Thursday, April 06, 2006

Cultivating happiness

I heard a fascinating interview yesterday with Darrin McMahon, the author of a recent book called Happiness: A History. It is a fascinating subject, and was a timely discussion in light of my recent post below. A few things that came up in the conversation were that happiness is a commandment in the Talmud and one of the twelve tribes of Israel, the tribe of Asher, is the same word used for happiness in the Old Testament. Certainly the theme of joy and happiness is abundant throughout the Bible. Here are a few examples:

Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy;at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."

Psalm 96:11 "Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;let the sea roar, and all that fills it."

Psalm 104:14-16 "You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate,that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man,oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart."

Psalm 118:24 "This is the day that the LORD has made;let us rejoice and be glad in it."

The Bible also talks about depression, sadness, and the loss of happiness, as below:

Lamentations 3:17 "My soul is bereft of peace;I have forgotten what happiness is."

Certainly Jesus experienced and embraced the whole range of human emotions, and happiness would have been valued highly by Jesus, his family, and his followers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the last several years I have done an extensive study of all the Bible Characters. One of the major points to the study was to find out about Tribes of Israel . This study included researching the contemporaries of the time in secular history, the Hebrew meanings of the the individuals name and trying to find out what was going on in secular history at the time of each Biblical character. You may find this information useful in your own study. You can check this out at .