Summary: 5/5 - The task is not complete until we celebrate beore our God, now find out what yo need to do to truly celebrate before Him!

The city of Berlin, Germany will be forever famous for its infamous Wall. When the wall

was still in existence, you could walk up and down in front of the wall and see shrines

dedicated to those that were killed trying to escape from the oppression of the East to the

freedom of the West. The Berlin wall gained fame as a wall that divided, but the city of

Jerusalem is also famous for its walls. In Nehemiah’s time, it was a wall that united

people together.

The latter part of Chapter 12 that we will be using as our focal passage this morning, tells

the story of the dedication of the wall around Jerusalem. It describes a wonderful event

which was evidently postponed for a while until the city had been repopulated. Over the

past four weeks we have been looking at the book of Nehemiah and his works for God in

the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem.

In today’s portion we find that the wall is built. The gates are hung. The city is well

defended and it is filled with people. There is an air of excitement and great joy seems to

be bursting forth from every person regardless of age. There is a great celebration taking

place and I think that we can learn a great deal about our God, about His desires for our

joy and enjoyment, and learn much about ourselves along the way.

Celebration of and celebration before our God should be something that is well planned

and well carried out. Most of the time when we get together to celebrate we simply allow

what ever happens to happen. We don’t give the celebration much thought or planning

and don’t stop to consider that in the book of Colossians 3:23-24 we are directed to,

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the

Lord Jesus Christ that you are serving.” You see even when we celebrate we are to honor

God with our best effort.

The workers of Nehemiah had reason to celebrate and they had reason to do so with great

joy. God had provided strength with which to complete the wall. He had afforded them

protection from the opposition that we learned about a few weeks. God brought them

back to their ancestral city, one that had not been inhabited for 160 years. And most

importantly, God had provided a means by which a great spiritual awakening could and

did happen for the people of Israel.

Read Scripture:

27 Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their

places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with

thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps. 28 And the

sons of the singers gathered together from the countryside around Jerusalem, ... 30 Then

the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the

wall. 31 So I brought the leaders of Judah up on the wall, and appointed two large

thanksgiving choirs.... 40 So the two thanksgiving choirs stood in the house of God,

likewise I and the half of the rulers with me... 43 Also that day they offered great

sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and

the children also rejoiced, so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off.

From these scriptures I think that we can mine four keys, four truths , four directives as to

how to celebrate.

1. Set aside time, calendar your celebration! Set aside time, calendar your

celebration. This is probably one of the hardest things for us to do in our society today. If

you are like I am and like most in America today, we work and we plan and we complete

the tasks of both everyday life, as well as those things that we feel God is calling us to and

then we simply move on. We move on to the next task, to the next challenge, to the next

job. And we move on without stopping to celebrate and most of the time to even

celebrate what has been accomplished.

The Levites that we read about in the first portion of our scripture were busy, busy

people. They were the teachers and the musicians of the time, and as such were always on

the move from one completed task to another. They simply did not slow down.

How much time do you think that it takes to prepare one of these sermons for Sunday

morning? Do you think that I can simply sit down with God’s word and read it through

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