Inspirational Bible Verses: "The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength"
Among all our inspirational Bible quotes, this is one my favorites.
The setting is the within the book of Nehemiah, after Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem and with a remnant of Jews rebuilt the wall and the city in 55 days...a remarkable feat considering that it had gone unrepaired for over 143 years.
This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and isend portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength...And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them. Nehemiah 8:9-10,12
This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn or weep. For all the people wept as they heard the words of the Law.
While all the people are assembled together after dedicating the wall, they have spent a large portion of the day standing and listening to the law of the Lord being read aloud by Ezra. Upon hearing the law, they wept because they realized that their current condition, for both themselves (captivity) and the broken city they were attempting to rebuild, was in such disrepair because they had failed to love God wholeheartedly and obey Him.
So they wept.
Then the strangest thing happens. Nehemiah and all the leadership tell them not to weep because this is a holy day! When is the last time you heard someone say that a party was more appropriate to a holy day than weeping? Maybe we don't understand God's holiness as well as we think we do...
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord."
That's right boys and girls...it's party time! To celebrate what God has done the very best thing you can do is go home, get out the good stuff, the best wine, the choicest steaks, and send home plates with those who didn't get to join in....because it's a holy day to our Lord!
This really does remind me of Jesus. While the hypocrites were slandering Him, He went and had parties with the "sinners," the prostitutes, the tax collectors, etc. He celebrated the life He came to give by going to these parties and giving it away to those who really needed it. (And by the way, He also made the best wine at a wedding in Cana)
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength...And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.
When we really understand what the Lord has done for us...it can both produce joy and make cause for a great celebration.
This is the true nature of joy, that deep in the fiber of our beings we celebrate God's goodness, that it becomes a strengthening tonic to our souls...
The next time you celebrate the Lord's death and resurrection, the next time God does something really incredible, do something that would really honor Him...have a party! Bring out the best of your cakes and ale, the finest choice of meat, or go to the best restaurant with a good group of friends, and have a party! And give thanks to the Lord, for His steadfast love endures forever.
Go ahead! You have permission.
Check out God Gave Wine, and excellent book by Kenneth Gentry...
Or get the God Gave Wine/Drinking With Calvin and Luther Two Pack (not a six pack, mind you...)
Go to Inspirational Bible Verses main page