Summary: Chapter 8 opens in the square where the remnant of Israel had gathered. Ezra re-initiate God’s command to gather the people to hear the Law being read aloud. They start having “Church”! Everyone was emotional and I imagine it is the movement of the Spirit through the people. The Levites (priests) remind everyone that worship time is a holy time and Nehemiah impresses upon them that it is to be joyous and not miserable. Church continues with the remembrance of their ancestors’ nomadic lifestyle before reaching the promised land, confessing their sins, and worshiping God acknowledging His patience, forgiveness, grace, compassion, and abounding love. They close their worship with a commitment to follow the Word.
Nehemiah 8:3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
View of God: these chapters strongly affirmed and deepened my conviction that God’s Word is the truth and it is the guide for me to focus, work, and strive for my relationship with Him.
Change to me: Bible Vision 2020, the pandemic, and these chapters have all validated the fact that faith’s primary development comes from hearing the Word (Romans 10:17).
I go forward with God determined to incorporate more reading of the Word during our d-times, zooms, skypes, and facetimes as well as ask others to read the Word to me so that my faith can be increased.
I see Jesus in the celebration and joyousness of the worship as the priests/Levites remind the Israelites that it was a holy day!