Thursday, August 9, 2007

El Simcha Gheel: God, My Exceeding Joy

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!
Let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Your holy hill
And to Your tabernacle.
Then I will go to the altar of God,
To God my exceeding joy;
And on the harp I will praise You,
O God, my God.
(Psalm 43:3-4)
When God sends His light and truth to lead us into His presence, it is a cause for exceeding joy. That is why the Sons of Korah, in this psalm, call Him El Simcha Gheel — God, My Exceeding Joy. El is the Hebrew for “God.” Simcha is one of the words for “joy.” It means gladness, blithesomeness, mirth, pleasure and joy — not just a little, but a lot. Gheel is another word for joy and literally means to spin, whirl and twirl. It is a dancing joy. Together they are a powerful combination. God is Our Exceeding Joy, or as Young’s Literal Translation has it, “The Joy of My Rejoicing.” David also experienced this truth. He said to the Lord,
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalm 16:11)
This is why Jesus came. God sent Him into the world to be the Light that gives light to everyone who comes into the world (John 1:9). He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only one who can lead us to the Father (John 14:6).

Jesus is the path of life that leads us to abundant and exuberant joy, joy without limits. He is God, Our Exceeding Joy — the Joy of Our Rejoicing.