“Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not mind high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Do not be wise in your own conceits.” Romans 12:16“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary to one another: so that you cannot do the things that you have in mind. But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, contention, jealousies, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, reveling, and things like this: of which I tell you now, as I have told you in time past, that they who exercise and practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that belong to the “anointed one” (Christ) have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not glory without reason, challenging one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16-26
Reveling is an English word that has evolved over the years. Not very long ago the word had a negative connotation, but not anymore. Dictionary.com defines "revel" the following way:
Webster in 1828 defined it the following way:
You can see that Webster's definition was a bit different, and the tone suggested that reveling wasn't all good. Of course in 1611 when the KJV was published and even up to the mid 20th century, reveling mostly had a negative meaning. It's funny how the usage of words change over time. I could probably write a post on how "Progressivism" has destroyed the English language, but not today. I will say that if you want to engage in a more accurate understanding of the English language, you should buy and use Websters 1828 Dictionary of the English language. It would be a great help to you as you try to reclaim a better understanding of the English language. It is also helpful when you are reading older translations of the Bible such as the KJV or Geneva Bible. I have found it most helpful. Progressivism has lowered the expectation and value of education, it has modified definitions and words to the point of confusion, and the English language is almost unrecognizable. It is unfortunate, but it is also why I think Churches should be involved in education since they desire to keep things on a high and consistent level. In the early days of our country, Churches taught their parishioners how to read, write, and even how to do mathematics. They obviously taught the Bible and world history since they are so closely linked. Well, I'll get off of my soapbox. When there is a variation in a word like this, I tend to venture over into the Greek to see what it can tell us.REV'EL, verb intransitive [Latin rabo, rabio, to rage, whence rabies, rabid.]1. To feast with loose and clamorous merriment; to carouse; to act the bacchanalian.Antony, that revels long o'nights.2. To move playfully or without regularity.REV'EL, noun A feast with loose and noisy jollity.Some men ruin the fabric of their bodies by incessant revels.REVEL', verb transitive [Latin revello; re and vello, to pull.]To draw back; to retract; to make a revulsion.
Reveling - κῶμος: kōmos - masculine noun: a revel, carousal.
- a nocturnal and riotous procession of half-drunken and frolicsome fellows who after supper parade through the streets with torches and music in honour of Bacchus or some other deity, and sing and play before houses of male and female friends; hence used generally of feasts and drinking parties that are protracted till late at night and indulge in revelry.
So now that we better understand "revel," we can move forward to the implications for the early Christians and for us. In the first century, the Roman culture was Pagan, and they not only bowed to idols but they threw large parties in the name of their gods. These parties aren't ones like you might see on "The Lord of the Rings," or the "Hobbit," where there was kind of peaceful celebration of civil folks. Oh no, their parties were worse than some of those wild parties you hear about in Florida or California around the beaches. It was probably more like what you saw when Jack Sparrow went to Tortuga in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" to seek out a crew to sail the ship he had stolen (But still worse). The Greek fairly explains the spectacle. There also was gross sexual immorality and probably a full display of the fruits of the flesh as listed in Galatians 5. Many times the spectacles would also lead to rape and murder as well. When men and women allow themselves to only be driven by their lusts and passions someone usually gets hurt or killed. Yet, it is very common for people to engage in unfettered revelry where there are no limits. It sounds like fun at first, but there is a lot to lose when one engages in such a venture. Probably the most obvious is the blatant disregard for God and His standard. God's standards first reflect His character, but secondly they contain our personal good. What "feels" good to you may not be what is best. One thing that the Scriptures and observation tell us is that God's ways are better for everyone. When men and women follow the fruits of the flesh, they first tell God they know better, then they willfully go to their own destruction. A humble man or woman knows that God's ways are better, therefore they are willing to submit to them and with joy. This is true even when their flesh may be tempted to join the revelry. We know that the human heart is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). It first takes a God that is willing to remove that heart of stone, and to put in its place a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Then, we are held responsible for using this new heart to honor God and follow his ways. Of course a new desire arises when this heart transplant takes place. It is something foreign. It begins small, but then it grows. It grows to the point where the taste of worldliness loses its savor, and if you do desire a "merry gathering," it is only with those who know and share your desires and values for the Kingdom of God. Therefore, there may be some merriment and laughter, but there won't be any drunkenness and carousing. Humble men and women love peace and certainly are serious, but when they are fun-loving, it is in the Spirit of honor, joy, and respect. There may be some teasing, but in the teasing there is an understanding of respect and honor. Romans tells us to "outdo one another in showing honor" (Romans 12:10). Christ died and rose from the dead to pay for your redemption and transformation. Do not resist what is good.
This wraps up the fruits of the flesh. Next we are going to get more into a positive look as we see how the Humble possess the fruits of the Spirit. Remember the words of James in chapter 4:
"From where come wars and fightings among you? do they not come from, your lusts that war in your members? You lust, and have not: you kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. You adulterers and adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do you think that the scripture says in vain, The spirit that dwells in us is jealous? But he gives more grace. Wherefore he says, God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up.Do not speak evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who are you that judges another?Go to now, you that say, To day or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: whereas you know not what will be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now you rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does it not, to him it is sin."