Read Nehemiah 9 -- 10
Ezra stands out as a man who knew the Scripture. Not only did Ezra read from the Law, but many Levites helped the people to understand the Law. . . . gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading (Nehemiah 8:7-8). This teaching of the Word of God was so important that it is mentioned seven times in this chapter (8:2,3,7,8,9,12,13), showing how essential the Bible is.
The Israelites were taught during these sessions about the Feast of Tabernacles, also called the Feast of Booths or Sukkoth. Sukkoth celebrated the Fall harvest and commemorated the 40 years their ancestors dwelt in booths in the wilderness (Leviticus 23:42-43). It also foreshadowed Christ, who dwelt (tabernacled) among us (John 1:14). The booths were temporary living shelters made from tree branches woven together. The Feast of Tabernacles lasted from the 15th day through the 21st day of Tishri (the seventh month of the Jewish religious year). On the 24th day of Tishri (September/October), the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and . . . separated themselves from all strangers (non-Jews), and stood and confessed their sins. . . . 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 (Nehemiah 9:1-3).
The Feast of Tabernacles had been observed as required by the Law, but there was a movement of the Holy Spirit following the reading of the Word of God that led the Levites 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 God, in manifold mercy, had provided His Good Spirit to instruct them. . . . they lacked nothing (9:19-21). It is the same Holy Spirit who still guides believers, as Jesus promised: When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will reprove the world of sin . . . guide all true believers into all Truth (John 16:8,13). As Peter told the congregation on the Day of Pentecost: Who were pricked (convicted of their sin) in their heart, and said . . . what shall we do? Then Peter said: Repent, and be baptized . . . and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37-38). It is the Holy Spirit who will impart His gifts individually as He will (see I Corinthians 12:11). The Holy Spirit also seeks to guide each Christian into the occupation or position God has chosen to prepare us for our promised eternal inheritance.
Submitting to Christ as Lord of our lives and reading His Word is vital if the Holy Spirit is to teach and guide you into all truth. Let us take heed lest we grieve . . . the Holy Spirit of God (Ephesians 4:30). He alone can enlighten our minds (as we read His Word), impart conviction of sin, and empower us to live a sanctified, holy life (I Corinthians 2:16; 6:11).
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:16-17).
Christ Revealed: As the Creator (Neh. 9:6). All things were created by Him (Col. 1:16).
Word Studies: 9:18 wrought means committed; 9:22 divide them into corners means allotted and set boundaries; 9:25 fat means rich; 9:29 withdrew the shoulder means turned away; hardened their neck means were stubborn; 10:1 Tirshatha means governor; 10:28 Nethinims means Temple attendants or servants; 10:31 leave means forego.
Government Officials: Rep. Norman Sisisky (VA) and Rep. Don Young (AK) · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WOMI-AM, Owensboro, KY · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Chuck and Evonne Swanson's 50th Wedding Anniversary · Country: Liechtenstein (32,000) in western Europe · Major languages: German and Alemannic dialect · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 12% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your heart to God in prayer (Lamentations 3:41).
Optional Reading: II Corinthians 11
Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 2:15