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
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.
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