Summary: We learn that we can worship our God in a variety of ways!
Three Ways to Worship!
Nehemiah 11 and 12
After the wall was done and the commitments had been made, they had a dedication service for the walls of the city. It’s important to remember that everything you build for God still belongs to God, and is to be used for His service!
I think that the highest calling of a human being is to worship God.
In fact the Bible tells us that God is looking for people to worship Him!
23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth ; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
At this dedication service of the newly finished walls of Jerusalem, we can see three things the people did to worship God and three ways that we can worship and honor God!
II. You worship by your Presence
Nehemiah listed the names of the people who were going to live inside the newly completed walls. There are three groups of people who were committed to living inside the city:
1. The leaders of the people- 11:1
2. Those who volunteered to live there- 11:2
3. Those who were chosen by lot to live there- 11:1
Lots were cast and a tithe of the people (1 out of 10) were chosen to live within the walls of Jerusalem. The others dwelt in other cities.
It was important to have people living in the city! I mean why would you build walls if there were no people to live inside them?
Your presence is important at the time of worship. By coming to church you are showing that you are giving priority to God. You are taking time away from something else to praise the Lord and listen to His Word.
Some people in our day don’t give church attendance priority. Did you know that church attendance is at its lowest level ever in the United States? George Barna has shown that if current trends do not change then half of the churches in the United States today will close within the next ten.
God’s people have a different attitude though. The Psalmist said,
I was glad when they said to me,
"Let us go into the house of the LORD."
III. You worship by your Praise
When the people dedicated the walls they had a powerful praise service! Music and praise filled the atmosphere.
So many people think our worship services are just built on tradition, but here we have Biblical precedent for worship services.
Singing is mentioned eight times.
Thanksgiving is mentioned six times.
Rejoicing is mentioned seven times.
Musical Instruments are mentioned three times.
They split the choir into two groups. Ezra led one group and Nehemiah led the other. They walked around on the walls of the city and met at the house of God!
A. Their worship was joyful- 12:43
B. Their worship was thankful- 12:31-two thanksgiving choirs
C. Their worship was fruitful- 12:43 it was heard “afar off”
How do you test a piece of glass for perfection. You hit it softly with your finger on the edge. If it sings, it is whole. If it has a flat sound, it is chipped somewhere. When a piece of glass has come through the fire and been perfected it sings!
IV. Your worship by your Present
When God’s work is done in God’s way, for God’s glory, it will not lack God’s support!- J. Hudson Taylor
You worship God by what you give to Him.
We tend to see an altar as a place to come and receive something. In the Old Testament the altar was a place to leave something behind. It was a place to die!