Read Nehemiah 12
Focus on verses 31-43
There seems to be something within us as humans that causes us to want to celebrate significant events with a level of pomp and circumstance that reflects the degree to which we think the accomplishment is a big deal. Most often this sort of celebration involves making a lot of noise, dressing up and parading around, and feasting together with friends and family. It would seem that this was not far from the custom back in Nehemiah’s day as well.
The wall was complete. It was to be dedicated to God with a celebration that suited the significance of the accomplishment. Nehemiah appointed two choirs, which paraded through the streets of Jerusalem from opposite directions meeting at the temple where they continued to sing and make music to the Lord. Apparently the decibel level was such that “the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away.” (v. 43)
What is it that makes these celebrations important enough to invest a great deal of effort and resources on them? Perhaps it is a way of rewarding and honoring those who worked very hard to complete the project. It could also be to help us remember the completion of the event. In this case it also had to do with praising God for His role in bringing the wall to completion. I believe Nehemiah wanted to impress upon the people that this wall-building project was not about the wall, or about Israel. It was entirely about God… about His faithfulness to His people.