Ezra reads the law, Levites teach, people respond.
Nehemiah is divided into two parts. The first 7 chapters are about the rebuilding of the wall, and the rest of the chapters are concerned with the spiritual rebuilding of the people.
The people having finished rebuilding the wall might be expected to want to celebrate, but their first priority is to ask Ezra to read them the law. Perhaps they were aware of their need to reconcile with God and wanted to be reminded of what it meant to be the people of God.
Ezra the priest read the law. We learn in Ezra 7 :10 that Ezra is a man who is devoted to studying, observing and teaching the law.
It's not enough to study and teach the law, we have to OBSERVE the law. this doesn't just apply to preachers and leaders. We all teach in one way or another so we all have an obligation to live out our faith, as well as to know it.
The law was read from dawn to noon, a long time!
The people were aware of falling short of God's standards, and were aware of God's presence and ready to worship God.
They had compromised on lots of things and were no longer living as God's Holy people. They were aware of their need for a fresh start with God.
The leaders met to study the law and consider it in more detail. Then acted on it by encouraging the people to celebrate the feast of Tabanacles.
The peoples repentance was followed by obedience of the law,and then followed by their joy in God.
Ian then spoke about Nehemiah Chapters 9 and 10. In chapter 9:38 the people make a binding agreement, and recommit themselves to God. Chapter 10 looks at this agreement and the people promise not to neglect the house of God
Are there areas where we are compromising in our faith and need to come back to God?
Are we thirsty?
- Thirsty for coming back to God
- Thirsty for knowing Him better?
- Thirsty for renewal
- Thirsty for any of the things on offer from Jesus?
If we are, the offer is there. Jesus promise us that if we come to him he will give us living water and we will never thirst again(John 4:10,13-14).