Sermon on Sunday June 28, 2015 by Pastor Larry Neufeld
REBUILDING A BROKEN WORLD
27 At the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem, the Levites were sought out from where they lived and were brought to Jerusalem to celebrate joyfully the dedication with songs of thanksgiving and with the music of cymbals, harps and lyres. 28 The singers also were brought together from the region around Jerusalem–from the villages of the Netophathites, 29 from Beth Gilgal, and from the area of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built villages for themselves around Jerusalem.
When the priests and Levites had purified themselves ceremonially, they purified the people, the gates and the wall.
31 I had the leaders of Judah go up on top of the wall. I also assigned two large choirs to give thanks. One was to proceed on top of the wall to the right, toward the Dung Gate. 32 Hoshaiah and half the leaders of Judah followed them, 33 along with Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, Jeremiah, 35 as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zaccur, the son of Asaph, 36 and his associates–Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah and Hanani–with musical instruments [ prescribed by] David the man of God. Ezra the scribe led the procession.
37 At the Fountain Gate they continued directly up the steps of the City of David on the ascent to the wall and passed above the house of David to the Water Gate on the east.
38The second choir proceeded in the opposite direction. I followed them on top of the wall, together with half the people–past the Tower of the Ovensto the Broad Wall,
39 over the Gate of Ephraim, the Jeshanah Gate, the Fish Gate, the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Sheep Gate. At the Gate of the Guard they stopped.
1 Praise the LORD. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him! 2 The LORD builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. 5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. 6 The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground. 7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.
8 He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. 9 He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. 10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; 11 the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. 12 Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, 13 for he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.
14 He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. 15 He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. 16 He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. 17 He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? 18 He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. 19 He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. 20 He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise the LORD.
40 The two choirs that gave thanks then took their places in the house of God; so did I, together with half the officials,
41 as well as the priests–Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets–
42 and also Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malkijah, Elam and Ezer. The choirs sang under the direction of Jezrahiah.
43 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.