Read Nehemiah 9
What a wonderful worship service! The earlier reading of the Word of God leads the people to confession of sins, and in revival and worship (Neh. 9). Renewal of the Covenant with God to follow His Word. Notice who signs it (9:38-10:39).
God chose Israel to be the guardian and proclaimer of true worship of the One True God. As long as they obeyed His Word, He blessed them. But because they repeatedly chose to worship idolatry instead of worshiping God, He gave them up to destruction and ultimate captivity in Babylon. After 70 years of captivity and slavery, God, faithful to His Word, caused Cyrus to proclaim 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 (Neh. 9:5). This was an expression of gratitude to the Lord for forgiving their sins.
Reading the Scriptures leads to conviction of sin, confession, and obedience to the Word of God, producing the 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 (Rev. 19:1). Praise God — one day we will join them!
The Israelites vowed with an oath to restore the tithes and sacrifices which the Law had earlier ordained. Though impoverished and oppressed, they undertook to give what was needed for the full service of the Temple. The whole assembly, with their governor, repeated with one mind, heart, and mouth: We will not forsake the House of our God (Neh. 10:39). Faithful disciples desire fellowship with the Lord and other believers.
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 leave exalted; they may come sorrowing and leave comforted; they may come weary and go out revived. Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20).
Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it . . . That He might present it to Himself a glorious Church (Eph. 5:25-27).
Thought for Today:
Let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another (Heb. 10:23-25).
As the Creator of heaven and earth (Neh. 9:6). All things were created by Him, and for Him (Col. 1:16).
9:18 wrought great provocations committed great blasphemy; 9:22 didst divide them into corners allotted and set boundaries; 9:25 fat rich; 9:29 withdrew the shoulder turned away rebelliously; hardened their neck were stubborn, obstinate; 10:1 Tirshatha governor; 10:28 Nethinims temple attendants or servants; 10:31 leave forego the 7th year's crop.
Pray for Government Official: Rep. Don Young (AK) • Country: Kirabati (86,000) 3 islands in southwestern Pacific • Major languages: English and Gilbutese • Religious freedom • 52% Roman Catholic; 44% Protestant; 2% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Beseech the Lord in intercessory prayer for others when you have questions (Ex. 32:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Acts 1:8