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Nehemiah 8:10

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Eat the fat, and drink the sweet - Eat and drink the best that you have; and while ye are feeding yourselves in the fear of the Lord, remember those who cannot feast; and send portions to them, that the joy and the thanksgiving may be general. Let the poor have reason to rejoice as well as you.

For the joy of the Lord is your strength - This is no gluttonous and drunken festival that enervates the body, and enfeebles the mind: from your religious feast your bodies will acquire strength and your minds power and fervor, so that you shall be able to Do His will, and to do it cheerfully. Religious joy, properly tempered with continual dependence on the help of God, meekness of mind, and self-diffidence, is a powerful means of strengthening the soul. In such a state every duty is practicable, and every duty delightful. In such a frame of mind no man an ever fell, and in such a state of mind the general health of the body is much improved; a cheerful heart is not only a continual feast, but also a continual medicine.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

The “sending of portions” to the poor is not distinctly mentioned in any but the later historical Scriptures (compare the margin reference). The practice naturally grew out of this injunction of the Law Deuteronomy 16:11, Deuteronomy 16:14.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
It was a good sign that their hearts were tender, when they heard the words of the law. The people were to send portions to those for whom nothing was prepared. It is the duty of a religious feast, as well as of a religious fast, to draw out the soul to the hungry; God's bounty should make us bountiful. We must not only give to those that offer themselves, but send to those out of sight. Their strength consisted in joy in the Lord. The better we understand God's word, the more comfort we find in it; the darkness of trouble arises from the darkness of ignorance.
Ellen G. White
The Upward Look, 238.2

We are to live in the warm, genial rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Nothing but His loving compassion, His divine grace, His almighty power, can enable us to baffle the relentless foe and subdue the opposition of the human heart. What is our strength? The joy of the Lord. Let the melting love of Christ fill the heart, and we are softened and subdued, prepared to receive the power that He has for us. UL 238.2

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 168.3

A Christian, as described by the Scriptures, is a person who is separated from the world in his aims and practices and is united with Christ—a possessor of the peace which Christ alone can bestow, finding that the joy of the Lord is his strength and that his joy is full. Christians will not leave the world to perish unwarned, and make no effort for the reclaiming of the lost.... Those who truly love Christ ... watch for every opportunity to employ the means at their command in doing good and in patterning after the works of Christ. They will not yield to temptations to make alliances with the world. They will not unite with secret orders and bind themselves by intimacies with unbelievers. But those who are not wholly on the side of Christ are to a large degree controlled by the maxims and customs of the world.... HP 168.3

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Ellen G. White
In Heavenly Places, 64.3

We need a deep insight into the nature of Christ and into the mystery of His love, “which passeth knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19). We are to live in the warm, genial rays of the Sun of Righteousness. Nothing but Christ's loving compassion, His divine grace, His almighty power, can enable us to baffle the relentless foe and subdue the opposition of our own hearts. What is our strength? The joy of the Lord. Let the love of Christ fill our hearts, and then we shall be prepared to receive the power that He has for us. HP 64.3

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Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy, 477

Here are revealed the heights of attainment that we may reach through faith in the promises of our heavenly Father, when we fulfill His requirements. Through the merits of Christ we have access to the throne of Infinite Power. “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Romans 8:32. The Father gave His Spirit without measure to His Son, and we also may partake of its fullness. Jesus says, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Luke 11:13. “If ye shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” “Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 14:14: 16:24. GC 477.1

While the Christian's life will be characterized by humility, it should not be marked with sadness and self-depreciation. It is the privilege of everyone so to live that God will approve and bless him. It is not the will of our heavenly Father that we should be ever under condemnation and darkness. There is no evidence of true humility in going with the head bowed down and the heart filled with thoughts of self. We may go to Jesus and be cleansed, and stand before the law without shame and remorse. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. GC 477.2

Through Jesus the fallen sons of Adam become “sons of God.” “Both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Hebrews 2:11. The Christian's life should be one of faith, of victory, and joy in God. “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4. Truly spoke God's servant Nehemiah: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10. And Paul says: “Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Philippians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. GC 477.3

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