An Ode Unto My Joy! This Day is Holy Unto God! Do Not be Sad! For the Joy of Yahweh Your God is Your Strength!

“Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” Corrie Ten Boom

Nehemiah 8:9-12 Names of God Bible

Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people told them, “This is a holy day for Yahweh your Elohim. Don’t mourn or cry.” All the people were crying as they listened to the reading of God’s Teachings. 10 Then he told them, “Go, eat rich foods, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who cannot provide for themselves. Today is a holy day for Adonay. Don’t be sad because the joy you have in Yahweh is your strength.” 11 So the Levites calmed all the people by saying, “Listen. Today is a holy day. Don’t be sad.”

12 Then all the people went to eat and drink and to send portions. They had a big, joyful celebration because they understood the words that had been explained to them.

The Word of Yahweh for the Children of Yahweh. In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

What is the Joy of the Lord? – Nehemiah 8:10

We’ve all heard the Bible quote… the joy of the Lord is my strength.

But what is the joy of the Lord? And how can we find it?

Joy is something we all want in our lives. But in our modern world, it seems like an unattainable goal.

We’re pushed and pulled in so many different directions all at once. Survival becomes the norm, and joy is left for another day.

So, in this devotional, we’ll give Yahweh an opportunity to answer some of your questions about the joy of the Lord, so we may learn a bit more, how His Joy and not mankind’s, is your strength, and discover the key to finding it every day.

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

                                      Nehemiah 8:10 NIV

In this scripture from Nehemiah 8, we learn the secret to finding genuine joy.

The people of Nehemiah’s day were convicted of their sin, and they wept hard, bitterly because of it. They understood they could never live up to the standard of God’s law and they would never deserve God’s redemption.

Ezra read to them for the first time, the Word of Yahweh! Nehemiah reminded them, Cry? Yes! Now is not a time for sorrow, instead, it’s a time to celebrate.

In their sin and shame, they forgot all God had done for them. And they needed to be reminded…  By the Word of Yahweh, the joy of the Lord is your strength!

We are no different. In our lives, the meaning of this verse can easily elude us when times are tough. We are negligent in our studying of Yahweh’s Truths.

In ignorance, we forget it’s not what we do that brings us joy. Instead, it is what has been done for us that allows us to say… the joy of the Lord is our strength!

Where does the Joy of the Lord come from?

Joy comes from the Lord and having an eternal connection with Him.

Hope comes from the Lord and having an eternal connection with Him.

Faith comes from the Lord and having an eternal connection with Him.

Love comes from the Lord and having an eternal connection with Him.

Try to think of this eternal connection with Him in this way…

There are some people we meet and click with immediately. It feels like we’ve known them for years.

Then, there are people we have known for years and share a past with.

We have a meaningful connection with them. And we feel joyful being with them.

The thought of being separated from the people we’re connected to brings us sadness, pain. And the idea of not having them in our lives is unimaginable.

I can easily contemplate this is how God feels about His connection with us.

He sees us as the individual person, as the vast gathering of people He has a connection with. He desires to have a lasting and loving relationship with us.

But in the beginning, sin crawled in. Sin separated us from God and kept us from having genuine meaningful relationship with Him we were created for.

So, God sent His Son, Jesus, to fill that gap for us.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

                                                  2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

Jesus is the eternal remedy to sin! In this darkened existence of our world, we genuinely need to be connected to God and to experience the joy of the Lord.

What is the Joy of the Lord?

Looking unto, Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

                                                    Hebrews 12:2

This scripture from Hebrews 12 is clear… When Jesus died for our sins, He was focused on “the joy that was set before Him”.

And guess what… we are that joy.

We are the Great Cloud of Witnesses!

We are the joy of the Lord!

Our salvation is the reason Jesus died and rose again. And the timeless witness, our timeless testimony of our salvation is what He was thinking of on the cross.

Jesus willingly faced a sinner’s death because of His joy in us.

He came to fill the gap left by sin and to die in our place. He did it so our connection, our relationship with God could be restored permanently.

Now, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, sin no longer separates us from God, and we can experience the joy of connecting with Him, walking with Him every day.

