This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2019 Bible Reading Calendar.
First Chronicles 29 records some of the concluding events of King David’s life and reign, before Solomon became fully established as his successor. David had wanted to build a temple within the midst of Jerusalem to house the Ark of the Covenant and honor God. God spoke to David through the prophet Nathan, however, that he was not to be the one to build a house for God but he would have a son to carry out this feat.
Understanding this to be Solomon, David decided to prepare what he could. Chapter 29 opens with a list of contributions, including what David himself gave. Then, with the people assembled together, David prayed to God to dedicate the contributions and for the sake of Solomon.
After the prayer, we are told that the people “ate and drank with great joy in the Lord’s presence that day” (29:22).
The people celebrated the Lord, an act that should be a part of our spiritual habits as well. Yes, there are appropriate times of fasting and sorrow before God. The Bible even contains a book called Lamentations. Difficult situations arise that call for crying out to the Lord in pain and sorrow. And we should be saddened by our sin. Yes, there are appropriate times for contemplation. In an increasingly busy world, we need those quiet moments spent before the Lord without noise and distraction. Yes, the Bible even speaks of the Christian’s call to self-denial.
But that does not mean that our lives are more holy when defined by asceticism and spiritual austerity.
Throughout the Old Testament, while there were fasts, there were also feasts. The New Testament is no stranger to this, either. In Acts 2, the church is described as gathering daily to share meals together. Then in Revelation 19, eternity kicks off with a feast given by God, a celebratory marriage supper.
God created laughter and he intends that we find happiness in him. Our lives, therefore, should have regular moments of celebration. After all, we are loved by an infinitely good God as a Father loves and cherishes his children. Through Jesus, we have been rescued from the despair of sin and the sorrow of death, to be brought into an eternal joy. So, while we might have moments of sorrow until we fully realize the newness of eternity, let us not neglect to have plenty of moments where we eat and drink with great joy in the Lord’s presence.
All Scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.