The Joy of The Lord

By Joshua Little

Nehemiah and Ezra were hands down those guys, and I cannot wait to meet them in Heaven. I mean who else can you think of: has rebuilt a city, been threatened for building said city, and had to plead with the local authority (the king of the land) to allow them to build?

Yeahhhhh, my list is short too.

These were simple guys, well… Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer, and Ezra was a scribe. In other words, not the kind of guys you’d find on HGTV co-hosting “Extreme Home Makeover.” Man, I miss that show.

Anyways, these guys were not exactly trained for the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, but they had something for the dispersed Jews: A need to restore their city and the zeal and wisdom to carry it out. After they accomplished their mission, the Law of Moses was read, and there was sorrow and weeping and wailing and everyone was grieving from conviction upon hearing the law. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

“They read out of the book of the Law of God, translating and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was read.” Neh. 8:8 “And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law. 10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:9-10)

Later after the conviction and all the boohooing there was instilling of the covenant between the returned of the dispersed and the Lord. This type and image of Christ is what has been sitting on my heart lately. The same zeal for the restoration is the same zeal Christ had to bring the world back into right relationship with The Father.

Jesus took those who were lost in religion and those who were lost in total spiritual darkness and brought them into a new covenant. The Covenant of All Covenants! This New Covenant would need no renewal as he paid the price in full and completed it for all time. Not only did he pay the price but “for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross”.

Now we have life everlasting and we have it to the fullest.

What took me so long to realize is that it doesn’t have to be forced or even faked. As long as Jesus reigns over all I can have joy in Him. I can have joy: a calm delight, gladness, cheerfulness, in the strength of The Most beautiful.

I can have joy in the midst of hard situations like grief and correction. I can have joy in the midst of seeming confusion.

Why? Because my joy isn’t based on me.

So yeah, until I meet all the brothers and sisters who ran the journey and fought the good fight and abided in Christ, I look forward to seeing Ezra and Nehemiah and saying, The joy of the Lord really is our strength.

February 29, 2024