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Bible Pathways - June 9, 2005

June 9


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 and, therefore, peace of mind to hear what God had to say. The wall was symbolic of separation from sin for we are 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 (Nehemiah 8:8) read from the Law. Teaching the Word of God was so important that it is mentioned seven times in one chapter (see 8:2,3,7,8,9,12,13). This points out how essential it is to read all the Bible from Genesis through Revelation.


On the 24th day of Tishri (September/October), the children of Israel were assembled with fasting (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) and. . . . sustain them in the wilderness so that . . . 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 (see I Corinthians 2:16; 6:11).


The Holy Spirit led Paul to record a prayer for us and he wrote: 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).


Christ Revealed:


As the Creator (Nehemiah 9:6). God created all things by Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16).


Word Studies:


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.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for BPM Staff: Diana Hash · Government Official: Rep. Don Young (AK) · Country: Brazil (171 million) in South America · Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish · Religious freedom · 87% Roman Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% various forms of spiritism · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for boldness to tell others about the Lord (Acts 4:29).


Optional Reading: II Corinthians 11


Memory Verse for the Week: I Thessalonians 4:3

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