This post is Day 23 in a series of studies about “Joy”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Joy – Day 23
The book of Nehemiah is associated, for many readers, with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. There is much written in his Old Testament book about that. But the reason Nehemiah said what he said was to encourage people to remember where they had come from and be happy!
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
The book of Nehemiah is associated, for many readers, with the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. And yes, there is much written in his Old Testament book about that. But the reason Nehemiah said what he said was to encourage people to remember where they had come from and to be happy!
The strength he was talking about was a strength that God would give the Israelites to repent and put right what they had ignored because they hadn’t understood the law of The Lord. They must also learn once more to celebrate the feast days given via Moses to the people during the early days in the desert.
What a blessing it was for these people to understand things they had heard about, but not properly understood. A real revival began that day, and it was definitely a day of joy.
The revival continued and the people built “temporary shelters” which I liken to “prayer closets” where they could sit or kneel and reflect on what the Lord was saying. These shelters were a reminder that their fathers had lived in temporary shelters during their forty years in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:37-43).
Read Nehemiah 10 today and imagine the Israelites having no Bibles to refer to. All the information they got came from the “teachers of the law” (Nehemiah 8:1,4,9)!
Make a new decision today to read more of your Bible, especially the parts you don’t know so well.
Praise God for those who wrote the scriptures, those who translated it, and those who brought them all together in one book. Thank Him too for the modern translations which make it much more understandable for us today.
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