What do they hear? (Nehemiah 12; Acts 22)

“And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the woman and children also rejoiced.  And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.”  Nehemiah 12:43

“Up to this word they listened to him, then they raised their voices and said, ‘Away with such a fellow from the earth!  For he should not be allowed to live.” Acts 22:22

Before us we see a great contrast of what is being heard!!!  In the book of Nehemiah the communities surrounding the capital city heard joyful worship.  In the book of Acts the city was filled with the noise of people demanding the death of Paul.

Think it through:

What is the noise being heard in your community?  Sadly for most of the world, the news is of violence, hatred, wars, and rummers of war.

As we look back to Nehemiah’s day we find ourselves in a community that had taken a stand for the Lord.  They had visually given evidence of their stand by constructing the walls around the city.  Now it was time for celebration.  The people did the following:

  • They prepared for worship
  • They passionately participated in the worship
  • They proclaimed the gospel by their worship

This is the type of noise the Lord wants us to give forth from our churches today.

As we consider Paul’s day we see just the opposite:

  • The people are fighting against true worship
  • The people are seeking to destroy anyone who engages in the gospel

Let’s dig a little deeper:

  1. Paul viewpoint of the gospel is radically changed, Vs: 21, “The good news is for everyone.”
  2. Paul’s viewpoint of God is radically changed, Vs: 6-21
    1. He had been zealous for God-however he discovered he did not know God.
    2. He saw the light in discovering Jesus to be the Son of God.
    3. He submitted to the light in obeying God’s commands.
    4. He stood in the light by proclaiming God among the nations.

Here is where it really get’s deep.   We are to both worship God and to witness for God inside and outside the walls of the church.

Yes there will be people who will seek to destroy your life.  They do this because they live and love the darkness, John 3:17-20.  These same people desperately need to hear the gospel because they are in darkness, II Corinthians 4:4-6.  Ours is the task to grow in our understanding of the greatness of our God.  Ours is also the task of growing in our understanding of true worship of this God.

Our response:

Heavenly Father, may the nations hear the joy of worship coming from our churches as well as from our homes.  Give us favor in granting us a voice for you among the nations of the world.

One Response to “What do they hear? (Nehemiah 12; Acts 22)”

  1. Michael Medlin Says:

    Lord, please break our hearts for the souls of our neighbors wherever they may be. Change our hearts to have a sincere love for others. Give us the courage to share your Gospel with the world.

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