Once we, through bible study, learn of this simple truth, our relationship with Jesus will flourish. And we will no longer have to face the hardships of life alone.

How to Have the Joy of the Lord

You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

                                                      Psalm 16:11 NIV

If you and I are still asking… How do we receive the joy of the Lord?

The eternal answer is genuinely simple.

If you believe in Jesus and have accepted Him as your Savior, then the joy of the Lord is already within you. The Joy of the Lord is already inside, strengthening!

You and I have Joy

You and I have Salvation!

You and I have Strength!

You and I have Faith!

You and I have Hope!

You and I have Love!

You and I have Yahweh, The Lord our God!

What this much cherished verse from Psalm 16 calls “the path of life”.

And once you and I are saved, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you and me.

It is this continuous presence of God that fills us with overflowing joy.

God is Your Strength

The word strength in Nehemiah 8:10 paints a picture of God’s protection over us.

When we’re weak, we can seek refuge in God’s loving arms. Because He is our place of safety.

And we can draw strength from our relationship with God and find joy in Him through any circumstance.

Here are two Psalms that illustrate the Lord is your strength vividly…

God is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

                                  Psalm 46:1 NKJV

I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

                                 Psalm 91:2 ESV

Hard times will still absolutely come our way. But we have a secret place to run to when they do.

Yahweh alone is our strong tower and fortress in times of trouble.

He alone is our protection from the world. And Yahweh alone is the only place where we can find eternal joy and strength when we need them both the most.

Whatever you and I are facing, Yahweh alone will see you and me through it.

We must pray! to place our trust in Yahweh the Lord, He will be our strength!

Living in the Joy of the Lord

By now you may be wondering… how do I have the joy of the Lord every day?

Let’s look at one more Bible verse which teaches us about living in the Joy of the Lord.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

                                                           Romans 15:13

Chaos and busyness take over our lives sometimes.

With so many things to do each day, it’s no wonder the joy we once had from knowing Yahweh intimately is replaced with stress and overwhelm.

But joy, real joy, comes directly from Yahweh. It’s an inner feeling of calm that is always there no matter what is happening on the outside.

This kind of joy doesn’t depend on us or our feelings to be present in our daily lives. It is the power of the Holy Spirit inside each and every one of us which is what, by whom, makes it possible to live with the joy of the Lord every day.

We may not always see or experience this joy, or this indescribable strength we draw from it, but it is yet very much still there deep within us because the Holy Spirit lives there.

John 14:16-17 Amplified Bible

Role of the Spirit

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart]  because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you.

I hope and fervently pray you and I will come to know how much Yahweh loves you, how much He wants to give us the joy and strength we are looking for.

Romans 15:4-6 Amplified Bible

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope and overflow with confidence in His promises. Now may the God who gives endurance and who supplies encouragement grant that you be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify and praise and honor the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, from Apostle Paul’s letter, Romans 15:13, this is my prayer for you today.

May God fill you with all joy and peace in believing. And by the power of the Holy Spirit cause you to abound in hope and in the joy of the Lord! Amen!

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

2 thoughts on “An Ode Unto My Joy! This Day is Holy Unto God! Do Not be Sad! For the Joy of Yahweh Your God is Your Strength!”

  1. Vake Alexandrian Deceptions: Exposing The Nothing Only Conspiracies Against God’s Words –Introduction. She writes of truth. But the 8th middah of Oral Torah logic defines truth as path. One person cannot dictate or own a monopoly upon truth.

    Ever here the saying: The victors write the history books? Well the biblical translations did just that, they wrote their bibles in the image of Xtian theology. A very nice mythology.

    Consider the letters O, D, & G. Depending how a person organizes those letters, forms different ideas. God vs. dog. The framers of the Torah organized the Torah as having 54 Parshaot and further broke up those Parshaot through use of פ & ס. The פ refers to a פרק\chapter. While the ס refers to a סוגיה\sub chapter. Talmudic rabbinic authorities would later debate if the contents of one sugia influenced the contents of an adjacent sugia. This סמוכים\adjacent debate has a profound influence how differing sh’ittot\systematic logic deductions based upon how a person organizes their thoughts, whereby they reach vastly different conclusions. The Talmud refers to 70 sh’ittot in the Torah. A euphemism for vast number of logical deductions which people can rationally deduce.

