A traditional Psalm asking for protection and justice. Not revenge. David is just making suggestions. Joy is mentioned twice (verses 9 & 27). But joy is not really a focus on this Psalm. I was drawn for verse 13b, “When my prayers returned to me unanswered, I went about mourning . . .” I am consistently reminded, that everything is according to God’s plan, in His timing. An unanswered prayer is not always a no. It can be it a no, but it can also be not yet. And it can, and usually is, answered with a solution that we had no idea was even possible. I kind of touched on this in a previous blog post.
Not enough today, so onto the Concordance. Ezra 3. This chapter ends with tears and joy. Initially, I was thinking of tears of joy, but it is definitely an ‘and’ moment. Being a Christian most certainly involves times of extreme, and contrasting, emotions. Both for ourselves and others.
Ezra ends with sounds of weeping. Some of the Israelites were crying because the new temple for the Lord was not as good as the last one. It was less. They were weeping for memories of the past. For lost relationships with God. And it was appropriate. We are allowed to cry for loss. The death of a loved one. The passing of a chapter in our life. We should not be ashamed to show our emotions in visible or audible ways. Crying, and weeping, are not negative. They are expressive.
Ezra ends with sounds of the shouts of joy. Some of the Israelites were loudly joyful because the Lord’s new temple was officially started. It was the beginning of a new era. They had already started regular sacrifices and prayers as Moses proscribed. This was a physical manifestation of their love and commitment to God. And they were extraordinarily happy to be in a new and growing relationship with God. And it was appropriate. Being in a relationship with Jesus has a lot to be joyful about. Heck, that’s one of the reasons I am turning my Bible study into a blog. And shouts of joy, a joyful noise, and other loud expressions of joy are common throughout the Bible.
Here is the rub. Hardly anyone will ask us to stop being joyful. But they will try and help you stop the tears. That is not always a good thing. We can be sad and happy at the same time. We might have lost a loved one too early. We are crushed that they are gone, but we know they are with Jesus and we can be ‘happy’ about that. Eventually. There is an appropriate time for all of our emotions, even anger. They are a gift from God. Jesus cried. Jesus laughed. Jesus was angry. Jesus was sad. All are right in their time.
Crying, shouting for joy, at the same time, for the same event. A dedication to the Lord. And all were right. Thanks be to God for His creating use with these emotions. May we not be afraid of them and embrace them in their own special times.
This Bible study did not go at all the way I envisioned it when I started Ezra. And the thoughts it has created continue to swirl in my head. I am sure more will come of this later as I let it mull.
Blessings to you.