Tag: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

The secret of great strength!

Scripture reading for May 12th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

After rebuilding the walls, Ezra and Nehemiah had a great church service.  They brought out the book of the Law of Moses and began reading it to all who had gathered inside the walls to celebrate their completion.  Ezra the priest mounted the platform and those who would help with translation stood with him.   When he opened the Book, all the people stood in reverence.  (Nehemiah 8:4-5)  Ezra praised the Lord and the people responded with “Amen! Amen!” and bowed in worship.  As the Word was read, the teachers instructed the people and made the meaning clear to them.  The people began to understand what God had said and how they had failed to follow God’s Word.  This triggered emotions and conviction in the people and many began to weep and mourn.

Godly sorrow that leads to true change is commended in Scripture.  (2nd Corinthians 7:8-11)  Nehemiah actually sent the people away to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and share with those who didn’t have any.  He told them that the joy of the Lord would be their strength!  (Nehemiah 8:9-10)  God had shown them mercy!

Joy always follows true understanding of the mercy of God.  As people understand God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness for them, they can celebrate as people who are forgiven.  The Book of the Law revealed this mercy and love of God in Nehemiah’s time.  Jesus Christ has sent God’s Spirit to bring us that joy today!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God.  (Galatians 5:22)   New Testament believers can enjoy the Lord’s promise of joy as a fruit of abiding in Him and His word abiding in us.  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

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The joy of the Lord!

Scripture reading for May 11th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10

After rebuilding the walls, Ezra and Nehemiah held a great church service.  He brought out the book of the Law of Moses and began reading it to all who had gathered inside the walls.  Ezra the priest opened the Book as all the people stood in reverence.  (Nehemiah 8:4-5)  Ezra praised the Lord and the people responded with “Amen! Amen!” and bowed in worship.  As the Book was read, the people began to understand how they had failed to follow God’s word.  This triggered emotions and conviction and many began to weep.

Why did Nehemiah tell the people not to grieve and weep before the Lord?  Godly sorrow that leads to true change is commended in Scripture.  (2nd Corinthians 7:8-11)  Nehemiah actually sent the people away to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and share with those who didn’t have any.  He told them that the joy of the Lord would be their strength!  (Nehemiah 8:9-10)

Joy always follows true understanding of the grace and mercy of God.  Joy is the result of God’s mercy being revealed to us as a gift to be received by faith.  As the people understood God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness for them, they could celebrate as people who were forgiven.  The Book of the Law revealed this mercy and love of God.  They could celebrate it’s restoration to their lives and to the lives of their children.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God.  (Galatians 5:22)   New Testament believers can enjoy the Lord’s promise of joy as a fruit of abiding in Him and His word abiding in us.  When we understand God’s word, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength!  We have God’s law written on our hearts and the Spirit gives us understanding of God’s word.  We can have this same joy for our strength, too!  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

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Promises of Faithfulness

Scripture reading for May 12th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

Nehemiah knew that the real strength of God’s city would come not from walls of stone around it, but from a renewed commitment to follow the Law of the Lord.  The word of God is a sure foundation for blessing and success and also a strong source of protection when His people are walking in faith.  Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law began to read aloud to the people.  They listened attentively.  (Nehemiah 8:1-3)

As the people listened, they needed explanation.  It had been many years since they had heard God’s word and some had never heard it.  The people began to weep at the law of God.  Nehemiah told the people not to weep, but to share food and fellowship and rejoice because the “joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10)

They were reading the law of God again the second day and found that the Israelites were to celebrate the Feast of Booths by making shelters and living outside for a week.  This feast commemorated their deliverance from Egypt and wandering in the wilderness.  They decided to celebrate it. They read from the Book of the Law each day for seven days and on the eighth day had a holy assembly.  There they repented and separated themselves from foreign influences and confessed sins.  A beautiful prayer of repentance is recorded in Nehemiah 9.

Following this prayer, they made vows to God to maintain purity in marriages.  (Nehemiah 10:30)  They recognized God’s desire for godly offspring and purity of living and worship.  They promised not to buy or sell on the Sabbath and to cancel debts in the seventh year.  (Nehemiah 10:31)  They promised to pay their temple alms and tithes to care for the Levites and the House of God.  (Nehemiah 10:32-37)

All this commitment was brought about by simply reading aloud the Book of the Law!  God’s word has power to bring change in our hearts.  It brings conviction of sin and reveals the love and mercy of God. The confession was public and the vows of commitment were even put in writing!  (Nehemiah 9:38)  This new commitment brought the joy of the Lord to the people and it was their strength!

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The Joy of the Lord!

Scripture reading for May 12th: Nehemiah 8:2-10:39

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

After rebuilding the walls, Ezra and Nehemiah had a great church service.  They brought out the book of the Law of Moses and began reading it to all who had gathered inside the walls near a high wooden platform built for this sacred occasion.  Ezra the priest mounted the platform and those who would help with translation stood with him.   When he opened the Book, all the people stood in reverence.  (Nehemiah 8:4-5)  Ezra praised the Lord and the people responded with “Amen! Amen!” and bowed in worship.  As the word was read, the teachers instructed the people and made the meaning clear to them.  The people began to understand what God had said and how they had failed to follow God’s word.  This triggered emotions and conviction in the people and many began to weep and mourn.

Why did Nehemiah tell the people not to grieve and weep before the Lord?  I thought that repentance was needed and that God would be pleased to see them with broken hearts for their sins.  Godly sorrow that leads to true change is commended in Scripture.  (2nd Corinthians 7:8-11)  Nehemiah actually sent the people away to enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and share with those who didn’t have any.  He told them that the joy of the Lord would be their strength!  (Nehemiah 8:9-10)

Joy always follows true understanding of the grace and mercy of God.  Joy is the result of God’s mercy being revealed to us as a gift to be received by faith.  As the people understood God’s love, mercy, and forgiveness for them, they could celebrate as people who were forgiven.  The Book of the Law revealed this mercy and love of God.  They could celebrate it’s restoration to their lives and to the lives of their children.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit of God.  (Galatians 5:22)   New Testament believers can enjoy the Lord’s promise of joy as a fruit of abiding in Him and His word abiding in us.  When we understand God’s word and promises, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength!  The Holy Spirit comes into us upon our conversion and marks us internally.  We have God’s law written on our hearts and the Spirit gives us understanding of God’s word.  We can have this same joy for our strength, too!  “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

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