We are coming to the end of Nehemiah - just one more chapter to go. For some reason, this tiny book tucked between much more well-known books really speaks to me. I see so many things in it that I can take away in my own life. That is the wonder of the Bible - that it was written so long ago, by many different people yet it still is relevant to my life today. I am always so excited when I read something and think, "Wow - I had no idea that was in there!"
Chapter 12 is really a culmination of all the Israel's hard work. They called the Levites to come and lead the worship over the completion of the building of the wall. It lists all the names of all the people involved which I think is interesting - honor is conferred to these men as their names were written down and remembered. Obviously, the worship portion of this dedication was important.
In Genesis, it says God created man to worship Him, so I guess it isn't a big surprise that a big part of the dedication of the wall was worship and praise.
I love verse 43, "and on that day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced because God had given them great joy, even the women and children rejoiced so that the joy of Jeruselum was heard from afar." You can just feel the joy ooze off the page - the people obeyed and fulfilled God's laws and there was great rejoicing. The rejoicing was so great, it could be heard from a distance.
In verses 46, 47 we see that leaders of song and singers were held in high regard. God found the job they did very important. I wonder if you sing in the choir and maybe think you "just sing." Take heart - worshipping God in song is a very vital part of the church body.
Another thought is that worship is key to having a thankful heart and having joy in our lives. I have had a pretty disappointing week overall, so the other day I put on some Chris Tomlin and just praised the Lord. It completely changed my outlook. Worship is all about God's glory but in His kindness and generosity, it also brings great joy to the worshipper.
"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shal continually be in my mouth. My soul will makes its boast in the Lord; the humble will heart it and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together." ~ Psalms 34:1-3