade. It was between 12:00 and 1:00 am. The streets of downtown Atlanta were crowded but our group seemed like a majority and we went through downtown singing songs about Jesus. It was not frightening: we felt no fear or intimidation. People were giving us a strange look but no one said anything to us. There must have been a thousand or more of us walking down that street. I don’t think I will ever forget the elation and joy: unfortunately for me, it has never happened again. Can you imagine the joy generated by a MULTITUDE shouting and singing praises to Jesus! The sad thing is: it could and should happen every Sunday.

I planted some pumpkins today: in the mud; whether or not they come up I do not know. We got 2 more inches yesterday. One of my rain water barrels is full. I could have caught more if I had reacted sooner. Now, I have to catch up on grass cutting and weed eating.

Taking the Senor Ladies of Grace Point on an outing today. We are going to Grand Maw’s at New Market for some country vittles.

Pray for Lilly G. & Tracey B.

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