Monday, December 16, 2013

The Joy of Restoration

Neh. 8:9,10  Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t weep on such a day as this!  For today is a sacred day before the LORD your God.”  All the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the law.  And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared.  This is a sacred day before our Lord.  Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

The people were weeping because they heard the Word and understood how far from God and His ways they had wandered.  They saw themselves as a people rejected by God because of their sin.  They were overcome with the lostness of their souls.  What the people were experiencing was not a bad thing.  Before restoration can take place, there must be remorse and repentance. 

Evidently the weeping did not stop.  After awhile, Nehemiah encouraged the people and helped them to realize that they ought to stop their weeping of remorse and start rejoicing for they had just experienced God through His Word.  God had not abandoned them!  He showed them the error of their ways and called them back to himself.  God had not left them; they had left Him.  And now, they had come back to Him!

It truly is a time of great celebration when hearts are restored to a right relationship with God.  We ought to rejoice with those who rejoice that they have been made right with God.  I wonder how well we do this, especially if it’s someone we have issues with.  Should we not be able to celebrate with pure joy when someone is touched by our Master’s hand? 

Dear friend, savor the joy of God’s restoration; it is a sacred event.  It is a time for much praise and thanksgiving.  It is a time to truly worship the Lord.

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