A Cause for Mirth
“And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?”
I Samuel 17:29
Is there not a cause … for Mirth?
A. When David saw Goliath and heard him challenge the armies of the living God, he was greatly affected, for he sought God’s glory and hated the pagan enemies of Jehovah.
B. When David had a very special gift given to him, He gave it to the LORD (II Sam 23:14-17).
C. When David returned the Ark, he danced with all His might and fed the nation in their mirth, in spite of a stuffy wife that had been trained by a carnal and profane father (II Sam 6:12-23).
D. When David sat in his house, he saw another cause … building God a house (II Sam 7:1-2), and the house to be built for God had to be exceeding magnifical (I Chronicles 22:5; 29:1).
E. When David could not build it, he paid for it by great collections (I Chronicles 22:5; 29:1-3).
F. When David had an altar and sacrifice offered to him, he demanded to pay (I Chr 21:18-24).
G. When David had occasion, he crowned Solomon a second time with mirth (I Chr 29:20-22).
H. David did more than was required … always! … and so God blessed him (II Samuel 7:11b).
I. Why settle for habit, tradition, status quo, and the same old routine … lets go for the gold!
J. God deserves our very best without any regard for the dead practices of most churches.
What is Mirth?
A. Mirth here is the moderate pursuit of comfort, happiness, pleasure, rejoicing, and ease.
B. Mirth does not mean Hollywood, sin, or the lascivious and sinful pleasures of the world.
C. It is the holy and righteous use of God-given pleasures like eating, drinking, and relaxing with the good things you can afford, while enjoying them with great joy and thanksgiving.
D. Eat, drink, and be merry is the Christian religion … when it is understood in its proper sense.
E. For more on this subject, see the author’s sermon series from the book of Ecclesiastes.
Should Christians allow Mirth?
A. Yes. God has been so incredibly merciful, we must respond with holy mirth (Deut 28:47-48).
B. Yes. Life is short and death looms, and so God allows us mirth as a reward in life (Ecc 12:1).
C. Yes. God sends rain, harvest, and good to fill our hearts with mirth for a witness (Ac 14:17).
D. A merry heart is very therapeutic for man, for it lifts his spirits when taken (Pr 17:22; 18:14).
E. The rich were charged to trust the living God, Who richly gives all to enjoy (I Timothy 6:17).
F. Yes. The gods of the heathen wanted Israel’s sons, but God gave His own Son for enemies!
G. Yes. The gods of the heathen want drink and meat offerings, but God wants us to eat them!
H. Islam requires you to blow yourself up, but our God wants us to enjoy life … abundantly!
I. Now do you understand and believe our God’s commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3)!
J. If you were the richest man on earth … and for displaying your glory you adopted the poorest child at great expense … would you trouble that child, or pamper and reward him?
God commands Mirth!
A. The harsh Law of Moses required 10% of gross for family mirth to fear God (De 14:22-26)!
B. He commands it for us as a remedy against death (Eccl 2:24; 3:12-13; 5:18; 8:15; 9:4-7).
C. Our God commands us to be happy and joyful (Romans 12:12; Phil 3:1; 4:4-5; I Thess 5:16).
D. While we are joyful, He commands us to offer the continual sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15).
Great saints chose Mirth!
A. We have already seen that David helped the nation to mirth in God’s worship (II Sam 6:19).
B. Solomon learned well and had two weeks of mirth dedicating the temple (I Kings 8:62-66).
C. Hezekiah held a Passover celebration that had hardly been seen before (II Chron 30:21-27).
D. Josiah outdid Hezekiah in the Passover that he helped the nation celebrate (II Chr 35:1-19).
E. Nehemiah led the nation in a great day of mirth for understanding God’s words (Neh 8:12).
F. New Testament, Holy Spirit-filled saints also ate with great mirth (Acts 2:44-47; Jude 1:12).
G. Most so-called Christians choose to do the minimum; let us choose to exceed the maximum!
We have more cause for Mirth!
A. The New Testament is superior in every aspect to the beggarly, carnal, and weak O.T. laws.
B. If God through David commanded delight in the Lord, how much more should we (Ps 37:4)?
C. If God through Jeremiah told Israel to glory in God, how much more should we (Je 9:23-24)?
D. We have joy unspeakable, glory, and grace that O.T. saints did not know about (I Pet 1:8-11).
E. We have the unspeakable gift of God’s grace, and we know all about the Christ (II Cor 9:15)!
F. We have been saved from Catholic bondage, so we eat meat … reject celibacy, poverty, monasteries, penance, mock crucifixions, walking on knees, hours of the Rosary, etc., etc.
G. We have been saved from Adventist ignorance, so we eat meat, shrimp, pork, and watch a little college football on their holy Saturdays, instead of following Ellen Harmon to hell!
H. Will you let our Lord’s words deep into your heart, “Where are the nine?” (Luke 17:11-19)
How should we have Mirth?
A. It included food and drink in both testaments, so we do the same, and we cannot allow any monasticism or Stoicism condemn us as the Catholics and SDA (Col 2:20-23; I Tim 4:1-3).
B. Worship together is better than alone, for we are a body of children (Eccl 4:9-12; Ps 34:2-3).
C. What does it mean to eat “before the Lord”? It means to do it in His presence and His sight as to Him and according to His authority and character for His glory (II Tim 2:14; II Pet 2:11).
D. It is an issue of faith … like Naaman the Syrian … like baptism … like communion, for the flesh and our carnal understanding of God does not comprehend a fancy meal to please God.
E. Each man has mirth at a different level – depending on faith, fear, love, holiness, and zeal.
F. We do it cheerfully, for mirth requires cheerfulness, and God loves cheerfulness (II Cor 9:7).
G. There is a recipe that includes remembering, meditating, and musing for praise (Ps 145:1-12).
H. We know a song that says it well, “Count your many blessings … name them one by one”!
I. Without spending, worship is unacceptable, so we reject sandwiches (I Chronicles 21:22-24)!
J. Let us praise and worship as if our lives depended on it … as they do … here and hereafter!
K. We exalt and magnify God by making Him as high and as large and impressive as we can … as He truly is this and much more (Job 36:24; Ps 34:3; 69:30; Luke 1:46; Acts 10:46)!
L. Our zeal is not arrogance or pride any more than David’s desire to silence Goliath or Paul’s laboring more than other apostles, but humble love and zeal (I Sam 17:28-29; I Cor 15:10).
M. It included singing, praising, and giving thanks … verbal worship (Ps 69:30-32; Heb 13:15).
What should we expect?
A. David did more than was required … always! … and so God blessed him (II Samuel 7:11b).
B. We should expect to enjoy it and purpose to cause joy to other hearts (Ps 69:32; 34:2; 40:3).
C. Hezekiah’s prayers came up to heaven, which we should also expect by faith (II Chr 30:27).
D. We do it in the face of economic uncertainty and financial concerns, because we trust God.