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10/5/16 - Praise the Lord

Published: Wednesday, 05 October 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

"Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.”  Nehemiah 9:5b-6

Words such as these that describe how to praise God are all throughout the Bible.  I picked this passage because of the event that prompted such an outpouring of praise to God. 

Before I tell you about that event, think about the following questions as they apply to you:  How many times do you think about God?  How often would you be willing to worship God?  How often do you read the Bible?  How often do you in agreement with God about your sins?  The majority of people would answer these questions in the order listed: once/day, once/week, once/month, and once/year.   The answers to these questions are an indication of the strength of a person’s relationship with God.

 

The event that prompted the praise of God in the verses above was the return of the Israelites to Israel after being taken away into captivity for 70 years by Babylon in 586BC.  They were separated from everything they associated with God.  When they returned, they became overwhelmed with the need to praise God.  If you read Nehemiah, chapters 8 and 9, you will see that they stood to hear the word of the Lord read to them, and they participated in worship for eight days.  Needless to say, they realized God’s role in returning them to Israel and rebuilding the Temple.

Later that month they spent one day as follows: fasting and prayer, standing when God’s Word was read for 25% of the day; and, another 25% in confession and worshipping.  If you count a day as only eight hours, that means that they stood and listened to someone reading for two hours, and then, another two hours in confessing and worshipping.  WOW!! 

I know too many Christians who will permit a church service to be only one hour and only once per year.  They will go so far as to find a church that only has a one-hour worship service.  I may be wrong, but I believe that their attitude is all about their own creature comforts and has nothing to do with worshipping the God Almighty.  I wonder what God thinks about those Christians?

Why did the Israelites spend so much time in “church”?  They wanted, they yearned, they needed, they desired, and they focused on God and not themselves.  Consider the amount of time your life is consumed by the Creator of all of LIFE.  And, do not be in a rush when you can spend some quality time with God.  There is nothing like the spiritual oneness that occurs between the Creator and His creation when you praise Him.  (From Life-Changing Verses - Volume 3, Chapter 28)

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