Highlights In Today's Reading:
Sackcloth and ashes - the people experience true repentance. The Lord is praised and glorified. Terms of the Covenant given and signed (9:38).
Israel was chosen of God to be the guardian proclaimer of true worship of the One True God. As long as they were obedient to His Word, God blessed them. When they drifted into idolatry, He gave them up to destruction and they ultimately became captives in Babylon. After 70 years of captivity and slavery, God, faithful to His Word, caused Cyrus to issue a decree for their return. Having rebuilt the Temple and city wall, they renewed their covenant relationship with God.
As a result of hearing the Law read, the Israelites repented of their sins. The Levites responded by saying: Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be Thy glorious Name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise (9:5). This was an expression of gratitude and praise to Jehovah for forgiving their sins.
Reading the Scriptures brings about a conviction of sin, leading to confession and obedience to God's Word, producing joy of the Lord.
Something miraculous takes place when we praise the Lord for who He is and thank Him for how He is blessing us. Truly praising the Lord brings victory to one's life. There is a host in heaven with a great voice loudly exclaiming: Allelulia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God (Revelation 19:1). Praise God — one day we will join them!
The Israelites bound themselves with an oath to restore the tithes and sacrifices which the Law had earlier ordained. Though they were impoverished and oppressed, they undertook to give such things as were needed for the full service of the Temple. The whole assembly, in unison with their governor, repeated with one mind, one heart, and one mouth: We will not forsake the House of our God (Nehemiah 10:39). Faithful disciples in every age have a desire to seek fellowship with other believers..
Those who are Christians who gather together for worship hear a voice which the world cannot hear; they feel a presence the unbelieving do not feel and enjoy a blessing that only the saved can receive. They may come perplexed and depart assured; they may come burdened and return exalted; they may come sorrowing and leave comforted; they may come weary and return revived. Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).
Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it . . . That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Thought for Today:
God can bring a miraculous change when a man gets sick and tired of sin and repents. He is willing to give us a brand new heart and His Spirit within us.
As the Creator (Nehemiah 9:6). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16).
9:18 wrought => committed; 9:22 divide them into corners => allotted and set boundaries; 9:25 fat => rich; 9:29 withdrew the shoulder => turned away; hardened their neck => were stubborn; 10:1 Tirshatha => governor; 10:28 Nethinims => Temple attendants or servants; 10:31 leave => forego the 7th year's crop.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Elizabeth Smith and in honor of Larry Rosten; Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Jack Schatz; English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mary E. Ryan; Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Jesus Christ • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Don Young (AK) • Country: Solomon Islands (455,000) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: 120 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 66% Protestant; 17% Roman Catholic; 4% spirit worship, ancestor worship, and sorcery • Prayer Suggestion: Trust in God and offer up your prayers night and day (I Timothy 5:5).
Optional Reading: 2 Corinthians 11
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 1:7