“44 At that time men were appointed to be in charge of the storerooms for the contributions, firstfruits and tithes. From the fields around the towns they were to bring into the storerooms the portions required by the Law for the priests and the Levites, for Judah was pleased with the ministering priests and Levites. 45 They performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did also the musicians and gatekeepers, according to the commands of David and his son Solomon. 46 For long ago, in the days of David and Asaph, there had been directors for the musicians and for the songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 So in the days of Zerubbabel and of Nehemiah, all Israel contributed the daily portions for the musicians and the gatekeepers. They also set aside the portion for the other Levites, and the Levites set aside the portion for the descendants of Aaron.” NIV
‘Here Nehemiah provides what seems like an odd conclusion to such a grand and joyful event; these verses seem “anti-climactic”. And yet they teach us an important truth. Great celebrations come to an end quickly; the people’s enthusiasm subsides and things get back to “normal.” But most of our lives are spent in the “normal” routines of daily living, and it is here that our spirituality is tested. Nehemiah did not want his readers to forget that…After a grand celebration it is easy to neglect one’s ongoing duties, and Nehemiah was not going to let that happen if he could help it.’ Tom Hale: ‘The Applied Old Testament Commentary’, p.765.
As I read Tom’s words, it caused me to reflect that it is exhilarating to be on the mount of transfiguration, but at some point we have to come down from the mountain top and minister to the demonised person in the valley. We go to the great, highly atmospheric conference or Bible week – the big Christian event – and it is all so thrilling. But then we have to come and live all that teaching out in the mundane moments of life; in the nitty-gritty of home, work, school, university, community.
Worship involves not only music, song and thanksgiving; it also entails material giving. It’s not just about praying, singing and preaching, but also giving money to the work of God. Many a believer has discovered by experience that God is ‘no man’s debtor’. But singing and dancing with hands in the air is more appealing to some than sinking their hands in their pockets.
Remember, Jesus Himself taught, ‘’It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of giving.