I wish I was there. Although many blocks from the stadium, the cheers going up from the crowd rang out, “We’re winning! Our team is great!”. We must have made a first down; or better yet, a touch down. Whatever was happening on that football field, it was definitely something good; I wish I was there.
Football, rugby, softball; I love them all. So, when my team is on the field, I’m out of my seat. When my son plays rugby he tells me my voice is the only one he hears. (Is that good or bad?) Yelling and cheering, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind which team I’m for.
Yelling and cheering; that’s exactly what the returned Israelites were doing in the book of Nehemiah. For forty years they were underdogs in a foreign country. For months they had rebuilt the broken city wall of Jerusalem, surrounded by opposition who threaten to kill them. By faith, they had left the comfort of the known to grab hold of God’s promise.
Now the time of being humiliated in another country as slaves was over and they were ready to let someone know. Through their obedience, God had performed the miracle of restoring the city and they were rejoicing!
Nehemiah 12:43 tells us “And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.” (NIV)
Far away. The sound of their rejoicing was so loud it could be heard for miles away! The Hebrew word for both sound and be heard is sama. It means to summon, call together, to proclaim and make hear. That is exactly what the people of Jerusalem were doing. They were proclaiming to all those surrounding the city, “Look at what our God has done! He has made all things new! He has restored us!”
Like the Israelites, maybe in our broken economy, you feel like an underdog. Troubled finances feel like an enemy pelting away at your family, your marriage, your lifw. Maybe a broken relationship has left you feeling vulnerable, like a city broken down and without walls of protection? Could God somehow create a miracle out of this? One big enough that the stadium of our family of God would stand up and cheer?
My sister is a woman of faith; a woman who walks out what she reads each day in her Bible. Recently, she moved to my city because she sensed that is what God would have her to do. In this economy, many could have said she was foolish. Move all the way across the country without a job? Believing that the Lord had called her and He would provide, she came. Just as He promised, He provided. Not only did He provide, but He gave her the first job she interviewed for at a Christian business! He provided above and beyond her desires! Now that is something to jump up and shout about!
What can you find in your life to jump up and shout about? Revelation 12:11a tells us “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (NIV). What is your testimony that you can share, that you can shout, that will help others to overcome the enemy in their lives? Let’s shout out today the praises of our God and all that He has done to restore us from the land of the enemy!
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