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The Elements of True Worship, Part 2 - (Thankfulness: Being Thankful for God's Faithfulness)

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | January 6, 2024 | Nehemiah 12:27-29



Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem so that they could celebrate the dedication with joy, with songs of thanksgiving and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps, and lyres. Nehemiah 1:27 (NJKV)


Nehemiah 12:27 reveals a powerful truth about true worship—being thankful for God's faithfulness. Instead of taking credit for the walls, the Jews publicly worshipped God for His faithfulness with “songs of thanksgiving”. Singers came from the villages with their musical instruments to pour out their songs of gratitude. God fulfilled a prophecy given through Jeremiah by moving upon King Cyrus’ heart to issue a decree that allowed the Jews to leave captivity and return to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-4), and to allow the Jews to rebuild the Temple over local opposition (Ezra 6:1-12). God later moved upon King Artaxerxes to issue a decree to give the Jews both permission and the royal resources needed to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Neh. 2:1-9). We discover the significance of expressing gratitude in our worship and acknowledging God's unwavering faithfulness in our lives. True worship is not merely a duty but a joyful response to God's faithfulness.   


Nehemiah and the people of Jerusalem were grateful for the restoration of the city's walls, recognizing God's faithfulness throughout the journey. We should pray for grace to be able to infuse our worship with celebration and express our gratitude through joyful praise. Remember, true worship is rooted in being thankful for God's faithfulness. As we celebrate, remember, and express our gratitude, our worship becomes a genuine and transformative response to the God who remains faithful.



How can you cultivate a heart of gratitude in your worship, seeing it as a genuine expression of devotion and acknowledgement of God's faithfulness? How can your worship become a more joyful and celebratory expression of gratitude for God's faithfulness? What specific memories of God's faithfulness can you recall and integrate into your worship practices?  



Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your unwavering faithfulness in my life. As I seek to worship you in truth, help me cultivate a heart of gratitude, celebrating and remembering your faithfulness. May my worship be a pleasing and joyful offering to you. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.




DAILY word study: SONGS OF THANKSGIVING The Hebrew phrase for "Songs of Thanksgiving" in Nehemiah 12:27 is תּוֹדוֹת וְהַלְלוֹת, transliterated as "Todot v'Hallelot." Todot is derived from the root word yadah, which signifies "to praise" or "to give thanks." This goes beyond a mere acknowledgement; it implies an active, public expression of gratitude and acknowledgement of God's goodness.  Hallelot is rooted in halal, meaning "to praise" or "to boast." It carries the connotation of exuberant, jubilant praise, often associated with celebrating God's greatness. The word thanksgiving is used in other parts of the Bible to express a similar meaning. For example Ps 100:3, Col 3:16 and Ps 69:30 Songs of thanksgiving are not merely a musical form; they are a spiritual discipline. They acknowledge God's goodness, express gratitude for His faithfulness, and cultivate a joyous atmosphere of worship. In Nehemiah's context, these songs were an integral part of dedicating the rebuilt wall — a tangible response to God's providence Reflections: As we reflect on the significance of songs of thanksgiving, how can we infuse this practice into our personal and collective worship? How might cultivating a heart of gratitude, expressed through music and praise, deepen our connection with God and impact the atmosphere of our worship gatherings?

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