a glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed – Prov. 15:13
So how can we be glad. It’s not where you think to look but God has told us. Will we listen? He is the good shepherd – who leads us to green pastures. So, don’t listen to me necessarily but listen to his voice for “my sheep know my voice.”
Look To Jesus
Jesus of course is the model and in Hebrews 1 we have an amazing truth revealed about our Master. That is JESUS as the Son of God presented before the court of heaven, before the angels who fall down worshipping and His Father has been anointed with the “oil of gladness.” How? Why?
He was anointed because He hated something and loved something else. The verse says it liket his, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness.” Did He just say He did? No, He actually hated and loved in deed. He loved righteousness which is a way of saying He loved His Father who is righteousness by definition and He hated sin and the devil who are wicked (antonomian=laweless) by definition too.
Jesus Loved Righteousness
Love is mentioned first. Righteousness is right living defined by God for us in the pages of Scripture. It includes many things, like just weights, not lying but telling the truth and faithfulness in marriage and relationships. Jesus the Son loved these things. A scholar named Peter Leithart says that one of the characteristics of God we don’t think about is hospitality. That made me think about ultimate hospitality. Not only did the good Samaritan put the medicine on the man who fell among bandits, he paid for housing for him. That’s pretty good hospitality. When he got out he would be well and could get home. Most religious people wouldn’t go near the beat up guy let alone fix him and for sure they wouldn’t pay good money after bad for a motel. (that’s the excuse people give – making bad investments on bad people).
But Jesus has done far more for us. He invited us and made a way – i.e. paid for us to live forever in His Father’s house. That is ultimate hospitality. Wow! It is a place of many dwelling places. That is an infinitely good host. While there we don’t have to buy food for heaven is a place of the Feast of the Lamb. The food will be to put it lightly “out of this world.” Haha
Of course we just finished Easter and Good Friday and it was good because the cost is usually highlighted. The cost was infinitely steep. We can not plumb the depths of the cost – the price of our redemption in the suffering and death of our Savior. That’s how much He loved righteousness because we had none but now we have attained by faith in His perfect Work on that Friday. He loved giving the gift of righteousness away to all who will accept Him. He loved righteousness and proved and payed for it in full.
He Hated Wickedness
He opposed those who (again in action and deed not just in talk) try to mess with this grace gift redemption plan and imputing righteousness plan. The devil and those who are diabolos (translated ‘slanderer’ in Titus 2) are opposed actively by the “hater of wickedness Son of God.” He hated this wickedness so much that He offered a way for individual sinners to get rid of the stony heart of sin we all are born with. Jesus desires to do surgery and cut it out and destroy it and replace it with a soft heart that loves righteousness like He does. Thank God for this kind of hatred…this righteous hatred of wickedness.
PART OF THE TRUTH IS A WHOLE LIE
The thing about Satan we must always remember is that he is a good liar, an accomplished trickster. He is a substitute and a copycat with a twist. He convolutes goodness by corrupting it. He subs God’s hatred of wickedness for some straw man argument (even in the way he waters down who God is by substituting some mamby pamby and weak kneed pasty white picture of some imaginary Jesus – no wonder God commanded to not make images of Him) or just plain garden variety fleshly/twisted desire. He leads us to believe that our plans, agendas, time zones, expectations, desire to be respected and liked, etc. are all the ways to true gladness. A young teenager in love is told the lie this way – “you will die if you don’t go all the way with your girlfriend.” Satan knows that is a lie but he figures with hormones and the hissing whisper that justifies the sin – he’s halfway home to a successful temptation. He lies to the older crowd by saying “your nest egg is absolutely necessary for you to be safe and accomplish all of your goals and if anything gets in the way (even the Spirit of the Living God prompting you to give to someone in need) you kill that thought – taking it into captivity and then snuffing it out immediately. Satan gets us to hate the wrong things one thing at a time. He twists love and hate and ends up calling good evil and vice versa.
THE ANTIDOTE – THE MODEL OF CHRIST IN THE SCRIPTURE
That’s why Scripture is our breath. Vital is an understatement. How do we know the lie? By knowing the truth.GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH MR. PILATE (author of the shortest human novel, “What is Truth!”) I am so thankful for this book. You can see Jesus in every page. He was there in the beginning, intimately involved in creating everything. He was and is the PASSOVER LAMB! He is the desire of our hearts and every other worshiper of the one true God – Psalm 37:4. Jesus is the balm of Gilead that all of Israel should have stayed loyal to because He is the only medicine in reality. All others eventually fail but not Him. Jesus is the goal and substance of all prophecy. We get to see how He walked and talked and prayed and tired, and suffered, and bled and died and then how He rocked this world in the Gospels amazing crescendo of Resurrection. Through the letters to the churches He is the one who pleads with us His disciples to walk worthy and to even open the churches doors and let Him in sad to say – Revelation 3:20. The Bible has a scarlet thread running through all of its pages – Jesus Christ the Glorious Savior and soon coming King! He is the model. Love what He loves and hate what He hates and we will end in victory with Him!
Oh God by your Spirit help us to grow up unto maturity by discerning by constant practice what is of You and what is of this world and our enemy so we will be anointed with gladness more than our companions! We must lay down our agendas and pick up God’s. Our home is not here for He, the God of Hosts will one day host us for eternity!