BY PASTOR PAUL RIKA
(Int'l Director Of Holiness Revival Movement Worldwide)
MONDAY AUGUST 5, 2019
Ecclesiastes 7: 2 It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.
The scripture instructs the believer to mourn with them that mourn. Jesus exemplified this at the death of Lazarus. The one who died was a believer. Jesus knew that he was not in hell, but in paradise; yet He wept at His grave. The scene of his burial was not that of joy and feasting, but of sorrow and mourning.
When a believer dies the Bible says we should not go into too much sorrow as the people of the world do, seeing that we shall surely see our beloved one again when the Lord comes. Burial ceremony was done in a different way from that of a feast. Although mourners ate food to sustain themselves during the days of mourning, the attitude of the mourners was different from the attitude of those in a feast.
The Bible shows that sorrowful, sober and thoughtful moods are befitting this occasion and recommends people to the house of mourning to learn wisdom and understanding. Alas, many see burial ceremony as a period of great feasting and celebration. The mourning state is short-lived or absent. The occasion is turned to that of wearing special clothes, eating, drinking, singing, playing and dancing.
The people who dance, shout and jump believe that God is being glorified by them. Will the Lord accept that which is contrary to the injunction of His word? The lessons of life occasioned to be learned in the house of mourning are lost, since the mourning state is lost. Those who are bereft suffer in a double sense.
Firstly, they suffer the loss of their loved one and secondly, they suffer because of the financial burden of organising a feast for those that shall come in the name of condolence. Again, competition, show of family greatness, show of personal wealth and other carnalities manifest themselves among God's people during burial ceremony.
The dancing exhibited during this period has no scriptural backing; it is for fleshly gratification and is evil. Christians must return to soberness and mourning mood during burial ceremony, that the Holy Spirit may have the opportunity to teach men the lessons of life. Believers must not copy the world and should steer clear from idolatrous practices.
Some people delay burying their dead because they must raise sufficient money and gather a large crowd to make the ceremony flamboyant and ostentatious for personal or family glory. This is motivated by the spirit of the last days.
Thought for the day:
Feasting and dancing during burial are not of God and must be stopped.
Song for the day:
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow..
Bible reading for the day:
Psalm 75-77; Romans 6.
PASTOR PAUL RIKA