Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Is God opposed to pleasure?
I want to raise a question that it will probably take the rest of this week to answer. Is God opposed to pleasure? This question was first proposed to me by one of our young subscribers to the RR daily devotional. I’m going to answer publicly for our mutual benefit. We could just make this a “yes” or “no” proposition, but a serious consideration of the question requires much more than that.
Of course, there are many parts to the question too. The real answer may well be, “It depends.” It depends on what we mean by “pleasure.” For instance, if we say “pleasure” but mean “joy,” of course the answer is, “No!” God cannot be opposed to joy, it is a fruit of the Spirit.
Hebrews 12:2b For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
His joy is why we run the race, and just like Yeshua, the whole reason we run the race to partake of His joy. God created the world so that He could have relationship with mankind, and enjoy the pleasure of that relationship. That is the joy or pleasure of the spirit. But the pleasure of the flesh is hedonism. I do believe God is opposed to hedonism.
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Ruach, but the Ruach sets its desire against the flesh—for these are in opposition to one another, so that you cannot do what you want.
The question arises, who is on the throne of your heart? Is it self? Is it success in some earthly achievement? Or, in the best of circumstances, is it God? There are thin lines that divide these three. A pastor friend of mine from years ago, Paul Morgan, used to say, “Only the best for God’s people.” I’ve tried to live by that. I keep God on the throne and I enjoy His provision in my life.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
We love God, and when He gives us blessings to enjoy, we give Him thanks. God cannot be opposed to Himself. His desire for us is summed up in this. It is a relationship with our heavenly Father that must include the fruit of the spirit, especially joy.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far beyond all that we ask or imagine, by means of His power that works in us, 21 to Him be the glory in the community of believers and in Messiah Yeshua throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen.
God is not opposed to pleasure. Just be sure your pleasure is found in Him and consistent with your relationship with Him. That’s my first answer.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 26-Jul-2022 27th of Tamuz, 5782
Nu 32:1-19 Eze 25 Ne 12 (Lk 20) Col 4
Memory Verse: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
151 7/25 Monday: Luke 1
152 7/26 Tuesday: Luke 2
153 7/27 Wednesday: Matthew 1-2
154 7/28 Thursday: Mark 1
155 7/29 Friday: John 1