Daily Devotional Nehemiah 12:27–43
Think about your favorite book or movie or television show. What was the best part? What do you remember most fondly? Every good story moves up, up, up, with building tension, action, and conflict, until finally you reach the story’s high point, or climax, and then the action falls off and the story ends. We’ll get to the falling off and ending soon in the book of Nehemiah, but chapter 12 is the climax: the dedication of Jerusalem’s walls.
And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy.
After another long list of names in verses 1–26, verses 27–43 recount the great celebration that accompanied the dedication of the walls—and there are even more names interspersed throughout this section. There are a few things we can take away from Nehemiah’s description of the festivities.
First, there is a reason for this list of names. I think the author wants us to understand that this was celebration not confined to Nehemiah and those closest to him. This was not a top-down effort enforced upon the people. No, this celebration encompassed all of the people. As with the repentance and study of Scripture described earlier in Nehemiah, God’s work was for all people, not just men, the elite, or the super-spiritual. The same remains true today!
Second, this section is overflowing with descriptions of joy. There was great singing, rejoicing, playing of music, and sacrifices offered to the Lord for His goodness to His people. The people are not at all shy about being loud in their praise of God, so much that “the sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away” (v. 43). We serve a great God; may we learn to rejoice in His goodness like the people of Judah in today’s passage!
>> Why not make today a celebration of God’s goodness? Let your heart be filled with joy as you remember all He has done for you. Maybe take out the special dishes and put on some music. Invite everyone in your house to join in!
Pray with Us
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with [You] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand” (Rom. 5:1–2).