6/27 Nehemiah 8:17

17 And all the assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in the booths, for from the days of Jeshua the son of Nun to that day the people of Israel had not done so. And there was very great rejoicing.

The walls were completed and the people heard the books of Moses read and explained to them. It was the time of year for the Feast of Booths. There is a confession in our verse for today. Israel had ignored God's command to celebrate the Feast of Booths each year at the appointed time. How could a nation whose laws were all based on a book completely neglect one of the key commands in the book for centuries? Perhaps that was a factor in their backsliding and resultant captivity.

When they did what they had long neglected, there was very great rejoicing. When we do what we know is the will of God, our hearts are not only at peace, but filled with great joy. The feast recalls their deliverance from Egypt and their wandering in the wilderness living in temporary homes until they reached the Promised Land. They had just returned again by the gracious hand of God and needed to remember again how God miraculously delivered them.

Every Christian today needs to spend time recalling his or her deliverance as well. If we forget the day that Jesus washed our sins away, if we do not celebrate it occasionally, our relationship with the Lord begins to grow cold. In the process we miss the great joy He intends for us to possess. We can slip again into the captivity of the sin from which we were once delivered. Don't miss opportunities to tell about and relive the day you were saved. Celebrate it!

Consider: We remember the day we are born into this world with a party. Shouldn't we be even more celebratory when we recall the day we were born again?