Nehemiah 8:10 “Neemiah said, ” *Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks* , and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. *Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”* ”
Nehemiah 8:8 people after a long time understood God’s Word and will. Nehemiah 8:9 people responded to understanding God’s will by grieving, mourning, crying and denying themselves food and good food and drinks.
In our text today, God instructs through the leaders that the best response is Joy! Because Joy brings strength to move on in the new faith. Grieving stagnates.
Grieving is attractive for it seems, deep and holy – it’s not! Eating flat tasteless food, makes one look committed – they are not. Grieving is human effort to look and seem holy. Grieving has been made popular as a sign of Spiritual revival. Those touched by songs and Sermons are presented as crying. Musicians and preachers cry amidst their ministry.
But God says today – rejoice and enjoy food and drinks considered sweet. Why did God specify the need to eat not just food but choice food? Not just drinks but sweet drinks? God knows the false human notion that makes religion and relation to God a sad affair. Approved music takes a boring tune. Reverence is interpreted as sad long faces and sombre mood. This is human not divine! It’s hopeless faith.
If our relationship with God doesn’t bring us true deep joy…its a waste. If our relationship with God leaves us grieving throughout, sad, miserable and eating unpalatable stuff…its a false short lived faith and will attract no one to our faith.
The joy of the LORD is your strength. When we are happy about something we are much more firm in it and others get attracted to it. God promises strength to those who rejoice in knowing His will. Our faith in God should lead to a lifestyle of choice food, sweet drinks and celebrations. This kind of faith speaks better about God. No wonder the command is – Do not grieve, but rejoice!
Heaven is on a permanent celebratory mood. When one person is converted, heaven celebrates. If as the LORD’s prayer puts it, “may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” then celebration should be the Christian mode on earth!
While we grieve for sins and evil…we celebrate forgiveness and salvation. While we are moved to tears…they should be tears of joy not misery. Joy is what God wants for us today!
May you find true Joy as your lifestyle in your relationship with God today. May the joy of the LORD give you heretofore unprecedented strength. Be happy! May God grant you Joy today and beyond in Jesus name. Amen! (C)firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastor Rei Kesis