Bible Studies for Life
August 26 2018
Nehemiah 8:9-12; 12:27-31a (HCSB)
The Apostle Paul cast a demon out of a slave girl. He and Silas were arrested and cast into prison and their feet were placed in stocks (Acts 16:16-24). Around midnight Paul and Silas began praying and praising God. While they were praising God the foundation of the prison was shaken; all the cell doors opened; all the chains fell off and not one prisoner escaped (Acts 16:25-28). The jailer and his entire household were saved (Acts 16:29-34). That is the power of praise.
When the book of the Law was read to the people they were overwhelmed with their guilt. They were told not to weep. They would have to postpone their weeping until after the Festival of Booths (Neh. 9:1). Nehemiah told them that strength comes from rejoicing in the Lord. He was talking about the power of praise. When we praise God we are focusing on His character and not our fear the wrong in our lives or the self-sufficiency in our hearts. The people understood the words that were explained to them and they began to celebrate.
In chapter 12 it was time to dedicate the work the people had completed. The leaders and singers were divided into two groups and went up on the wall. Starting at the Valley Gate Ezra’s group went one way and Nehemiah’s group went the other. There was a significance to this process. The people needed to see and touch the walls. This is what they had worked for. I wonder if Nehemiah or any of the people remembered Tobiah’s words “If a fox climbed up what they are building he would break down their stone wall” (Neh. 4:3). But the people were bearing witness to the watching world that the work was complete.
As believers if we want to invite the presence of the Lord in our lives and see His power displayed in our lives we need to offer up the sacrifice of praise continually (Heb. 13:15-16).