- Serving God
- Rivka Olenick
- "Serve the Lord with gladness, come before Him with
exultation." Psalms 100:2
- The sentence above contains both gladness and exultation although
they mean the same thing. The sentence could have simply stated:
"Serve the Lord with gladness." Or "Come before Him
with exultation." What is the emphasis on gladness and
exultation? What is the emphasis on "Serve the Lord" and
"come before Him" which also appears to have the same
- Unfortunately, many people believe that there cannot be gladness or
exultation when serving God. They believe that the involvement in the
commandments is painful and burdensome and comes only out of fear; it
doesn't. We should not think that to Serve the Lord with gladness,
come before Him with exultation is purely emotional and which has
nothing to do with wisdom and thought. To the contrary a person can
eventually understand that great joy can be produced when serving God,
especially in our every day life.
- Every day life runs its' course according to God's will. Divine
Service is much more than going to the synagogue on the Sabbath. When
you involve yourself in the effort and the concentration of prayer,
remind yourself that you are standing before the One and Only God,
that you come before the One Who created you and the entire world.
Nothing can intercede the relationship between you and the Creator.
Feel glad knowing that you are serving the One who knows all your
needs and provides you with all your needs. Isn't it true? Thinking
this way can give a person tremendous strength in understanding that
by performing and understanding the mitzvos with gladness, there are
great benefits. By exploring the truth and the ideas behind the
purpose of the commandments, this can produce gladness in your mind.
Placing concentration, effort and energy into fulfilling the
commandments with this mind set can take you away from your own
sadness and the sadness we observe in the world.
- Each Jew is obligated to serve God with joy and gladness in wealth
and in poverty in good health and even if one is ill. Serving God does
produce gladness and exultation and that can take you away from those
things that are petty and superficial and can take you away from
needing the approval of others.
- Only God knows all your thoughts. This is a very important idea to
be more cognizant of since many people feel estranged from God when
they are suffering. Remember, that only God, relieves your suffering.
Know that when you serve God sincerely you are fulfilling your
purpose, the reason you were created and understanding this truth can
bring you happiness and peace of mind. We must try to do everything
possible to preserve and strengthen this relationship, which is the
most important relationship we have. Hopefully, this of way thinking
can give one the impetus to be more sincerely involved in chesed and
Torah study, which are mainly the ways we serve God. Understanding
that this is what we were created to do will bring peace of mind to
you and your family. Your peace of mind and gladness will be observed
by others and will hopefully encourage them to be more involved in a
life that is genuinely committed to serving God. This is what can
produce such gladness and exultation!
- Don't be fooled by thinking that anything else can bring a person
such gladness and exultation. Anything else meaning red bendels,
silver rings, handwriting analysis, a mezuza in your car, a palm
reader who claims to foresee your future, or claims from someone who
says they can direct your life or heal you with amulets, or anything
else that you imagine is an instant miracle. This cannot create
gladness and exultation. This is all false. There is only one way to
serve God with gladness, through service and through the truths that
we acquire in knowledge. There is only one way to have exultation
before God, through truth and through service. "The feeling of
steady and constant spiritual and moral growth, the continuous growth
of all that is truly human in us, a blissful joy of life that is not
subject to change in any manner by the outward circumstances which
life may bring." Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Hirsch Psalms, pg.