    The biblical translators “absolutely” rejected how Jews edited their T’NaCH Primary sources. They chose instead to organize their bible into chapters and verses. The Xtian bible totally abandoned the organization of the Torah into 54 Parshiot. בראשית\נח\לך לך etc etc etc. In like manner the Church translators edited out the division of the T’NaCH into sub-chapters. This played well into their biblical exegesis analysis of their bible. But while the new testament writers plucked a verse totally out of the context of its sugia\sub-chapter, and interpreted the meaning of that verse as an independent variable; Jewish scholarship totally rejected this “scholarship” as nothing short of religious rhetoric and propaganda; the error of taking a statement out of its surrounding context.

    All generations struggle to interpret the meaning of Scripture. Jewish Common law, like all common law systems, stands upon precedents. Common law compares a current case heard before the Court with prior cases argued before other courtrooms. This style or sh’itta goes by the term “precedents”. The Jewish Oral Torah logic format designed to make a comparative study of similar Case\law studies. Western literature calls this Comparison & Contrast.

    It does not matter if a person studies T’NaCH or Talmudic sources the methodology of learning remains unchanged. Just as the Gemara makes a Case study by bringing diverse halachot learned from a vast diversity of subjects; it compares these outside halachic ruling to the current Case expressed through a specific Mishna; in like manner Jewish scholarship makes a sugia study of T’NaCH sources by comparing one sugia within the T’NaCH with other sugiot within the T’NaCH. This comparison and contrast study defines how Jews, throughout history to this very moment in time, how they study both T’NaCH and Talmudic Primary sources.

    Your discussion here opens with Isa 66:2 which as a Xtian you take totally out of its context. Jewish study of the T’NaCH absolutely rejects as false this propaganda rhetoric. The p’suk\verse which you quote, its contained within a larger sugia. The T’NaCH has no chapters and verses, because it rejects the new testament notion that permits cherry picking specific verses to preach a propaganda rhetoric. Xtianity rejects mussar. Whereas rabbis like myself have learned that the Torah defines the term prophesy as a commandment of mussar! Your quoted verse, exists in a larger sugia. For convenience sake, seeing i am communicating with a non Jew who reads a Xtian bible, I shall translate sugiot into chapters and verses. This sugia which contains your verse begins with 66:1 – 66:4. Each sugia of the T’NaCH teaches a defined mussar.

    Jewish scholarship searches to compare Case studies; it learns the contents of one sugia by connecting that sugia to some other similar sugia found else where, within that specific Book of the prophets. Rabbi Akiva explained the revelation of the Oral Torah which Moshe the prophet orally heard from HaShem at Sinai\Horev with his Divine Chariot mysticism known as פרדס. Which means פשט, רמז, דרוש, סוד. As a warp and a weft of a loom have two opposing threads so too Aggaditah and Halacha exist as two opposing threads – they make the “fabric” of Talmudic learning. The study of both the T’NaCH and Aggaditah within the pages of the Talmud follows a defined axis of drosh and p’shat. The haachic parts, the majority of the Talmud follows the opposing loom like thread axis of remiz and sod.

    This tends to get complicated very quickly. But to keep things simple, a close and similar sugia within the Book of ישעיה, chapter 9:7-12. The mussar through this comparison of case\din studies … it seems to me that the prophet addresses Justice Justice pursue. The prophet Natan opposed the will of king David to build a house of cedar. The last act of Moshe the prophet, he established the small sanhedrin courts in 3 of the Cities of Refuge. King Shlomo erred and ignored the elder prophet Natan, just as his son when he travel to Sh’Cem, ignored the advice given by the elder advisors of king Shlomo. An interesting comparison between the behavior of the young king Shlomo to the young king Rehav’am.

