Sunday, May 1, 2011

MM Meditation - A Merry Heart

Proverbs 15:15
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? 

Genesis 1:4
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.

Micah 6:8
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.

Nahum 1:7
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.



  1. Thank you for this reminder. It was very timely today!

  2. Yes, an encouraging word. Thank you. I am presently working on a poem for someone with these lines:
    But that doesn't mean there's not deep-seated joy,
    Or hope for the future the past can't destroy.
    The trials I've faced and the pain I've withstood Have deepened my sense of what's actually good.
    They've taught me some things that are hard to explain,
    But make me feel thankful for even the pain.

  3. Thank you, Mindy. What a beautiful, encouraging and challenging blog. If we truly have a merry heart that is rejoicing in the Lord Jesus then our lives will be a witness for Him as people see the difference.

  4. I love exploring and having a greater understanding of what God's Word is telling us. Your world definition of "merry" is an accurate description of what first comes to my mind! But I love the deeper look into this word and verse. What a blessing I received today!


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