Making God Happy
. . .you shall rejoice before the LORD your God seven days. (Leviticus 23:40 ESV)
My teenage son honestly did not want anything for his birthday. The pressure of going shopping, picking something out he actually liked and looking happy far outweighed the joy a new shirt or cd could provide. He just could not think of a single thing he wanted.
So I explained: Your granddad wants to make you happy. The greatest thing you can do for him is let him make you happy. The best thing you can give him is your smile. So think of one thing, ask him if you can have it, and smile when you receive it. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with blessing him.
On Thanksgiving we make God happy. When we enjoy the blessings he has poured out, when our stomachs and hearts are filled with joy, He rejoices. He loves to see his children feast.
As a matter of fact, in the Old Testament book of Leviticus, that dry book of dour rules and regulations, he commands his people to feast. Three times every year God demanded that His people take holidays, stop working and feast. More than the regular weekly day off, he commanded holidays when we would do no work and feast.
The true God, the only God who actually exists, takes great pleasure in you resting and feasting. He wants, no he commands you to enjoy him. He goes so far as to command you to rejoice. Is that the Old Testament God you grew up hearing about?
Most people still labor under the delusion that God wants them sad, but Satan offers them pleasure. Satan does not want to see you happy. He wants you degraded past the point of pleasure. He wants your physical senses so desensitized by gluttony that you cannot enjoy a feast. He wants your sexual senses so perverted you have no capacity to enjoy sexual intimacy. He wants you unable to enjoy a day of rest because laziness has overwhelmed you with lethargy.
But God wants you to be happy. He wants you to rejoice and be glad in him. He wants you to work hard when it is time to work, and he wants you to rest and feast when it is time to feast.
It is becoming cool again to criticize holidays. Christians seem to think the unhappier they are the holier they are. I recently read an article complaining that Thanksgiving promotes laziness and gluttony, and makes us feel terrible as we sit around all day eating and watching TV.
Well, I disagree. God prescribed eating, resting and rejoicing as the best way to celebrate, and I am going to take his word for it. Plan a huge feast. Thank God in the grocery store as you shop. Thank him in the kitchen as you cook, and thank him at the table when you feast. In every step, know that when you bite that pecan pie and smile, He is smiling with you. You have blessed the Lord.