Text: Nehemiah 12:27-47, Psalm 16:1-11
After months of toil and years of living in and around a broken city, Jerusalem is done. Complete in record time. People are in, the temple is ready.
What happens next? A giant celebration of the Lord’s faithfulness to provide and protect them during this time! But this was not just a party. This was a dedication.
You see, Jerusalem wasn’t simply a city. It was the holiest city on earth. It was God’s chosen city for His chosen people. It deserved to be treated as such. We read in the verses about rituals that were followed, special people who were invited, traditions that were kept. The Israelites, though known for their grumbling in most of their stories before, knew this dedication was of the utmost importance to get right. Not to show off. Not to follow rules set by man. But to show their God they truly loved and appreciated what He had done for them.
I wonder in our lives how often we stop to give the Lord our very best in thankfulness. When we avoid a car accident, when our child gets well, when that house we wanted becomes ours. There isn’t anything wrong with a quick, “Thank you, Jesus” in a stressful situation. Yet, do we follow up? Do we take time to reflect on the blessing given to us, to come before God with the very best?
In this age where things move at the speed of light, it’s so easy to pass over any kind of preparation as we come before God. But when we thank Him, it’s important to slow down, to take time to fully comprehend just what we’ve been blessed with and did not deserve. It’s important to take time to see the miracles in our lives that we miss when we just rush past.
Let us still our hearts before the Lord and pray with the Psalmist, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” (Psalm 16:2) Amen.