A MOUNT SWALLOWED IN JOY
In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, the character Nick describes the Saturday evening parties he sees at Gatsby’s home: “The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside. . . . The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.” So great are the parties that it takes eight house servants working all day each Monday to clean up the mess from the extravagant celebration.
Compared to the party that Judah will have on Mount Zion, Gatsby’s parties will seem like one insignificant candle flickering on a poorly made cake! The Lord Almighty Himself will make this festival for His people (v. 6). He will serve only the richest wine and best meats, swallowing up the mountain in His joy.
Four things will turn the day that the Lord saves Judah into a party like no other (v. 8). First, He will destroy death, the great enemy to life. No more will we feel the loss of the deterioration of a body. Second, the Lord will remove the sorrow we have experienced in this present world. Sadness from our own mistakes or from the wrongs of others will be wiped away.
Third, the guilt of our sin will be removed; no more will this weight plague us or destroy our fellowship with the Lord. Fourth, the pride of those who have exalted themselves against the Lord and His people will be brought low. Never again will believers be persecuted or hear someone mock our God. Instead we will hear, “Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (v. 9)!
APPLY THE WORD
These points can help guide our celebrations. Rather than debauched parties, we can have times of feasting and festival that remind us that our God delights in praise. Our times of celebration now on earth should celebrate life, encourage joy, resist sinfulness, and provide opportunities for God’s people to come together in worship and rejoicing.