Nehemiah: wall builder and party thrower extraordinaire! (@JHOsborn)

The people who had returned to Jerusalem with Nehemiah and Ezra found themselves part of a pioneering movement to not only physically restore God’s city but also bring their own hearts for restoration. Returning from Babylonian exile demanded a renewal of covenant and they did this in three parts:

  1. They looked back and remembered, they celebrated all that God had done: the promises given to Abraham; the rescue from Egypt; the way he had spoken to Moses and given the whole nation the way to live; each and every promise, rescue and story of faithfulness, they remembered.
  2. They looked at where they were: Jerusalem in tatters; a small group of people; their enemies literally at the gate (Sanballat and Tobiah plus others had been plaguing those building the wall, ridiculing and demoralising them); following God’s plan in restoring what had been lost to them; the way in which God had granted Nehemiah favour with King Artaxerxes. And knew despite the opposition which surrounded them, this was the task God had put before them. It wouldn’t be easy, but with God on their side they were unafraid.
  3. In the light of all of this they again committed themselves again to YHWH, not only the re-building of the city but the renewal of their own lives and committing the next stage of their journey to the God of all things.

Nehemiah commanded that the people of Israel held a party, a feast, the like of which had not been known since the time of Joshua!

 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, ‘This day is holy 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.

http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/joy-of-the-lord-is-my-strength

http://www.seedresources.com/view/images/joy-of-the-lord-is-my-strength

This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ chapter 8 v 9-10

There’s so much in Nehemiah: he followed God and did what was asked of him in the face of major opposition; whilst carrying out this task he made sure the poor among them were looked after; he lead the people of God back into relationship with Him; he celebrated the building of the wall and the re-dedication of the people; he reminded the people about Joy!

 

Can we follow, encourage, remind, feed, build, restore, and celebrate like he did? What might that look like for you in your interactions online or offline? How might it impact your day/week/month/year?

About Jenni Osborn