    King Shaul, HaShem rejected him as the anointed Moshiach because he erroneously prioritized sacrifices over obedience to prophetic mussar commandments. The sugia which contains 66:2 likewise denounces sacrificial worship. This same prophet declares that HaShem never commanded sacrifices. This mussar stands in the face of the Book of ויקרא, the 3rd Book of the Torah! The meaning of the prophetic mussar which interprets the k’vanna of the Torah,,, that HaShem never commanded man to make a barbecue unto Heaven. HaShem took Israel out of the oppression of Egypt. Israel conquered the land and kingdoms of Canaan to rule the oath sworn lands with justice. The courts have the Torah responsibility to rule the land with justice. Justice defined as a fair compensations for damages inflicted irregardless whether those damages came by intent or accident. The decree of g’lut\exile comes upon Israel when the government rules the lands of Canaan like as did Par’o enslave Israelites – invited guests – in Egypt.

    Justice does not depend upon building grand Temples and churches at public expense. Justice requires that the Judges receive no bribes or show favoritism to any person who stands before the Court. Lateral courtrooms: the Judges nor the prosecuting attorney, that neither receive a salary from the State. Vertical courtrooms; State vs. So and So … the Judges, Prosecuting Attorney and Police receive their salaries from the State. The Torah commands that judges must not accept bribes. Bribes pervert justice.

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  2. An introduction to the 6th פרק of Parshat אמור.

    What defines the concept of justice? Injustice, oppression, slander, rape, slavery and of course murder – these expressions of “tumah” middot, (these evil spirits) they live within the hearts of all mankind. What drives people, that causes them to enjoy inflicting pain upon others? Justice seeks to repair the ripped social fabric of the human “citizen-alliance”, damaged or destroyed through the expression of these tumah evil spirits within us. Which possess a long historical power to cause death and mayhem in society.

    The Torah opens with the extreme case of murder, as told in the aggadic story of Cain and Abel. The issue at stake – how best to respond to such human crimes against ourselves. The Torah concept of justice rejects the idea as reactionary which elevates the guilty murderer, and makes that criminal the central focus of the societal disaster. Guilt through the heinous crime committed, demands a permanent removal of that predator from membership in that society.

    The decision made by that predatory animal whereby criminals views citizens of society, as nothing other than an inferior species of hunted prey. This human predator, like refugees expelled to a foreign country, has little or no rights, after a court of law rules a guilty verdict. Rights apply strictly and only to citizens. For example, the United States, illegal aliens do not stand under the Constitutional umbrella, offered by the Bill of Rights only to citizens of that country.

    Horrific crimes of passion, following a court ruling of guilt, the convicted predator loses any and all partnership with that larger society/nation. Torah justice commands the quick and immediate public removal of these human predators from society. Hence the Torah commands the death penalty to publicly accomplish this obligation. Why does the Torah, as opposed by Goyim justice systems, reject the notion that throwing a man in jail for 20 years or more years?

    The issue of Torah justice prioritizes the need to repair the ripped social fabric of society consequent as a result when citizens of the land commit crimes which damage the oath brit alliance by which the house of Israel shares an essential trust with one another. A practical example: societies whose citizens do not feel fear, concerning the need to lock their homes and cars day and night. Obviously this oath brit alliance cannot occur if theft and violent crimes happen on a day by day basis. A hostile environment imposes harsh risks upon members of society. Especially when the press reports such crimes daily. Therefore Torah justice commands for the quick removal of tumah human predators from tohor society.

    The Torah rejects housing these dangerous predators as if they compared to dangerous animals jailed within the confines of a Zoo. Rather the Torah commands the necessity to make a public rejection of such rabid predatory criminals. The Torah employs examples such as false prophets, or persons who entice their community to worship avodah zarah. It commands public condemnation and execution of these mal-adjusted former members of society. Justice most essentially strives to repair the rips of the torn and frayed social fabric; that the surviving family members related to the predator, and the surviving families members of the victim(s), can give mutual מחילה to one another.

    Yosef, for example, failed to give מחילה to his brothers. This “injustice” serves as a strong Torah mussar which teaches the consequences of Yosef’s refusal to give his brothers – this most essential and required מחילה – Israel, as a consequence, became Egyptian slaves. The idea of oppression and degradation defines the Torah concept of g’lut as a chief central theme which defines the Torah curse.

