By: Patty Nicholas-Boyte
Nehemiah 12:41-43 (NASB)
41 and the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with the trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang, with Jezrahiah their leader, 43 and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, and the women and children rejoiced as well, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard from far away.
In the last few weeks, we have seen the scene unfold. The Israelite people have gathered to dedicate the re-built walls to God with one choir stood on the right and another equally great choir stationed on the left. The priests sacrificed and purified the people as they marched into place. Today, we get to see some of the motivation behind the event. Because God had given them great joy.
Within an amazingly short period of time the people came together and rebuilt the walls and gates around the holy city. The enemies who had been tormenting them during the process had also been dealt with taking away the immediate outside threat, combined with the wall, they now had protection and peace.
The people also survived a famine, with God’s miraculous provision, and they had found the hidden scrolls and the Word of God had returned to the temple. Yes, there was reason to be full of joy and I can only imagine the worship service the people experienced that day. In verse 43 we are told in what has to be an understatement if ever I read one, the joy of Jerusalem was heard from far away.
Yet, what about us for this day and the times we find ourselves? A global pandemic, civil unrest, as well as a country divided in every way imaginable. Can we find great joy? I believe we can just simply through the act of worship.
The singers sang with their leader named Jezrahiah, which means The Lord arises or brightness of the Lord. I think it is significant that the man who lead their worship was named after the rising of, or the brightness of God Himself. When we create an atmosphere of worship and praise to God, He will arise and bring forth a brightness and a joy for us and within us.
Psalm 95:1-3 (NASB)
1Come, let’s sing for joy to the Lord, let’s shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let’s come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving, let’s shout joyfully to Him in songs with instruments. 3 For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods,
What can we learn from Nehemiah?
· God shines brightly on us when we lift our voices in worship to Him.
· There is power when we come together to worship in one authentic voice.
· When we focus on God, He will give us the joy.
· Let the joy of the Lord be heard from far away.
2 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Tell of all His wonders. 3 Boast in His holy name; May the heart of those who seek the Lord be joyful. 4 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.
What questions can we ask ourselves that can affect change?
- Where do I go to seek joy?
- When I worship am I more concerned about what others think or do I let my joy be heard from far away?
- Do I let my mood dictate how I worship, or do I worship God and let Him raise me up to His joy?
- How contagious is my worship?
- Do I offer God a great sacrifice in my worship?