Thou shall rejoice before the Lord thy God. Deuteronomy 12:7, Deuteronomy, Deuteronomy
The presence of God is an incentive to true joy. We rejoice before Him. There is some mistake in our religious life when it is not a joy to us to stand in the presence of God. He that feareth, and rejoiceth not, is not made perfect in love. Note the elements of true joy.
First. The putting away of all known evil. - "Ye shall surely destroy." The permission of evil habits, books, companionships, and unlawful methods of obtaining money, are destructive of peace and joy. The prodigal son went away for merriment; but he only found real joy when he had given up his evil ways and returned to his father, a true penitent, and resolving upon a better life.
Second. The sense of acceptance with God through Jesus Christ. - "Unto the place which the Lord shall choose shall ye come." This refers, of course, to the brazen altar and the altar of incense. We have a better heritage in the finished work of Jesus, whose blood is more precious than that of bulls and goats and lambs, and in whom we are accepted and beloved.
Third. Feeding an Christ. - "Ye shall eat and rejoice." A part of the meal-offerings and other sacrifices was reserved for the worshipers. We have an altar of which we, too, eat. His flesh is meat indeed; His blood drink indeed.
Fourth. Entrance on the rest of our Inheritance. - We which believe do enter into rest; not the rest of heaven, but the heavenly places which those enjoy who have learned to cast every load of anxious care on the great Burden-bearer. ', There remaineth a Sabbath rest for the people of God. Let us give diligence to enter into that rest" (Heb 4:9-11).
~F. B. Meyer~