DON’T LET ISAAC STEAL YOUR JOY
Neh. 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
It started out pretty good. I thought Isaac was going to be a non-event. Here I am in a dark, hot, powerless house two days later writing this devotion. Isaac isn’t so funny any more. All of us in the NOLA region are pretty tired of rain and wind, we got 17 inches at my house. So here I am looking for the real Isaac, you know, the one who gives us supernatural strength in the darkest of times. John Gill spoke about physical and spiritual strength that comes from the joy of the Lord.
“Strength for service for the joy of the Lord is your strength; to rejoice, as the Lord commanded them on such days as these, was a means both of increasing their bodily strength and their inward strength, and of fitting them the more to perform their duty to God and men with cheerfulness, which sorrow and heaviness made unfit for; and the joy which has the Lord for its object, and comes from him, is the cause of renewing spiritual strength, so as to run and not be weary, walk and not faint, in the ways of God.”
Adam Clarke said it was like medicine for our flesh and of the soul. I could use some of that medicine about now. Check out Clarke’s thoughts about the joy of the Lord.
“Like a medicine to soul and body. For the joy of the Lord is your strength – This is no gluttonous and drunken festival that enervates the body, and enfeebles the mind: from your religious feast your bodies will acquire strength and your minds power and fervor, so that you shall be able to Do His will, and to do it cheerfully. Religious joy, properly tempered with continual dependence on the help of God, meekness of mind, and self-diffidence, is a powerful means of strengthening the soul. In such a state every duty is practicable, and every duty delightful. In such a frame of mind no man an ever fell, and in such a state of mind the general health of the body is much improved; a cheerful heart is not only a continual feast, but also a continual medicine.”
So I’m not gonna let Isaac steal my joy. I will go to the feast of the Lord and drink and drink again of His joy. Like Adam Clarke said, under the influence of this joy, every duty is delightful, our state of mind is improved, and as a side benefit, it is medicine for our body. So are you in the dumps or are you drinking from the cup of joy? It is funny and quite ironic, don’t let Isaac (laughter) steal your joy.