Read thru Old Testament Devotional – June 18, 2017

June 18

 

Nehemiah 7-8

 

3rd Return to Judah & Repairing of the City Walls (Nehemiah)     Nehemiah 1-7, cont’d.

 

Nehemiah 3:1-7:4        The Repairing of the City Walls, cont’d.

445 B.C.-Nehemiah (governor) comes to Jerusalem and rebuilds the wall around the city in 52 days (Malachi was a prophet during this time)

 

Nehemiah 7:5-73         The Numbering of the People

 

Nehemiah 7:5-73-God leads Nehemiah to take a census of the people.  He searches and finds the record of all the people who originally came back from Babylon with Ezra.

 

Return to God and Repentance of Sinful Hearts                Nehemiah 8-10      

 

Nehemiah 8:1-18         The Law is Read

 

Nehemiah 8:1-8-Notice that the people came to Ezra and asked him to read to them from God’s law.  Could it be that through the rebuilding of the wall they had begun to have a renewed sense of God’s presence and glory?  They had heard Nehemiah explain that God had led him to return to Judah and how the king had been sympathetic with his request.  It could be that they had heard the story of Esther and saw the sovereignty of God over her life and how He had providentially positioned her to have an influence in their behalf in the life of the king.  They had seen God’s provision and blessing for the supplies and materials necessary for rebuilding the wall.  They had seen how God had protected them from their enemies.  And now, they have begun to add this all up…and are beginning to seek God in a way that they had not done for many, many years.  All of the people gather together and Ezra leads in teaching the law of Moses to them..."explained the law...translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading" (:7,8)...others helped him in this task, as well.

Nehemiah 8:9-18-The people began to weep when they heard the law...but Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites told them to not weep, but to celebrate because it was a holy day to the Lord..."Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (:10).  They celebrated a great festival "because they understood the words which had been made known to them" (:12).  Then, the next day, they gathered together again "that they might gain insight into the words of the law" (:13).  They found that it was the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles so they celebrated.  They had not celebrated it since the days of Joshua (:17).  Each day Ezra read from the book of the law.

 

Prayer: Lord, let Your Word have that affect on my life, and on the lives of everyone in our church!  Help us to understand what You have said and to celebrate with great joy!  Give us a hunger that brings us back day after day to learn more from Your Word.

 

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