Joy in His Presence
Verse 24 Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
Today we begin the Advent week of Joy. Joy isn’t just about feelings of happiness; it is more like a flow from deep within us that springs up in response to the presence and work of God in our lives. Today’s example of joy is from just after the ordination of the original Jewish priests, Aaron and his sons. This service in our reading today was held in the wilderness. This wasn’t joy because of circumstances, that’s for sure!
This was a new kind of celebration. They have recently completed the Tabernacle as a place of worship. The sacrifices have been explained and the priests ordained. The first acts as priests are done, they have sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering. They had done everything just as God had said and now they get to experience just how much God is pleased with their duties.
After the sacrifices Aaron, the high priest, turns to raise his hands and bless the people and then he and his brother, Moses, head into the Tabernacle. This moment must have been special for the brothers. They had come from different upbringings, different journeys through early adult years and then God brought them back together when Moses, the younger brother, was around 80 years old. And now they have been living in the wilderness for years and not always getting along. But God was still using them together.
As they came out and Aaron went to bless God’s people again, the glory of the Lord came before the people. They knew it was God’s glory because they had seen His glory before. His glory had led them in the exodus, appeared on the mountain with Moses and had filled the Tabernacle when it was completed. When God wanted them to move He would leave the Tabernacle and they would follow Him. That is what this joy they were experiencing was all about. They knew God was in their midst and they couldn’t help but rejoice and worship. Even in this time of wandering, God was near. He still is!
Making It Personal
When have you felt God’s presence that has brought you joy? What about His presence brings you joy? How eager are you for time in His presence?
Making It Personal Kids
Do you feel joy when thinking about Jesus? What about Him brings you joy? Have you told Him thank you for making you feel joyful?
Father, thank You for the gift of joy. Thank You for filling us with Your joy when we are in Your presence. Help us show this joy to all we encounter. In Jesus’ name, amen.