Monday, August 8, 2005

Four Views of Joy

But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.
For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
(Psalm 5:11-12)
Here are four words used for “joy” in the Old Testament:
  • samach — to be cheerful, light-hearted.
  • ranan — shouting for joy.
  • alats — jumping for joy.
  • gul — spinning, whirling, twirling for joy.
We see the first three in the passage above:
But let all those rejoice [samach] who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy [ranan], because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name be joyful [alats] in You.
We find the fourth one in this well-known verse:
This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice [gul] and be glad [samach] in it.
(Psalm 118:24)
The Bible says, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:16). The word for “joy” there is simcha, from the same root as samach. God is all about joy. In fact, it is in His presence that joy originates and finds its complete fulfillment and expression.

In the verses above, we discover that joy comes from trusting the LORD, knowing Him as our defender, loving His name, living in the victory day He has made for us, and pressing into His presence.

Yes, we can rejoice mightily in the LORD. But did you know that He also rejoices over you? Its true:
The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice [sus] over you with gladness [simcha],
He will quiet you with His love.
He will rejoice [gul] over you with singing [rinnah].
(Zephaniah 3:17)
Sus, like samach and simcha, means to be bright and cheerful. Rinnah comes from ranan.

Good news! God is not mad or sad at His people — He’s glad! He is lighthearted and cheerful over us. He comforts us with His love and whirls and twirls over us with shouts of joy.

You can get in on this wonderful celebration by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Mighty One Who Saves (even His name means “salvation”). He came to carry off everything that stands between you and a personal relationship with the Father.

Put your trust in the Lord and be lighthearted and cheerful. Shout for joy as you look to Him as your defender. Love His name and jump for joy. Whirl and twirl with joy because God has created this day to be a day of victory for you. Rejoice and dance with God as He rejoices over you — whirling, twirling, spinning and shouting with delight. The kingdom of God is a party!