God's Gift to Us
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sermonette: Refuser of Festivities II

Our Attitude Towards Others Rejoicing
Ronny H. Graham
Given 03-Sep-16; Sermon #1339s; 15 minutes

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Ronny Graham, anticipating the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, focuses on what the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery identifies as a "Refuser of Festivities"—an individual who chooses not to be cheerful at the blessing of another person or a joyous activity celebrated by the community, a churl, or a mean—spirited person. Satan was the first refuser of festivities, perpetually discontent even though God had placed him as a covering cherub. Like the elder brother of the prodigal son, the refuser of activities has a highly—refined, selfish attitude, resentful when someone else receives a blessing which he feels belongs to him. Old Testament refusers of festivities included Jonah, who expressed dismay at God's mercy, wanting the people of Nineveh to pay for their sins. David's wife Michal, steeped in jealousy and pride, was bitter, accusing David of dancing shamefully before the maidens. For her bitter attitude, she remained childless. The children of Israel, initially cheerful at being released from slavery, soon complained about food, water, their leader running off, etc. New Testament refusers of festivities include the Pharisees, whose self-centered jealousy about their petty power base drove them to murder their Messiah. In the upcoming Feast of Tabernacles, God has commanded us to rejoice. Are we going to gripe about our room accommodations, having to meet in the same venue for another year, too few or too many activities, the choice of music, etc.? Instead of a joyless Jonah, we need to be a dancing David.