"He brought out his people with rejoicing, his chosen ones with shouts of joy." (v.43)
A minister tells of standing outside his church one Sunday evening, shaking hands with the worshippers as they dispersed. It had been a joyous evening when God had come very close to His people and the awesome hush of His presence was upon them as they made their way home. A crowded motor coach, returning with revellers from the seaside and held up by the traffic, stopped outside the church. Some of the occupants, flushed with drink, put their heads out of the windows and shouted to those who were leaving the church: "Why don't you learn to enjoy yourself?" The preacher said: "Two ways of life met there for an instant. The coach moved on with the question hanging in the air: 'Why don't you enjoy yourself?' "Little did the men who shouted that question realize that it is those who think they are artists in enjoying themselves who signally fail. The Christian has more joy to the square inch than others have to the square mile. And it is pure, unalloyed joy without a kick-back in it. No Christian who has spent time in the presence of God in a church or among his fellow Christians the night before ever gets up in the morning and says: "Oh dear, I wish I hadn't been a Christian last night. My head is aching from the effects of spending time in the presence of God and among my fellow Christians. Why ever did I do it?" Christian joy is the kind that gives enjoyment without a hangover. It is a kick without a kick-back. Bliss, perfect bliss is the prerogative only of the people of God.
Father, I sense that Your joy is a joy that will outlast all earthly joys. I will still be singing when the sounds and pleasures of earth are silent and gone. Thank You, dear Father. Amen.
For Further Study
1. How did Isaiah express his joy?
2. How will unbelievers respond when they see true joy?