A Source of Joy

Nehemiah 8:17 tells us that when Israel celebrated The Feast of Booths, “there was great rejoicing.” There was a good reason for that which many of us could learn from.

The Feast of Booths was a celebration in which God commanded His people to make “booths” out of tree branches, so that they might live in them temporarily during the Feast, to celebrate the Exodus wilderness wanderings. Verse 17 says that Israel had not actually observed that feast since the days of Joshua, but when they studied the scriptures with Ezra (:13) they made a commitment to reinstate the practice.

It must have been “fun” for the people to live in the booths and celebrate the Feast for the first time in centuries. It would have been an adventure, like camping out.

But there is also another, more important reason for the joy the people experienced when they celebrated the feast. Sure it might have been fun to “camp out.” But the great cause of their joy was reading God’s word and DOING what He had commanded.

This is a great reminder for many of us too. Do you want joy? You will never find it by continually disregarding God’s word. Instead, study His word, and take pains to obey it like Israel did, and like the people of Nehemiah’s day, you will find joy as you do.

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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2 Responses to A Source of Joy

  1. Abbie says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for the daily devotionals! I don’t get to read them everyday along with my daily Bible readings, but it always seems that God uses your writings at just the moment I do need them!

    • Shawn Thomas says:

      You are welcome Abbie! By far the most important thing is to read your own Bible each day, not anyone’s devotion, so I am glad that is your priority. But I am grateful that God has used my blog to speak to you when you need it. Thanks so much for your encouraging words!

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