“Rejoice and be exceeding glad!” Ready, set, Go!! Do it!! Right now!! Hmmmmm….Maybe we need rejoicing lessons! After all, we are commanded to rejoice, just like we are commanded to “pray without ceasing,” or to “praise ye the Lord.” This is what I call one of the “Selah” thoughts. You know, one of those things we need to ponder; to stop and think over.
Throughout the scriptures God calls His people to rejoicing, and often tells us that there is a blessing in it. Because there are several different Hebrew and Greek words in the Bible that are translated as some form of “joy” or “rejoicing,” lets take a look at a few to see how He wants us to rejoice!
Samach (saw-makh) and Suws (soos) have similar meanings: to be bright; merry; cheerful; to be glad
Lev.23: 40 “…ye shall rejoice before the Lord seven days.” (Feast of Tabernacles)
Deut. 12:18 “…thou shalt rejoice before the Lord in all that thou puttest thine hands unto.”
Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful.
So we are to be cheerful and glad; and to enjoy the presence of the Lord. We can do that, right? OK, there are other ways the Lord has commanded us to rejoice. Ways that require a little action on our part.
Ranan (raw-nahn) : to creak (or emit a stridant sound); to shout aloud for joy; to cry out; to sing aloud, to triumph.
Psalm 33:1 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud…”
Psalm 20:5 We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners.
This kind of rejoicing is done with a loud, strident voice, and brings to mind the creaking, undulating cry common to so many middle eastern cultures that signifies intense emotion such as warning, triumph, or joy.
Giyl, guwl (gheel, gool): to spin around (under the influence of violent emotion) i.e.usually rejoice -be glad, joyful, joy, rejoice exceedingly.
1Chron.16: 31 “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice…” (interesting choice of words since the earth does literally spin around)
Psalm 2: 10,11 “…be wise, …be instructed…serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
Zeph. 3: 17 “…he (the Lord) will joy over you with singing” (The Lord in a cosmic dance over YOU!)
Zech. 9: 9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ….” (let your feet dance a spinning dance of joy)
Alaz (aw-laz) and Alats (aw-lats): to jump or leap for joy!
Habakkuk 3:18 “Yet will I rejoice (alaz) in the Lord, and joy (giyl) in the God of my salvation.”
Psalm 68:3 “…let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.”
Exceedingly rejoice!! Leap for joy!! Spinning around under the influence of great emotion! The word of God says that even Jesus rejoiced like that. Let’s take a look at Jesus in the New Testament.
Luke 10:21 “ In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Now, I always read this verse seeing Jesus in my mind’s eye very somber, dignified, and solemn. Hands folded and speaking with a deep, serious, priestly voice; perhaps in quiet prayer. The word here is:
Now that puts a very different light on it doesn’t it? Jesus was excited! He was emotionally joyful that the disciples had returned with good reports, and that they had finally gotten it! The power in the name of Jesus! Look how human Jesus was in His response! You can almost imagine hi-fives all around! Praising God for this advance in the Kingdom!
And know this: Jesus prayed to the Father for us, that this same kind of joy (His own “agalliao”) would be found in us! John 17:13 “…that they might have my joy (agalliao) fulfilled in themselves.”
That is the exceedingly great joy. The kind that you can’t contain. The kind that makes you leap for joy and cry aloud; to run and tell it on the mountains! The Jesus kind of joy! So be cheerful! Be merry and glad! Shout it out in a loud, strident voice. Spin around in a cosmic dance with the Father as He spins for joy in His song over you. Leap for the joy! Let His joy be fulfilled in you! For the joy of the Lord is your strength!
Let’s pray: Glorious Lord, fill us with Your joy, that we might be strong to glorify Your name. May our cup of joy overflow unto the world around us that the world might be drawn to You! In Jesus’ name