In the ESV, Isaiah 29.19 reads, “The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord, and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.” Many translations differ on exactly how to here translate the Hebrew. The NKJ says “the humble will increase their joy”. The CSB phrases it, “The humble will have joy after joy”. The NIV and NASB also have unique phrasing for these words. Using all of the translations together we are offered a type of commentary on the Bible, by the Bible.
The humble, or meek, are the subject of the admonition. Humility, in part, is not claiming glory or praise for something. The humbler an individual, the less praise they claim for themselves. What makes this difficult is that we humans are created to be like God. It is right to praise Him. It is Good to praise Him. So naturally, we like He, want to receive praise. But we are offered the opportunity to forego our own glory for His. In doing so we are graced with fresh joy.
Fresh Joy? More joy! Joy after Joy, like step after step or stack after stack. The previous joys are still there, still spiking surges of serotonin. But more is added. Positivity is produced when the Lord’s glory is focused on. Why?
In focusing on being pleasing to God I bring my life into alignment. God is first- check. As His steward I take care of my family and bless others as I have been blessed. This places my glory, my desire, my ambition, my being last. Each returning of the blessings I have been given is cause for celebration. I have given a good gift- I have acted like God. Do it again, and another cause for joy is added.
What is the problem with stale bread? It is cooked with the same care as oven-fresh bread, but it is different. The nutritional values are the same, but the taste is… mmyeckk! Many people have trained their lives into being as humble as they can be, sharing their blessings to the fullest. Well done! The rest of us can learn from them. Perhaps it is time to add fresh joy to our lives. God’s merciful blessings are faithfully new every morning. May we endeavor to find fresh joy with every blessing we receive.