Scripture Read: Nehemiah 7 - 8
Title: The Law is Read and the People Respond
(H) Highlight verse: "So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, both men and women and al who could understand what they heard, on the first day of the seventh month. And he read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand. And the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law." Nehemiah 8: 2 - 3
(E) Explain: Once the wall was complete Nehemiah set his brother to have charge over Jerusalem. He appointed guards at gurad posts and some in front of their homes. The city was large but there were not many people in the city and few homes.
In the seventh month Ezra, the priest, read the Law before the people who were assembled and they all gave a sense that they understood what was read. A revival of sorts occured as the people responded with weeping and mourning in conviction of their sins. They declared the day to be a holy day and demanded the people not be sad, because it was a cause for celebration.
(A) Application: The word of God is powerful. We are told in Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." We see this to be true not only in this passage, but in our lives today. If anything we see the importance of reading God's word regularly. The discipline of Bible reading can be difficult because we tell ourselves we don't have the time, or a good understanding of God's Word, so we often don't read it. However we cannot believe that we can grow closer to God or even truly know how to live as Christ lived if we are neglect to read His Word. The Bible helps us to know our God intimately, it helps us understand God's plan of redemption and restoration for humanity through Jesus Christ, and it shows us a Savior who loves us, and shows us how to live so that we may bring honor and glory to our Father in heaven. Don't listen to or believe the lies that you do not have the time or the intellect to read the Bible. God gave us His Word and He wants to speak to you through it.
(R) Respond: Lord, I shamefully admit it is hard to be disciplined in reading your Word. Help me to be fully engaged in the Bible and may I grow closer to you and I read, study and meditate on it.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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