And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel (Neh. 8:1).

This incident is in some ways a foreshadowing of an event that will happen many years in the future. Both these events brought together a nation to hear from God. Both would contain a call to repentance for the people of Israel.

The future event is found in the Book of Acts. The disciples were in the upper room waiting to hear from God. Just as these Israelites came together as one, the scripture denotes the same unity for those in the upper room. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place (Acts 2:1).

The anointing of God came upon those in the Book of Acts. They came out to preach to all who would listen. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language (Acts 2:6). The comparison could be made here between Ezra and Peter. Both spoke the words of a prophet that came long before them. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel (Acts 2:16). Both men also spoke words that would call others to repent and follow after the Lord and His Word. Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).

The finding of these comparable situations in the Old Testament and the New Testament reinforce the importance of both events. In both events, the Word of God was spoken over a nation. Many heard this and in their hearts they felt the need to turn to God. In the Book of Nehemiah, the people broke out in praise and worship to God. In the Book of Acts, many accepted the free pardon of sin that Jesus offers.

There is a great need in today's society for more of God's Word. As believers, we need to dedicate ourselves to the reading and sharing of The Word of God to any who will listen. God uses the sharing of His Word to bring about awareness of His Will, which produces great results.

So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa. 55:11).

Thought for Today:

When our minds are transformed by God's Word, we can serve Him in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Word Studies:

7:2 feared, had reverential, heartfelt submission to; 7:3 stand by, stand on guard; watches, guards; 7:61 seed, genealogical descent; 7:65 Urim and Thummim, two objects kept in the high priest's breastplate and used to determine the Lord's will (Ex. 28:30); 8:14 booths, temporary shelters.

Christ Revealed:

Through the names required to be registered for priestly service (Neh. 7:64). Christ, our Great High Priest (Heb. 3:1), will soon return, wearing His Name, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16).

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Official: Rep. Kenneth Calvert (CA) Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: English and Swahili • Religious freedom • 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Ex. 15:1-19).

Optional Reading: II Corinthians 10

Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 1:1-2