Tuesday Devotion: The Dedication of the Wall (Nehemiah 12)
In Nehemiah 12, the wall of Jerusalem had been built and the Israelites had started to move back to the city. Verses 1 – 26 list the out the priests and Levites who had returned. This reads like a roll call of the faithful and godly leaders of the people. It demonstrates the importance of godly leadership within families. It also highlights the importance of worship, praise and thanksgiving, which were listed before the protection of provisions. The people were trying to repent from the state of brokenness they had been in whilst living in exile. This chapter shows that they intended to establish a functional godly society in the new Jerusalem. The list of people reminds us of these faithful people and in a way, reassures us that all the faithful are counted and remembered by God.
Verses 27 – 47 describe how they completed the dedication of the Wall of Jerusalem to the Lord. The wall was the first thing that they rebuilt, as it was essential for the protection of the city. There was no point rebuilding the city until the wall was done. The wall was so important that they dedicated it to the Lord. This is how they did it:
• Worship and thanksgiving - they asked the worship leaders to come from the surrounding areas, to celebrate with joyful songs of thanksgiving and music.
• Purification -they purified the priests, the people, the gates and the wall.
• Walking – the leaders and singers walked along the length of the wall
• Including everybody – the women and children also rejoiced
• Loud rejoicing – the sound of their rejoicing could be heard far away.
• Giving – the people gave as commanded by the law to the priests and worship leaders.
• Providing for all who served – they were careful to set aside a portion for the musicians and gatekeepers and the other Levites, to make sure everyone was taken care of.
What do you need to do to dedicate your own “wall” to the Lord? Your wall is the defense of your heart and therefore your faith from the enemy. Do you have a heart of repentance and acknowledgement that you need God’s grace in your life to cleanse you from your sin? Are you walking and showing up in church and in the places where you should be? Do you practice worship, thanksgiving and rejoicing to God? Are you giving to the church? Are you blessing your leaders and those who minister to you? Take some time to ask God to show you areas in your life that you should build up and dedicate to Him so that your heart and faith are well protected.