Sept. 22, 2017
Nehemiah 8-Part 2
And Nehemiah continued, "Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!" Nehemiah 8:10
LET IT GLOW
Our denomination enjoys fellowshiping over a meal. We have pot luck often, using any excuse to have it. Sometimes there is no reason at all for it. Today's lesson ends with a feast.
Ezra read from the Law of Moses for 6 hours as the people listened attentively. He praised their great God. The Jews responded by raising their hands, saying "Amen," and bowing down to the ground to worship God. Then Ezra instructed the 13 Levites standing beside him to explain the meaning of the Word in their own language.
Interestingly, the word people is mentioned 15 times and understanding is used 6 times in verses 1-13. so the focus was upon the people understanding the Word of God. The massive crowd could have contained as many as 50,000 people so not all understood the Hebrew language.
The study of God's Word produces two results-mourning over the conviction of sin and rejoicing of the heart. As the people were convicted of sin, they were weeping and mourning, which began to interrupt the service. Once they confessed and repented of their sins, the LORD forgave them. Then, instead of mourning and weeping, they were to celebrate by feasting and sharing with those who were in need. They were to stop grieving and give thanks and praise to the LORD for His forgiveness. And that the Jews did. They celebrated with great joy because they had heard God's Word and understood them. Their celebration was not self-centered because they shared with others that were without.
Did you know this Bible conference was held for a week? (verse 18)
Is the Lord the joy of our strength?
Paul said to believers in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. In 4:4, he said, Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice.
Are the Scriptures making us joyful?
Do we apply all the day long, what we have learned in our Bible study?
Together we sing, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the earth is filled with His glory. As I type this, I hear this song on my radio. What great timing!
LET IT GROW
This was a special month in the life of the Israel. Three significant events were to take place during the seventh month:
- the Feast of Trumpets was celebrated on the first day, was later celebrated as the New Year on the Jewish calendar;
- the Day of Atonement was celebrated on the tenth day;
- the Feast of Tabernacles was celebrated on the fifteenth day.
LET IT GO
Repent of my sins.
Let the Lord fill my heart with joy.
Share with others.