WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 22, 2022
TOPIC: SORROW WILL NOT MIX WITH YOUR JOY
BY T. O. BANSO
“When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it” (Judges 11:34-35 New King James Version).
We live in a broken world, not a perfect world. And we have to live each day with faith in God as we stand against the wiles of the devil on the earth. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 New King James Version).
One of the activities of the devil we must be vigilant about is his mission of mixing sorrow with people’s joy thereby aborting their joy. He doesn’t want people’s joy to last. The devil is a master of turning people’s dancing into mourning. David said of God, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness” (Psalm 30:11 New King James Version). The devil does the opposite: turning dancing into mourning and gladness into sadness. Jesus said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 New King James Version).
While believers are not yet in heaven, and cannot expect perfection here on earth, we must, nevertheless, watch and pray so that the devil does not turn our celebration into lamentation. We must be vigilant. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2 New King James Version). The devil will not succeed in your life, family, etc. in Jesus’ name. Sorrow will not mix with your joy. Satan will not terminate your joy with any evil occurrence.
In 2 Samuel 6:1-11, sorrow mixed with the joy of David and his people when Uzziah died because he touched the Ark. The celebration turned into mourning. Consequently, David could not bring the Ark to Jerusalem. He ordered that it be kept in the house of Obed-Edom. It was there for three months during which the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belonged to him.
When David eventually went back to bring the Ark, he didn’t make the mistake of transporting it on a cart, as he had done previously. The Levites carried it – the Ark had four rings of gold for the insertion of poles that the Levites used to carry the Ark on their shoulders (Exodus 37:1-5).
This second time, everything went smoothly. There was no unfortunate incident except for his wife, Michal, the daughter of Saul, who despised him. There was no casualty. It was a celebration all through. No sorrow. Sorrow will not mix with your joy. On your day of celebration, you will not mourn. Tragedy will not mar that joyful occasion ahead of you. Your celebration will not turn into lamentation.
Jephthah the Gileadite had led Israel to defeat their enemy, the Ammonites. He returned home triumphantly, celebrating the victory. But as he got home, sorrow mixed with his joy. His dancing turned into mourning. He wasn’t expecting that his daughter, who was his only child, would be the first person to meet him on his return.
Before he went to that battle, he had made a vow to the LORD. “And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, ‘If You will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering” (Judges 11:30-31 New King James Version).
He defeated the Ammonites, but, unfortunately, his daughter, unaware of her father’s vow, was the first person to go to meet him. Judges 11:34-35 says, “When Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with timbrels and dancing; and she was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he tore his clothes, and said, ‘Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low! You are among those who trouble me! For I have given my word to the LORD, and I cannot go back on it” (New King James Version).
He was wrong to have accused his daughter; she, obviously, wasn’t there when he made the vow. It wasn’t her fault. That day, sorrow mixed with the joy of Jephthah and, indeed, with the joy of his family. Their victory dance turned into mourning. That won’t be your portion. Sorrow will not mix with your joy. Your rejoicing will not end abruptly.
Since God forbade human sacrifice (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10), Bible scholars are not agreed if Jephthah actually offered his daughter as a burnt offering. Although the Bible says Jephthah “carried out his vow with her which he had vowed” (Judges 11:39b New King James Version), some believe that he only dedicated her to a life of perpetual virginity – she never married until she died. Thus, Jephthah’s family line ended because she was his only child. But others believe that he fulfilled his vow by offering her as a burnt offering. Nevertheless, Jephthah’s name is in the list of the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11:32.
Jephthah’s story is often used to warn against making rash vows. Sorrow mixed with his joy that day because of his vow. Don’t make a rash or reckless vow. Sorrow will not mix with your joy in Jesus’ name.
The Bible also tells us how Saul, because of his foolish oath, nearly caused sorrow to mix with the joy of the Israelites. The joy of Israel’s army on a day that the LORD, through Jonathan, Saul’s son, gave them victory over their enemy, the Philistines, would have been turned into mourning if not that the people withstood Saul that Jonathan would not die for ignorantly breaking Saul’s oath.
1 Samuel 14:24-25 says, “And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies’ So none of the people tasted food” (New King James Version). That was foolish. There is a time to fast and a time to fight! Why should anyone tell soldiers to fast when what they needed to do was to fight? They needed to eat reasonably well so that they would have the strength to fight.
But Jonathan, unaware of his father’s oath, ate some honey. When Saul eventually found out that it was Jonathan who had broken his oath, he said he must die. However, the people opposed Saul and rescued Jonathan; he didn’t die (verses 27; 45-46). Sorrow would have mixed with their joy that day if the people had not opposed Saul. Because they didn’t allow Jonathan to be killed, Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines. The Israelites couldn’t complete the victory.
The devil’s ministry is to steal, kill, and destroy. But he will not fulfill his ministry in your life and the lives of your loved ones in Jesus’ name. Be sober; be vigilant. Matthew 13:25 says while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. Continue earnestly in prayer. Your joy will endure; it will not be short-lived. Sorrow will not mix with your joy. May the Lord comfort any reader who is sorrowful now and give him/her lasting joy. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5b).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Sorrow will not mix with my joy in Jesus’ name. My joy shall be fortified against Satan’s machinations. On my day of joy, no tragedy shall befall me. I pray that the Lord will comfort and strengthen anyone whose joy has been fouled by Satan and restore full joy to such a person.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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