Thought for November 24th. “AND THE JOY OF JERUSALEM WAS HEARD …”

We are approaching what some call ‘the silly season’!  This time next month the largely foolish frivolity of Christmas will be in full swing!   In contrast our readings today in Nehemiah describes an event of true joy.  All the efforts to make Jerusalem secure and safe to live in had been completed and Nehemiah and Ezra arrange a great celebration in which the Levites take the leading role because, as the priestly tribe, this is their responsibility.
We read on in Nehemiah how he and Ezra “sought the Levites in all their places to bring them to Jerusalem to
celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgiving and with singing, with cymbals, harps and lyres.” [v.27] Nehemiah “appointed two great choirs to give thanks” [v.31] who went in different directions on the walls after which “both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house (Temple) of God” [v.40]  “And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and the children also rejoiced.  And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away,”[v.43]
This was a time of re-establishing the practice of the past “for long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers and thanksgiving to God.” [v.46]  But we look forward, only look back to see how some events foreshadow the time to come, and how wonderful to contemplate the future remembering the words of Jesus in the Temple which he called “My Father’s house” [John 2 v.16] and says, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” [Mark 11 v.17]
Our minds go forward to the visions of the coming kingdom recorded in the book of Revelation when the
redeemed “will be priests of God and of Christ and reign with him for a thousand years” [ch.20 v6] The singing
reflects the joys in the time of Moses. In Revelation we also read,  “And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of
God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true
are your ways, O King of the nations!  Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All
nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” [Rev. 15 v.3,4]
Do you recall yesterday’s closing thought?  Those who “are on the Lord’s side” now – will be there,  Make sure you are on his side.



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