Read Nehemiah 12:44-47. Why did Judah rejoice “over the priests and Levites who ministered”? Why were they important?
What did the work of the priests (who were Levites) symbolize? See Hebrews 9:1-11.
“The intercession of Christ in man’s behalf in the sanctuary above is as essential to the plan of salvation as was His death upon the cross. By His death He began that work which after His resurrection He ascended to complete in heaven. We must by faith enter within the veil, ‘whither the forerunner is for us entered’. Hebrews 6:20” – Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 489.
Again, though the people back then certainly didn’t have the light that we have today, they understood enough to know that the work of the Levites, who alone could minister in the temple, was so important. They were excited that the work of God would be done through them.
The nation had been spending time with God in reading His word, praying, worshiping, and rededicating themselves to Him. Amid all this they realized that the ministries of the temple had been neglected and needed to be restored. Now that these were established again, the people rejoiced over the important work the Levites would be doing on their behalf. God impressed the nation that the ministries of the temple were part of His design for worship.
Unfortunately, ministers, teachers of the Word, and musicians are often taken for granted. Even during the time of Nehemiah, the support of the Levites was sometimes strong and sometimes very weak. The Levites had to go back to other work many times in order to provide for their families, because the people stopped giving tithes and offerings.
Without tithes and offerings, there is no organized worldwide church. If we want our ministries to continue, we must be committed to supporting our ministers by monetary contributions as well as verbal appreciation. The church may never be perfect, but that shouldn’t undermine our giving to God so that His work can continue around the world.