H. D. M. Spence-Jones (1836–1917) was a Cambridge graduate who taught Hebrew and was the general editor of The Pulpit Commentary. I was struck by his observation on Jeremiah 32:41 (which I quote in my book Happiness), where God says, “I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.”
God has joy. He is not indifferent, nor is he morose; we are to think of him as the “blessed” God, i.e. as essentially happy. . . . The brightness and beauty of the world are reflections from the blessedness of God. Because he is glad, nature is glad, flowers bloom, birds sing, young creatures bound with delight. Nothing is more sad in perversions of religion than the representations of God as a gloomy tyrant. . . .
These fragrant meadows, broad rolling seas of moorland heather, rich green forest-cities of busy insect life, flashing ocean waves, and the pure blue sky above, and all that is sweet and lovely in creation, swell one symphony of gladness, because the mighty Spirit that haunts them is himself overflowing with joy. Our God is a Sun. And if divinity is sunny, so should religion be. The happy God will rejoice in the happiness of his children. . . . God is so joyous that he finds joy even in us.[i]
[i] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., The Pulpit Commentary: Jeremiah, vol. 2.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.