Friday, 14 August 2020
"... and you will rejoice in the presence of ADONAI your God - you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves and the Levi staying with you, inasmuch as he has no share or inheritance with you." (Deuteronomy 12:12, CJB)
These can be hard times right now, with loss of life and loss of jobs, feelings of having lost community through restrictions to physical meetings and being worried about the welfare of those we love. Not to mention the forthcoming presidential election in November and therefore political uncertainty. So why is the Bible telling us to rejoice?
This verse is interesting as it says to rejoice "in the presence" of the L-rd. The context tells us that burnt offerings were not to be made just anywhere, but "at the place the L-rd will choose". The temple was destroyed in the first century, but what is the significance for us today? Is there a time or place that the L-rd has given you to come before Him?
Maybe the key is to rejoice in the L-rd's presence - we rejoice when we are near Him. And we can rejoice despite our outward circumstances because our joy is in Him. There are many reasons why we can rejoice, but one is given by this verse. Let's own it and live it out this Shabbat: let's be over-comers and let's rejoice in G-d's presence!
"You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4, NASB)