A Merry Christmas
Job 1:4-5
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day…

Our text gives us a very pleasing picture of Job's family. He was a happy man to have had so many children all comfortably settled in life; for they all had houses, and each was able in turn to entertain the rest. Perhaps the soberness of age disqualified him for joining in their feasting, but he commended it, he did not condemn it.

I. The text, and THAT IS FESTIVE; so we will ring a merry bell. I distinctly hear three notes in its merry peal.

1. It gives a licence to the righteous. They may meet together in their houses to eat and drink, and to praise God. The Puritans tried to put down the keeping of Christmas. God forbid that I should proclaim the annihilation of any day of rest which falls to the lot of the labouring man. Feasting is not a wrong thing. Job only feared lest a wrong thing should be made out of a right thing. These young people met in good houses, and in good company. Their feasting was a good thing, for it had a good intent; it was for amity, for cheerfulness, for family union. And at the feasting there was good behaviour. Good men of old have feasted. Abraham made a feast when his child was weaned. Shall I tell of Samson and his feasts, or of David, or of Hezekiah, or of Josiah? Feasting was even an essential part of Divine worship under the old law. There was the feast of trumpets, of tabernacles, of the passover, of the new moons, etc. And our Saviour countenanced a feast, and even helped to provide the guests for it. He was not Himself out of place at the wedding feast at Cana. And God has provided in His world not only enough for man's need, but also abundance for man's feasting.

2. It suggests a caution. Job said, "It may be." Though they were good sons, they may have "blessed God too little in their hearts." They may not have been grateful enough for their prosperity, and for the enjoyments God had given them. This caution is necessary, because there is no place free from sin. Wherever two meet together Satan is always a possible third. Because there is many a special temptation where there is a loaded table. More men have perished by fulness of bread than ever died by hunger. More have been drowned in the bowl than ever were drowned at sea. Because they who sit at table are but men, and the best of men are but men at the best.

3. It provides a remedy. Job sent for his sons as a father; he sanctified them as a preacher; he sacrificed for them as a priest. Our feasts should be sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.

II. What is in the text, and THAT IS INSTRUCTIVE; So we must ring the sermon bell. If Job found it right with a holy jealousy to suspect lest his sons might have sinned, how much more do you think he suspected himself. He who was so anxious to keep his children clean was himself more anxious that he might always fear his God and eschew evil. Then be careful, be watchful of yourself.

III. The text, THAT IS AFFLICTIVE; here we ring the funeral bell. Calamity came while the children were feasting. Between the table and the coffin there is but a step. Then do nothing that you would not willingly die doing. Be today what you would wish to be in eternity.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

WEB: His sons went and held a feast in the house of each one on his birthday; and they sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

The Dangers of Prosperity
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