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NEHEMIAH CHAPTER 8 – HEARING AND OBEYING

July 21, 2017

In this chapter Ezra who had come to Jerusalem approximately thirteen years prior to Nehemiah’s arrival and who was sent there by King Artaxerxes to teach the people the law, statutes, and judgments were once again being utilized as a scribe (Ezra 7:10-14, 25)

On the first day of the seventh month which was designated by God to be the Feast of the Trumpets, a Sabbath and day of holy convocation, the people gathered themselves together in the square before the water gate and requested Ezra to read the book of the Law of Moses. While the people stood in reverence to the Word, Ezra complied with their request and stood on a wooden platform and read the Word from morning to midday. The reception of the Word by the attentive people was described in verse 6, “And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”

Additionally, on the platform accompanying Ezra were thirteen priests, plus the Levites that were present, helped to give the people complete comprehension of what was spoken by explaining the meaning of the things that Ezra read. When the people realized they had not adhered to the Word they were convicted, and they wept; however, Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Levites said, “This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep” (8:9). Nehemiah told the people to celebrate the feast by drinking, eating, and sharing their substance with the poor, which they did. He also reminded them “For the joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10)

The officials were not satisfied with what they had heard for Nehemiah 8:13 states, ‘On the second day were gathered together the chief of the fathers, of all the people, the priests, and the Levites unto Ezra the scribe, even to understand the words of the law.” This desire to know what God was saying produces further revelations as stated in verse 14, “And they found written in the law which the Lord had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths in the feast of the seventh month.” Since it was the seventh month, specific instructions for this celebration were published throughout the land and the people enthusiastically followed them as they observed this feast with great rejoicing.

The chapter ends with verse 18 that states, “Also day by day, from the first day unto the last day, he read in the book of the law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day was a solemn assembly, according unto the manner.”

The gleaning points that I have received from this chapter are:

  1. Comprehension of the word is paramount in the life of God’s people.
  2. Necessary in every assembly is those who can divide and teach the Word rightly.
  3. Giving attention to the Word is always beneficial.
  4. When applied effectively, the Word brings conviction and leads to repentance.
  5. The Word cuts and heals.
  6. More public reading of the Word is needed in our churches.
  7. Truly sincere people will immediately apply the Word to their lives.
  8. The Laws of God must be continuously read, rehearsed, and taught.
  9. Revelations come when you search the Word.
  10. Doing the right thing cause joy.

 

From → NEHEMIAH SERIES

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