(47 verses, 4:27 to read)
- The Bible reading describes the dedication of the wall and the praise and thanksgiving of God’s people and the meditation will ask, “Why praise God?”
MARK & LEARN
- …1-26: The priests and the Levites are described. Some of the Levites are in “charge of the songs of thanksgiving” (vs 8.) and others “stood opposite them.” This describes antiphonal singing: one group sings (pastor, choir, pulpit side of church, etc) and another group sings a response.
…27-43: The wall is dedicated. Processions are described as well the home town of some of the singing groups. Note the source of all thanksgiving and joy is God (vs. 43). He’s not just the benefactor of thanksgiving, He’s the source of thanksgiving.
…44-47: In the service of the temple, tithes were received so that the priests and Levites could be provided for.
- God is given the glory for the wall, the temple, and the protection of His people. Praise and thanksgiving take us out or selfish, sinful flesh to receive God’s gifts in joy. We thank God for His gifts because we have access to God through the gift of His Son, Jesus.
- Consider some Luther in the Large Catechism: “they should be constantly urged and incited to honor God’s name, and to have it always upon their lips in everything that may happen to them or come to their notice. For that is the true honor of His name, to look to it and implore it for all consolation, so that (as we have heard above) first the heart by faith gives God the honor due Him, and afterwards the lips by confession…For this end it is also of service that we form the habit of daily commending ourselves to God…Thus, too, if any one meets with unexpected good fortune, however trivial, that he say: “God be praised and thanked; this God has bestowed on me!”
- Consider also this John Kleinig article (http://www.johnkleinig.com/files/5913/2695/2261/Whats_the_use_of_praising_God.pdf)
- …In this article, he points out some beautiful truths. Here’s a few: 1.) We don’t reach up to God through our praise and worship. He descends to us in His Son. In the Divine Service, He is present to receive our praise. 2.) Jesus is our true praise and worship leader. He calls us brothers and is the perfect praiser and thanker of God for us and in us. 3.) Jesus is the source of our joy (John 5:11). He gives joy and through faith gives us thanksgiving.
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