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Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score on a blue background. Daily Devotional | Sing to the Lord | Music in the Bible | A music score

Daily Devotional | Walls Around the Temple

From ancient times to modern history, walls were often built around a city to mark and enclose a settlement of people. These thick stone structures protected those who lived inside from invaders and outside threats.

How true that is for our own lives? Do we have God as our fortress (Ps. 18:2)? We need Him to protect the walls of our minds and hearts against Satan’s schemes (1 Peter 5:8) and our own evil desires (James 1:14). Without this, we are vulnerable to spiritual threats which can hinder or even paralyze true praise and worship.

Nehemiah grieved when he heard that the walls and gates of Jerusalem had been destroyed (Neh. 1:4). But more than the welfare of the city, he grieved the potential destruction of spiritual lives. Remember, it was the decree of Cyrus to rebuild the Temple that brought exiles back to Jerusalem (Ezra 1:3). And although the Temple in Jerusalem had been finished (Ezra 6:14 15), the broken city walls made it vulnerable. Nehemiah prayed continually not just for defense against an army but also for repentance (Neh. 1:6–7). His primary concern was for God’s glory: compromised walls could destroy the Temple where God’s glory and presence were meant to dwell among His people. And after many trials, Nehemiah saw to the completion of Jerusalem’s walls (Neh. 6:15).

At the dedication of the wall, we see God’s people protected. The Levitical musicians were brought to Jerusalem (Neh. 12:27), a picture of drawing near to the presence and protection of the Lord. They purified themselves (v. 30). We too are to purify ourselves before worship. And it was Ezra, the priest and teacher of the Law who read the Book to all the people (Nehemiah 8) who led the musical procession (v. 36). God’s Word should lead and go before us!

Go Deeper

What were the threats to God’s people? What did Nehemiah do to restore order and ensure their protection? How does that apply to our spiritual life?

Pray with Us: Lord, how do we draw near to Your presence and protection? Today’s passage from Nehemiah teaches us it’s building walls (being mindful of You) and purity in worship. Give us wisdom to take this teaching to heart!

BY Brian Lee

Dr. Brian Lee is a professor of Music at Moody Bible Institute. He serves in music ministry at Maranatha Bible Church in Chicago and is an active classical pianist as a soloist and chamber musician. He earned a doctorate from The Juilliard School and has been invited as a guest artist, adjudicator, masterclass teacher at many institutions, competitions, and festivals. He and his wife, Helen, are the parents of three sons.

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