If you have been reading the blog lately, you know we’ve been in a series on Nehemiah. Nehemiah 12 is another list of names, just as we’ve seen several times already. This chapter is also Dedication Day! What an exciting moment for all who had taken part in rebuilding. There are four specific things that we learn about this day:
IT WAS A DAY OF SMILING
Verse 27 says, “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.…” As Christians we should be a happy people! Christians ought to have more fun going to Heaven than the world does going to Hell. Our sins have been forgiven! There is now no condemnation. Nothing can rob us of our joy! The world did not give it and the world can’t take it away. How could there possibly be a sad face or frown on Dedication Day?
People are so depressed. Why? They are dedicated to things they think will make them happy. Those things aren’t all wrong, but whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. Sin will not bring you satisfaction. It only brings sorrow and sadness. The people had been giving themselves to the work of the Lord, and they had joy!
IT WAS A DAY OF SINGING
The second half of verse 27 says, “… both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.” It was not a dirge or funeral song. It was not meditative music. They are happy. The Christian life is a party, not a funeral.
In verse 31 we read that Nehemiah appointed two large thanksgiving choirs. Choirs are biblical. In Nehemiah 7:67 we read about a 245-voice choir. Look back at the text. Worship is not a spectator sport. You do not come to church to be a spectator but a participator. This is not a concert! Sit and listen to the professionals? NO! Everyone got on the wall. There were two groups in harmony that lifted up their voices. Do you have talent you need to be contributing?
IT WAS A DAY OF SANCTIFYING
Holiness always precedes happiness. What good are dedicated walls without dedicated people? Verse 30 says, “Then the priests and Levites purified themselves, and purified the people, the gates, and the wall.” Unconfessed sin will make you miserable. The most miserable person in the world is not a lost person headed to hell, but a saved person living in sin. Nehemiah 12 is a huge worship event. Worship includes singing… but it involves lifestyle. Worship should be a way of life. Who are you living for? Who are you most dedicated to?
IT WAS A DAY OF SACRIFICING
This also was a day of sacrificing. Verse 43 says, “Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy….” They like what was going on so much that they sacrificed and gave to support it. People are dedicated to teams, sports, political parties, the environment, sex, pleasure, pets, hobbies, etc., and they all cost lots of money. Just think about pets alone! It is crazy how much we can love a little dog, pay in vet bills, and let them rule our lives. What you are dedicated to, you make sacrifices for. You only have so much time, energy, money, and passion. What are you spending it on?
God used a number of people leading up to this day of smiling, singing, sanctifying, and singing. He uses people like you and me. Are you giving your best to Him? Who has he used in your life that you need to list and thank?