All the days of the afflicted are evil:
but he that is of a merry heart
had a continual feast.
If we read the above verse with the flippant American definition of merry, we might picture a person bubbling over with laughter for no reason. We expect a merry person to be always laughing, always smiling, and not necessarily facing the realities of life.
I always like to look in the original word to get the intended definition. The word "merry" is "towb" in the Hebrew. Means nothing to you? Me either. I don't know Hebrew. I just know how to use my online Bible program to find the Hebrew words.
But, I studied a little more on the word. It normally is translated "good." In fact, 361 times it's translated "good." It's only translated "merry" 7 times.
We understand "good" from it's first usage, another neat rule about studying the Bible. When was the word first used?
And God saw the light, that it was good <02896>:
and God divided the light from the darkness.
Aww, I get it. We all understand Genesis chapter one. The Lord created something, then admired it as "good."
A worldly merry person is a giggly person, a Biblically merry person is one whose heart has been created by God, a heart that has been changed by their faith in Him. A heart that was dark with sin until the Savior came in.
Now that we gained understanding from the first usage of the word "good," let's see how the Lord continues to use this word.
He has shown you, O man, what is good <02896>;
and what does the LORD require of you,
but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God?
We can only be good through faith because He first was good.
The LORD is good <02896>,
a strong hold in the day of trouble;
and He knows them that trust in him.
What is the merry person feasting on?
We feast on His Word.
Jeremiah, "His Words are sweet…."
We feast on His Will.
Let's look at Jesus' example.
"My food is to do the will of God."
It is a chiastic saying, because we have a good heart, a God-created heart, we have a continual feast. If we continually feast, we will keep our heart merry.
The Lord always reaches out first, then rewards us for reaching back in response.
For the first time, we women don't have to worry about diet, we can feast all we want.
In fact, we can have a continual feast.