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Sunday, November 29, 2015

No Cosmic Killjoy

It is no small number of people that think of God as some sort of a cosmic killjoy. We want to have fun; He wants us to be good. We want joy; He wants somberness. We want what we want; He wants us to have what He wants. Even among Christians there can be a sense of "Oh, well, I guess I won't be able to have all the fun that the rest of the world is having." I would suggest we're thinking too small.

David wrote:
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psa 36:7-9)
First, David calls the lovingkindness of God "precious", something of great value. We're not talking about "pleasant" or "nice" or "good to have around". We're talking about extremely valuable. Why does David say God's lovingkindness is precious?

There is the safety found in God. There is the abundance given by God. There is the glut of delight. There is the fountain of life. This is precious.

I'm struck by that one sentence. "You give them to drink of the river of Your delights." You see, that is not how we -- even we Christians -- tend to think of things. We don't tend to view God as a river of delight. Especially when we have our eye on another pleasure that, let's face it, God is denying us. I think we're missing the magnitude of what God offers. We want a momentary pleasure; God offers a river of delight. We desire earthly fun and God is offering heavenly rapture. We really want to settle for little and God is offering us much.

In fact, the notion is throughout the text. Jesus said He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). David said that abundance comes from God's house. We think of "abundant life" as lots of things and fun and ... you know how it goes. God is offering abundance from His house. Bigger than we can imagine. The delight He offers is rivers full. The life He offers is a fountain. David says that we don't even comprehend light until we see it through Him. To paraphrase Crocodile Dundee, "You call that light? That's not light. This is light."

God's "rivers of delight." Not a phrase that springs to mind when we think of delight. It should. Why opt for short-term, meaningless, momentary pleasure when we can enjoy abundance, delight, security, and life from God? It can make some of the things we want look meager. And it certainly eliminates the "killjoy" title.

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