Celebrate The Victories

February 26, 2023
Celebrate The Victories

Nehemiah - “All the people assembled with a unified purpose at the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given for Israel to obey. . . .He faced the square just inside the Water Gate from early morning until noon and read aloud to everyone who could understand. All the people listened closely to the Book of the Law. . . .Then Ezra praised the Lord, the great God, and all the people chanted, ‘Amen! Amen!’ as they lifted their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:1-6)

DAILY DEVOTION

When Nehemiah and the people had finally completed the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem, it was time to celebrate. Even though it had only taken fifty-two days to finish the work, it had been a pretty intense period of time for the Israelites. Considering all they had gone through, everyone understood they had many reasons to celebrate. First off, they could celebrate because a large number of them had been involved in the project. They often had to work in adverse circumstances and often, “The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.” (Nehemiah 4:17) Sometimes they continued working through the night, but they didn’t give up, for Nehemiah had encouraged them by saying, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:14).

Secondly, Nehemiah and the Israelites could celebrate because they had endured external rumors and slander from Sanballat and others. Sanballat had sent a defaming letter intended to discredit Nehemiah and stop the project. It said, There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem tells me it is true, that you and the Jews are planning to rebel and that is why you are building the wall. According to his reports, you plan to be their king. He also reports that you have appointed prophets in Jerusalem to proclaim about you, ‘Look! There is a king in Judah!’” (Nehemiah 6:6-7). But Nehemiah and the people knew it was not true and they “continued the work with even greater determination.”

Third, Nehemiah and the Israelites could celebrate because they had worked through a period of internal conflict and strife. Many of the Jewish nobles and leaders were using the famine situation to profit from their fellow Israelites when their Jewish law prohibited such a practice. However, when Nehemiah confronted them publicly, they repented and replied, “We will give back everything and demand nothing more from the people. We will do as you say.” (Nehemiah 5:12).

Through it all, however, Nehemiah kept the people focused on the Lord. Whenever they were tempted to give up or be distracted, they remembered the words of Nehemiah to Sanballat when he said, “I am engaged in a great work…” (Nehemiah 6:3). The Lord had led Nehemiah and the Israelites to complete a great work in Jerusalem. They knew it was time for them to celebrate and give praise to the Lord. In a similar way, whenever God does great work in our lives, homes, church, or city, we should take time to celebrate who He is and what He has done for us.

FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY

In your journal or on a piece of paper, make a list of the great works the Lord has done in your life, your family, your church, or your city. Then, spend time in prayer, celebrating what He has done and offering Him the worship He deserves. If you’re leading your family through this devotion time, lead them through the same exercise.

PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, You have done so much in and through my life. Whenever I recognize the great things You have done, help me celebrate it and worship You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Scroll to Top