READ Nehemiah 12:27-47
At this point in Nehemiah we witness a bit of a party breaking out in the city. This passage just bursts with life and joy and noise, lots of noise! In fact the sound of the happy band of Jews could be heard far away from Jerusalem. The cause of this celebration? Dedication.
They were celebrating the dedication of the wall. Seems a strange thing to get excited about doesn’t it? Especially when you understand the concept of dedication. Dedication is quite simply taking something that is in our hands and giving it back to God. It is pronouncing, “This belongs to you, do with it as you wish.” It is a gift-giving ceremony.
So here we find the Jews, no doubt still bearing the scars of the intense labour of building the wall, giving it back to God! They aren’t clinging to their rights to the wall, even though they built it, but rather a spirit of open-handed generosity overflows in the city. These people have a release upon their lives whereby they can hand all of the work of their hands back to God easily and with great joy.
I wonder sometimes is that what God sees in my life. Have I really dedicated my children to Him? What if he asks them to follow a path I wouldn’t have chosen for them? Will he have my open-handed joyful generosity then? What about my finances? What if he asks for all I have, the work of my hands, will he find me joyful and abandoned in my giving? What about my ambitions? If he asks for them will I give them? Is my life really one of complete dedication?
Hudson Taylor once said, “Christ is Lord of all or he is not Lord at all.” This is harsh but true for the very nature of Lordship is that you have complete authority over the person who serves you.
True dedication sounds scary, but the truth found in Nehemiah is this, when we let go of all we have, giving it into his hands, a joy and peace comes that cannot be quieted. This is the secret joy of dedication.
Lord, show me areas where I am holding tightly instead of dedicating. Amen.