God is a source of joy for mankind. He was joyful after completing the given piece of creation (Gen 1:31)

Completing a given piece of work in the most desirable way gives joy to mankind. God experienced happiness after completing his works of creation.

God gave the human beings worldly resources like plants and animals to use for their happiness. Therefore, man's joy comes from depending on God's provision (Gen 1:27-30).

By creating human beings as male and female in his image, God wanted man to enjoy a close relationship with him (Genesis) :26).

Man's happiness comes from enjoying the company of others. This was seen as man felt so lonely before the woman was created. Upon the creation of a woman, the man was filled with happiness (Genesis 2: 18-25).

Disobedience brings unhappiness in man's life, the first human beings disobeyed God's command by, eating the forbidden fruit and the result was unhappiness (Genesis 3: 1 ff).

Selfishness and jealousy are the root causes of unhappiness. Cain 'was selfish and became jealous of his brother Abel and was punished by God. Therefore there's need to share our belongings for man to be happy (Genesis 4: 1 ff).

Happiness comes from depending on God's provision. God gave the worldly resources to the first human beings to use for their happiness and when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit they experienced sadness (Genesis: 26-28).

The Old Testament points out that the life of man consists of joy and sorrow (Ecclesiastes 3:4). God set time for everything including the time for sorrow and the time for joy

Giving birth among Israelites was a source of joy, Hannah- the wife of Elkanah filled with joy when she gave birth to' Samuel (I Samuel 2: 1 ff).

Happiness meant being free from any inhuman act including slavery. The Israelites, celebrated the day of their freedom from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 12: Iff).

Happiness in Israel was enjoying God's blessing. Hannah was filled with joy when she was blessed with a baby boy whom she named Samuel (1 Samuel 2: Iff)

Possessing the land promised to them was as source of happiness to the Israelites, They celebrated taking over the Canaan land from their enemies 'the Canaanites,

The presence of God among the Israelites meant being joyful. King David together with the rest of the Israelites sung and danced as the covenant box was returned to Jerusalem. This covenant box represented their God (2 Samuel 6: 1)

The happiness among Israelites was dependent on worshipping only God. God told them that worshipping many gods would make them be punished. This was later to be proved they suffered from 2-3 years of drought because of King Ahabs mistake of worshipping the gods of his wife Jezebel (l Kings 18: 1 ff).                     

The righteous are called to be happy and give praise to God to his mighty acts (Psalm 33: 1)

Happiness was having an earthly king. The Israelites sung and danced with a lot of joy as they received Saul as their first king.

Suffering in the form of illness caused sadness among Israelites. Job was over whelmed by the skin disease which made him to curse the day he was born (Job 3: 1 ft).

Happiness is being in union with one's fellow men (psalms 133:1ff). The biblical text points out that it is wonderful and pleasurable tor God's people to live together in harmony

Happiness means sharing and enjoying the fruits of one's labour (psalms) 28:2).

Happiness means fulfilling ones' promises like God giving the Canaan to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:1, 6:24, Psalm 37: 1ff). This was an act of God leading the Israelites to discover the way to happiness.

Revision Question

1. Explain the Old Testament teaching about happiness.

2. How can you use the Old Testament teaching to be truly happy?'

        Look unto God for our happiness

        We should complete the task before us in a desirable way or do our work thoroughly.

        We should depend of God's provision.

        We should be close to God by sharing our feelings with him.

        We should be in the company of others. Adam was lonely before Eve was created.

        We should obey the laws or rules and regulation of the society unlike the first man disobeyed God's command and they were punished.

        We should share what we have with other people.

        We should be fair promoting justice in human relationships.

        We should seek blessings from god.

        We should set aside time for everything

        We should be righteous in our conducts.

        We should worship only one God.

Occasions of happiness in the Old Testament

1. The Israelites celebrated the pass over event. On this day, God commanded the Israelites to feast in celebrating the end of their slavery in Egypt and to mark the beginning of their movement to the Promised Land (Exodus 12: 1 ff).

2. The people of Israel celebrated the covenant renewal at Shechem. On this day they reaffirmed their faith with God accompanied by offering sacrifices (Joshua 24: 1ff).

3. The Israelites enjoyed having God's provision inform of food. God gave them manna and quails as they were on their way to the Promised Land (Exodus 16:1ff) .

 4. The Israelites were also joyful after receiving the physical king appointed by God. They sang and danced when God gave them Saul as their first king following their request for a physical leader. (1 Samuel 10: 23 - 24).       

5. The return of the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistine was an occasion that called for celebration among the Israelites. They danced because it signified the presence of God among them (2 Samuel 6:5 - 16).

 6. The killing of Goliath by David brought happiness to the Israelites. This was' because Goliath had over powered and caused great suffering onto the Israelites. His death was therefore a relief that prompted celebration. (1 Samuel 18: 5 - 7).

7. The Israelites were filled with joy when the building of the temple was complete and finally dedicated to God. They celebrated this for about one week because it signified that their God [Yahweh] could be kept in safer place. (I king 8:65 - 66).

8. The celebration of special feats including the unleavened bread and the tabernacles was an occasion of happiness among the Israelites. This became the tradition in commemorating the exodus events. (Exodus 34: 18 - 22).

9. Elijah's victory over the prophets of Baal was also an occasion of joy. It was in this victory that the Israelites came to realize that Elijah's God was the true God because the God brought back rain after three years of drought. This made the Israelites to sing and dance with joy. (1 kings 18:41 - 45, 19 ff).

10. The relief of Job from his long illness brought happiness among the Israelites. They feasted because Job was given more blessings. (Job 42: 10 - 16).

