Thoughtful Praise

Joel Plantinga

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Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites . . . to celebrate the dedication with rejoicing, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. (12:27)

Watching our kids bring their Mother’s Day and birthday presents to my wife is so much fun! They think about each detail of each gift, putting their hearts and souls into every mark, color, and shape. Their gifts reflect hearts that are truly grateful and loving toward their mom and show appreciation for all that she is to them and does for them.

I am amazed as I read Nehemiah’s detailed account of the dedication of Jerusalem’s wall. He documents so many names, instruments, positions, and sequences. Nehemiah took note of the things that we think little of because in God’s eyes all acts of worship are significant. No one’s role in the work was too insignificant to draw the attention of the governor, who observed this celebration with a very keen eye.

I am saddened at how easily I can be lulled into mindless worship, a going-through-the-motions of praise. We lose appreciation for the little things, things that in God’s eyes aren’t little at all. Let’s step back from the routine and come to worship with a real focus on all the great things God has done for us!


Lord, forgive us for allowing our faith to become routine. Amen.