Nehemiah made this statement. I encourage you to read it yourself, but essentially the people's hearts had been split wide open because they had been read the scriptures and they finally understood what they had been taught. They were so overwhelmed by the Truth of the word of God that they were moved with emotion because they were convicted of how far they had strayed. Nehemiah then reminds them that hearing the Lord speak through His word is a cause for celebration!
For some reason, reading the context in which these words were written changed the whole meaning for me...deepened it, personalised it. Those moments when God has chosen to reveal Himself to me in a way in which I hadn't understood Him before, those glimpses of Him that bring me to my knees with adoration for His complexity and depth, those realisations that do indeed bring tears to my eyes...those are moments that exemplify "the joy of the Lord" for me. And how beautiful, how very like Him, to show us in scripture just what it means to revel in that joy...throw a party AND share it with someone else.
So what is JOY? I did not know what joy was until Bro. Johnson Sequeira (A preacher) once explained it to us. He explained it thus:
If you were watching an exciting cricket match (say India-PakistanJ). Whilst you were watching it live, you were tense throughout the match because you did not know what the end result would be. However, if you were watching the highlights of the match, would you have the same tension? NO! That’s because you would’ve already known the end result! We all know that Jesus has won against Satan. Since you already know that Jesus has ransomed you from Satan’s clutches, you can now experience joy even though you may be going through some daunting situation because you already know what the end result is going to be!
If this revelation excites you, by all means, throw a party for yourselves, but go and share your good fortune...go and spread the good news (Seems like that is what church should be, but I wonder if we get stuck in the "throwing the party" for ourselves part sometimes).