Revision Question:

1. On What occasions were the people of Israel happy?  

2.    Identify events in the Old Testament that brought happiness to the people.

Unhappiness in the Old Testament

The book of the Old Testament does not only bring out events of happiness in human life. Even though God had done everything possible for man's happiness, man made mistakes and lost his happiness as seen below.

1. The disobedience of man as recorded in Genesis 3:1 ff brought sadness in his life. Adam and Eve disobeyed Gods' command and ate the forbidden fruit. This resulted into their punishments that made them unhappy. Mans' disobedience therefore caused unhappiness because of the following.

2. Man experienced sadness through his selfishness and jealousy. It was out of such that Cain killed his brother Abel. The punishment God gave him there after made him sad. (Genesis 4: 1 ff)

3. Man lost his happiness through his greediness, false wisdom, lack of faith and trust in God. This is reflected in the story of the builders of the Tower of Babel who wanted to reach God. God instead punished them by mixing their languages and destroying the tower itself. This made them unhappy (Genesis 11: 1 ff).

4. Man experienced sadness through the drunkenness of Noah. Out of this, Noah cursed his son who had seen his nakedness. The suffering of the cursed son experienced caused sorrow in the whole family (Genesis 9:20 - 25).

5. The flood man experienced was responsible for his sadness. The flood that lasted for forty days was God's punishment to the people who had become disobedient (Genesis 7: 1 ff).

6. The sale of Joseph by his brothers to Egypt was an event of sadness in the Old Testament. Jacob who was the father of Joseph was grieved by the disappearance of his lovely Son. It was also this sale that later on led to the movement of Jacob's family to Egypt where they were eventually enslaved. (Genesis 37: 31 - 35).

7. The sin immorality in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah resulted into sorrow. This was because God destroyed the cities because of the attempted rape by men living there. (Genesis 19:1ff).

8. Man experienced unhappiness through the rape of Dinah (the daughter of Jacob and Leah) by Schechem (the son of Hames). As a result of this rape, Jacob's sons murdered many people including those from Schechem's family. (Genesis 34: 1ff).

9. The enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt caused sadness not only to them but also to God. The Israelites were subjected to prolonged suffering because of over working. It was this kind of suffering that made God call and commission Moses to go and deliver His people. (Exodus 3: 7ff).

10. Man lost happiness through the provocations as reflected in Elkanah's family. Peninah provoked Hannah who was her co-wife basing on her failure to produce children. This was a dilemma that kept Hannah in a sorrowful state. (I Samuel 1: 5 - 8).

11. The Old Testament brings out sadness when the Israelites demanded for a physical king. Samuel who was the high priest was grieved. This demand did not also please God because it meant the Israelites had rejected His divine authority that rescued them from the Egyptian slavery and led them to the Promised Land. (I Samuel 8: 6 - 8).

12. Man experienced unhappiness through the forced labour especially during the time of kings. For example King Solomon subjected his people to force labour during the building of his palace (I kings 5: 13-16).

13. The misery of disease and death caused unhappiness in the Old Testament. For example, the sickness of Job did not only bring sadness to himself but to the entire Israelites community. (I Kings 21: 1 ft).

14. The greediness of King Ahab caused unhappiness among the Israelites. King Ahab grabbed the vineyard of Naboth and went ahead to recognize his death after the plot by his own wife. This angered the Israelites, the prophets and God (I king 21: 1 ff).

15. Man lost his happiness through the practice of corruption and bribery. God punished the Israelites because of these evil acts (Micah 7: 1 ft).

16. The worshipping of idols resulted into man losing his happiness. This became common among the Israelites during the time of kings. It annoyed the prophets and God responded by punishing fhe Israelites because it reflected their disobedient the covenant law of not worshipping other gods.

17. There used to be discrimination among the people of Israel. For example kings like Solomon and Rehoboam discriminated against the Northern tribes and treated them with a lot of cruelty.

18. The people of Israel suffered from natural disasters particularly drought. This was during the reign of King Ahab and the prophetic ministry of Elijah. Many people cried out because of the consequences of the drought which included starvation and death among others.

19. The people of Israel were sad for being in exile in Babylon. They cried out to God to rescue them from their suffering.

20. Grabbing of property resulted into sorrow among the Israelites. King Ahab grabbed the vine yard of Naboth.

21. The Israelites were unhappy because of their unrepentant. For example, God punished King Solomon for being unrepentant.

 Revision Question

1. Identify events in the Old Testament where man experienced unhappiness, sorrow and sadness.

4. How did man lose their happiness in the Old Testament?

How the eating of the forbidden fruit resulted into unhappiness

Both the man and the woman were chased out of the Garden of Eden and therefore they lost God's free provision.

The man and woman became ashamed of themselves particularly when they realized they were naked.

They became afraid of God and this was the reason that they went into hiding.

Each of them blamed God for putting a woman with him meaning that there was a broken human relationship

God cursed the soil for the survival of human beings saying that it was going to produce weeds and thorns.

God cursed the man to begin surviving through his own sweat by working hard.

God punished the woman by making her experience pain during delivering. .

God put the woman under the man's control. She was therefore to be submissive to the man.

God punished the woman by making her have a special desire for a man  

God punished the human beings by death. They were to go back to the soil from where they were formed.

The human beings were cursed into eating wild plants meaning that they had lost free provision from God.

They were cursed into eating wild plants meaning that they had lost free provision from God.

The human beings and other creatures started being enemies. Man started fearing a snake

Sin entered into the world and this was the beginning of man's suffering through evils. It Mail lost his immortality. He was cursed to go back into the soil from which he was formed.       

Revision Questions

1.     Explain how the eating of the forbidden fruit resulted into man's unhappiness.

2.     How did the disobedience of man in Genesis 3 lead to their own unhappiness?

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A complete talking Book for Uganda certificate of Education