“Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’”Nehemiah 8:10
I have a love-hate relationship with watching the television news. On one hand, I want to be informed about the important events going on around me. But on the other hand, so much of the news is trivial, biased, and often frightening. Wouldn’t you love to watch a news channel that reported the world events from God’s perspective? How might you respond then?
Following the 70 years of exile, Ezra, a priest and teacher of the law, opened God’s Word to the returning exiles in the newly-restored Jerusalem. As they listened attentively, they began to understand their history, their suffering, and their return all from God’s perspective. Their responses ranged from joyful worship to weeping over their past sin and the suffering it had caused. Nehemiah encouraged them to respond to God’s Word with joy—that the Lord had restored them and that this day was holy.
When you look at your own sins and the grief they have caused, worship and weep. But also rejoice that Christ has restored you and strengthened you with His joy.
Feast on the sweet news of the gospel of Jesus. Share it with “those who have nothing” so the Lord may strengthen them also.