June 9, 2004
Read Nehemiah 9 - 10
In Today's Reading:
Fasting and confession of sins; reading of the Law; confession of God's goodness; new covenant to keep the Law
The completion of the wall provided protection from the surrounding enemies but provided peace of mind to hear what God had to say. It was symbolic of our necessity to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove (expose) them (for what they are). . . See then that you walk circumspectly (watchful of various temptations, take great care of how you live). . . . understanding what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:11,15,17).
Ezra stands out as a godly man who led the people to "understand the will of the Lord." Ezra and other Levites read in the Book of the Law of God distinctly, and gave the sense (meaning), and caused them to understand the reading read from the Law (Nehemiah 8:8). The importance of teaching the Word of God was of such grave consequences that it is mentioned seven times in one chapter (8:2,3,7,8,9,12,13). This points out how essential it is to read all the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
On the 24th day of Tishri (September/October), the children of Israel were assembled with fasting (Nehemiah 9:1). There was a movement of the Holy Spirit following the reading of the Scriptures. They stood up in their place, and read in the Book of the Law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshiped the LORD their God (9:2-3). The Levites were led to say to the people: Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be Your glorious Name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise (9:5).
The priests revealed how, during the exodus, and through the wilderness, God, in manifold (great) mercies, had provided His good Spirit to instruct them (their ancestors) . . . they lacked nothing (9:19-21). It is the same Holy Spirit who still guides believers, as Jesus promised: When He is come, He will reprove (convict) the world of sin. . . . when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all Truth (John 16:8,13). The Holy Spirit also seeks to guide all Christians into the occupation or position God has chosen for us to most effectively serve Him and to prepare us for our eternal inheritance. The Holy Spirit alone can enlighten our minds, impart conviction of sin, and empower us to live a sanctified (holy) life (I Corinthians 2:16; 6:11).
For this cause I bow my knees to the Father . . . That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man (Ephesians 3:14,16).
As the Creator (Nehemiah 9:6). God created all things by Jesus Christ (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.
Staff: Kenneth Roberts · Government Official: Rep. Don Young (AK) · Country: Djibouti (447,000) in eastern Africa · Major languages: French and Arabic · Limited religious freedom · 91% Muslim; 7% Roman Catholic; .75% Eastern Orthodox; about 300 Protestants
Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others by name (Luke 22:31-32).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 11
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:16