Day 29: When Feasting is Unpardonable Sin

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Is it sinful to be happy?  Is it a sin to have a party? None would dare say so.  Jesus Himself attended parties.  His first miracle of turning water into wine was at a wedding party.  Even in heaven, there are parties.  Jesus said so. He said the angels throw a party whenever a sinner gets back home to God (Luke 15:7, 23-24, 32).  In Romans 12:15, we are admonished to “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”   In other words, according to Solomon, there is time for everything, “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4).  That is the bottom of the matter, that even feasting, as good as it is, could be wrongly timed.  A very worrying perspective to the issue is the contribution of the Prophet Isaiah according to whom a wrongly timed feast could become an unpardonable sin.

Every proper Sunday school student would be familiar with the term, “unpardonable sin.” Everyone knows generally of only one such sin: the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. According to the prophet Isaiah, however, feasting in a season of grief; or a call by men to feast when God is calling to a fast; a call to merriment when God is calling to tears, falls into the same category of unpardonable sin.

12 The Lord, the Lord Almighty, called you on that dayto weep and to wail,to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.

13 But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine!"Let us eat and drink," you say,"for tomorrow we die!"

14 The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: "Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for," says the Lord, the Lord Almighty (Isaiah 22:12-14, NIV).

 As festive seasons come and go, as feasting opportunities come from time to time, one has to discern which one may be attended, and which should be sacrificed for the call to wail for the land and the people. Feast time for one may not mean feast time for all. One man’s feast could turn out to become another’s unpardonable sin.

Merry Christmas!

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