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July 29, 2017

In this chapter, the people have willingly separated themselves from individuals who were not of their lineage, and now it is the twenty-fourth day of the seventh month, the second day after the Feast of the Tabernacle and the people are engaged in a solemn fast. For three hours, they listened to the reading of the law, and for the next three hours, they worshipped God, prayed and confessed the past sins of their forefathers and their present sins. During this time eight Levites interceded, while another eight exhorted the people to bless the Lord.

This chapter contains one of the longest prayers in the bible which the Levites prayed to God. It rehearsed in the hearing of Israel significant events in their history, which highlighted God’s awesome power and continual unfailing mercy toward them despite their repeated rebellion and stubbornness. It spoke of the call of Abraham and God’s promise to him, Israel’s deliverance out of Egypt and their journey through the wilderness with divine provisions, the giving of the commandments, laws, and statues which Israel disobeyed, conquering and possession of Canaan, and the period of the judges and prophets. Verse 34 – 35 summarizes this chapter best, “Neither have our kings, our princes, our priest, nor our father, kept the law, nor hearkened unto thy commandments and thy testimonies, wherewith thou didst testify against them. For they have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness that thou gavest them, and in the large and fat land which thou gavest before them, neither turned they from their wicked works.” Accordingly, the prayer ends with a request that God would look on their afflictions and once again deliver them.

Furthermore, the chapter concludes with the people humbly making a renewed commitment to obey the Law of Moses.

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. Humbling oneself is a valuable component of fasting.
  2. Let your voice be heard praising God.
  3. Levites encourage people to praise God.
  4. Without God, nothing would exist; He is our Sustainer.
  5. God is a giving God.
  6. God sees our affliction, and He hears our cries.
  7. God will make Himself known to the heathen.
  8. Believers can go through areas safely while their enemies fall into disaster.
  9. God’s direction is available all day long.
  10. God will provide direction for your success.
  11. God stands ready to forgive
  12. God supplies our every need.
  13. God will give you the riches that previously belonged to your enemy.
  14. Delight in God and not in the things that can be obtained in this world.
  15. God warns us prior to punishing us.
  16. God will chasten you as needed.
  17. People who do not learn from failures of the past are subject to repeat them; therefore, learn from history.
  18. A tragic pattern in the lives of men is forgetting God when they are no longer in trouble.
  19. When you refuse to heed God’s Word, you suffer.
  20. God is long-suffering, merciful, and gracious.
  21. All have sinned; acknowledge yours.
  22. The result of sin is bondage.
  23. Kings control your life.
  24. The key to covenant renewal is understanding God’s nature.


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