    Starting with the expulsion of Adam from the Garden, Noach’s survival in the Ark, and the oath sworn to Avram, that his future as yet unborn generations, would descend unto exile in a foreign land. These aggadic mussar stories all instruct the Torah concept of justice which makes an eternal focus upon the surviving family members … their absolute need to give מחילה to one another, as the key: holy of holies – k’vanna of the absolute TOP first order of priority need requirement for justice among and between our people, when social conflicts erupt among ourselves.

    Restated, justice forever strives to repair rips in the social fabric of society that occur on a daily basis. Only in this way: just compensation for damages inflicted – quickly – before the scars of traumatic crimes become an incurable mental psychosis, which establishes itself as a permanent impairment of social relationship interactions. Children raised in an environment of parental violence, later often continue this pattern of family persecutions.

    Soldiers who return home after experiencing the horrors of war; often – years later – following the initial trauma experiences – develop mental illnesses which alter their ability to function within society in the manner comparable to how they did before that war trauma changed their perceptions of reality.

    The Talmud addresses makkat mardut\rabbinic lashes, a judicial penalty in matters of less sever damages which too tear the social fabric; makkat mardut, a complex and debated subject within the pages of the Talmud and commentaries. But the key point of Torah judicial law: justice primarily addresses the damage inflicted upon the larger social fabric; it seeks to cause society as a whole to fear the consequences of committing predatory crimes against the oath brit alliance community.

    Goyim conceptions of justice by contrast, express themselves primarily restricted to reactions against criminal behavior. The Torah rejects this conception of justice as fundamentally and utterly false. Torah justice does not, first and foremost primarily concern itself with the guilty criminal as does Goyim justice. A human does not transform into a predator of prey species in a day. Human predators do not change from human beings, a peaceful healthy part of society, to – so to speak – werewolves on the night of a full moon. The transformation depicted in the horror story Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, merely requires but moments before the transformation from human to monster happens.

    But grasshoppers do not transform themselves into locust swarms without pressing and exact environmental conditions. The causes which transform persons into serial killers or mass murderers, probably similar emotional traumas persons who commit violent acts of rape or even lesser crimes of theft and the destruction of property of others probably also experience to some degree or another. The sages refer to these incredibly powerful yet unstable emotions (ecstatic insanity) by the general term: Yatzir Ha’Rah. The hunger, need, desire for sex, serves as but one, all to real example, of the long term effects of these and other exceptionally powerful emotions which surge through the veins of all human beings.

    Mental health issues all across the spectrum, from autism to head injuries or psychological trauma etc, exceptionally complex issues for outsiders to perceive and understand. Family physical abuse, usually inflicted months or even years before damaged individuals suddenly attacks society as its prey. Harsh environmental conditions promotes an atmosphere which permits the arousal of the Yatzir Ha’Rah, within the heart. Tumah spirits breath a power which inspires human social development that perverts its former natural course. Something similar to a mutation in DNA genetics, or events which causes a man to mature homosexual tendencies.

    Obviously, people cope with these tumah spirits – some better than others. Justice seeks to communicate the abhorrence and absolute disdain by which society detests and abhors these predatory behavior choices, this “rut heat” within all of us, whereby people make evil destiny decisions. On any given day, for example, some unknown force causes a hermit-like grasshopper to switch and become a locust swarm.

    Therefore the subject of justice: the Torah, assigns itself with the primary task to prevent the descent of society unto the entropy of chaos, anarchy, revolution or civil war. The 2nd law of Thermodynamics: Commonly known as the Law of increased entropy. The classic example – the crystalline structure of ice, as it melts. Structured order slowly changes to chaos and anarchy: defined crystal organization changes to a big mess dripping from the table to the clean floor. Therefore the Torah commandment of justice affixes lateral courtroom justices together with police enforcement as the יסוד upon which stands all Torah commandments, and משנה תורה common law halachot, to obey and do לשמה all Torah law.


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