Then all the people began to eat and drink, send portions, and have a great celebration, because they had understood the words that were explained to them.
I hate that moment when something is being explained, but it's just not clicking - I hear the words, but they are just not sinking in and making sense. And I love that moment when suddenly it all snaps together - the gears line up and start moving in clarified, productive unison.
God's words had been explained to the Israelites, and they had not merely heard - they had understood. God's words had penetrated beyond their ear canals, deeply into their souls, radiating with brilliant clarity - a cause for great celebration.
Do you want a cause for great celebration. Wrap your mind and heart around the fact that the holy, all-powerful, all-wise, all-good God of the universe has spoken words for you to understand.
Let Matthew Henry eloquently help you get in touch with the abounding joy of those ancient people of God:
...those that tremble at the convictions of the word may triumph in the consolations of it. The ground of their joy was very good. They made mirth, not because they had the fat to eat and the sweet to drink, and a great deal of good company, but because they had understood the words that were declared to them. To have the holy scriptures with us, and helps to understand them, is a very great mercy, which we have abundant reason to rejoice in. Bibles and ministers are the joy of God’s Israel. The better we understand the word of God the more comfort we shall find in it; for the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance and mistake. When the words were first declared to them they wept; but, when they understood them, they rejoiced, finding at length precious promises made to those who repented and reformed and that therefore there was hope in Israel.*
*Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 635). Peabody: Hendrickson.
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