Friday, March 27, 2009

Message Understood...over & out.

I have been contemplating a scripture verse which has led me to the OT portion of my Bible.
"...the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
The verses leading up to this particular verse and the two following make for some interesting reading.
At least to me which is why I am sharing these thoughts.
Again, for anyone willing to read.
Here is a brief synopsis.

The OT priest Ezra was asked by the people, the Israelites to read "the Book of the Law of Moses."
And so he read.
He stood on a "high wooden platform" built for this occasion and as he opened up the book, so all the people stood.
And I might add, "he read it aloud from daybreak till noon."
"Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, 'Amen! Amen!"

Verse 8 goes on to say that the reading was "clear and giving the meaning to that the people could understand what was being read."
Then the governor said these words, " go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and send some to those who have nothing prepared.
Do not grieve (as the people were weeping)
"for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

What I noticed from this reading is,
1. The people desired, asked for the Word of God to be read to them.
2. The people had respect for the reading of God's Word and stood in his presence and continued in their worship with humbleness bowing down.
3. The reading of God's Word was clear and the people understood its meaning.

These days most people are trying to derive joy from most everything else but God's word. Here, we have a people asking for its reading and not only that, their response is to "weep"
I do not know that much about Nehemiah (I have yet to study him) but this I know.
Nehemiah had given up his job as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes in order to take on the job of governor of Jerusalem.
Once a cupbearer in service to this king, he changes jobs in order to serve another king, a heavenly one. On a side note... I wonder how that went over?
Anyone who has read about the history of these famed people will know that they haven't always had a "desire" for the Word of God and, in most of their history have not had a rightful place to celebrate with joy.
But, here we have a governor sanctioning (so to speak) "joy."
And as I read this passage over and over again I have come to the conclusion that joy comes as a result of their repentance and obvious realization of it.
It is one thing to cry, I think it something quite different to weep.
Now joy, that is something else.

Real joy is not something that you can hide or should hide.
In fact, Nehemiah goes on and tells the people not only to joyfully partake in a celebration but to "Share it" with those unprepared.
Another verse sticks out in my mind.
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."-2 Corinthians 4:7
I am beginning to understand (if not slowly, hit me over the head style) that joy is not only the mark of a believer in Jesus Christ but it is the power in which to live and demonstrate change, real change.
And this is something to be shared, just like the passage states.
Message understood...over & out.
Let's get out into the world and share it with those unprepared.

1 comment:

mama cookie said...

Thank you for sharing what you found a blessing. May God bless you as you read His word.