The God of Play

He lives in eternal delight, just as He has since before the foundation of the world.

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The Body of Christ needs the joy of Jesus more than ever in this hour. To that end, here’s a nugget that will brighten your spirit today!

Grumpy conformity to disciplines and regulations is not very effective. It doesn’t exist in God’s kingdom. Jesus is, and always will be, a man of happy holiness. I know that may sound like an oxymoron to some of you who were raised in a dry, boring religion that used His Name. But the reality is, because of His passion for what’s right, He’s the happiest, most ecstatic Person in the universe.

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions (Hebrews 1:9).

He lives in eternal delight, just as He has since before the foundation of the world. And this is not some ethereal, religious definition of gladness. One of the great mysteries of the ages is that a critical aspect of God’s nature is genuine joy, which includes revelry and play. He’s not a bland religious guy or old fuddy-duddy. Proverbs 8:30-31 says:

Then I [Jesus] was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.

This speaks about the Son of God with His Father in eternity. Unfortunately, most translations water down this passage—probably because it doesn’t fit the translator’s theology. In the original, it doesn’t say that He simply “rejoiced,” though that’s part of it. The word sachaq means “to play.” It’s even defined as to joke or jest. It means to frolic.

The Passion Translation nails it:

I was there, close to the Creator’s side as his master artist. Daily he was filled with delight in me as I playfully rejoiced before him.

I laughed and played, so happy with what he had made…

Jesus was literally playing with His Father before the foundation of the world, even as children play with their dads. What father doesn’t want to have fun with his son or daughter? Not a good one.

I used to think it was irreverent to think of God as playful. But if reverence is about extolling God as He truly is, then it’s actually dishonoring to deny or ignore this facet of His dynamic personality. As theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote, “God plays. God created playing. And man should play if he is to live as humanly as possible and to know reality since it is created by God’s playfulness.”

Are you humble enough to go play with your heavenly Father today?

If you do, you will be transformed and be more like Jesus than ever before. Every aspect of your life can be full of His pleasure!


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on EJ Ministries 

Featured Image by Andrew Leinster from Pixabay


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About the Author

Paul Rumore is an author and speaker. Paul and his wife, Nicole, are also co-founders of Enjoying Jesus Ministries, which exists to proclaim and carry the glory of the infinitely joyful triune God, resulting in people knowing Him intimately and walking out the First Commandment.