Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is sacred to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” – (Nehemiah 8:9-10)
Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. – (Nehemiah 8:12)
When the people heard God’s word and recognized just how far they had fallen from His will, they wept. God saw their sincerity and rather than smite them, He called for celebration. His people who had wandered and lost their way, were now found and on the road to restoration. God’s heart was for them to go out and share their abundance with those who had none, so that all could partake in celebrating His goodness and grace. There is great joy that He brings, when we choose to celebrate and honor our Holy King. May we come before Him with repentant hearts, grateful for His mercy and grace, celebrating what a glorious and good God we serve!
a gift from our King;
may we give glory,
our whole offering.
Let’s set our hearts right,
our Heavenly Lord,
Who strengthens the weak.
Give glory to Him,
celebrate with joy;
all His righteousness,
free gifts to employ.
He makes His word known,
allows our hearts hear;
the truth of His love,
as He holds us near.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You open our understanding and forgive us as we come to You with repentant hearts. Thank You that You do not want us to dwell on our past mistakes, but rather You invite us to celebrate Your goodness and grace, and share of all that You have done with those around us. Forgive us for dwelling on our errors and not embracing the grace that You freely give so that we can then go forth and share of Your goodness and grace with those around us. Teach us to trust You more so that we will turn away from all unrighteousness, and seek to serve You alone. May we love others as You so generously love each of us. Let those who are looking, find a forever faith in You. Be glorified, Lord God, as we go forth giving thanks for Your grace. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6
Such a good reminder of how we can drift away from the Lord, but in His grace and mercy, are welcomed in our return. It is further stated in ch. 8, Ezra then stood in the square and read God’s word to inviting ears. Also a reminder than in our drifting we can so easily return to the Lord by opening the Bible and reading – in any place and we will know His love for us.
Thank you for posting, Shannon.