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June 27 – Sing Choirs of new Jerusalem

“And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.” – Nehemiah 12:43 

Scripture reading: Nehemiah 12:31-47

Sometimes on a Sunday, I will briefly stop singing and take in the words being sung by people in the pews. It warms my heart. Singing is often connected with God’s great works. There will be singing in heaven. When the apostle John had a vision in Revelation 15, the saints in heaven were singing the song of Moses. Song is a natural response to the work of God in our hearts and lives.

This occasion in Nehemiah was like none other. Two great choirs were trained and ready. Starting at the bottom of the city, one choir went one way on the wall around the city, and the other the opposite way. They encircled the city, singing of God’s mercies and faithfulness, perhaps Psalm 48 or 122. Those in the city would hear voices echo back and forth until they met in the Temple Courts for the final stanzas of praise. Amazing! Glorious! The city was filled with song, sounding out from Mount Zion and was heard far away.

Remember the disgrace recorded in chapter 1 that caused Nehemiah to weep? A generation prior, the book of Ezra records a mixture of joy and weeping that could be heard far away (Ezra 3:13). Now there are shouts of great rejoicing. They could not sing this way in a foreign land; they did much weeping over the years. But now they rejoice in song. God promises this to us. You might go out weeping, but wait on the Lord, and you will return with songs of joy.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for those going through dark times where songs of praise are difficult. Pray for the Lord’s ongoing work in your heart, that your heart may be tuned to sing His praise and long for the glories of the New Jerusalem.

Rev. Simon Lievaart currently serves Bethel United Reformed Church of Smithers BC. Prior to this, he served the United Reformed Church in Doon, IA. Rev. Lievaart grew up in southern Alberta, attended Redeemer University College and Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. This devotional is made available by the Nearer To God Devotional team, who also make available in print, for purchase, at

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