Monday, September 20, Nehemiah 8
- 2 — The Book of the Law here very likely was the first 5 books of Moses.
- 3 — We, too, need to be attentive to the Word of God when we study it at home and listen to it on Sunday morning. The Law perfectly guides us in our earthly lives. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It works in us spiritual renewal just as it did for the Israelites (vv. 8-10). It also fills us with joy and happiness and the assurance of eternal life.
Vv. 16-18 — The Feast of the Tabernacles or Booths is described in Lev. 23:33-44. The booths were intended to remind the Israelites of the years they had lived in temporary shelters in the wilderness. During the 7 days of this festival, Ezra read the Law to them. We also need to study God’s Word intensively, just as they did, for our spiritual growth and strengthening. Read Eph. 4:11-15.
Tuesday, September 21, Nehemiah 9
- 3 — Most of us couldn’t imagine spending that much time in worship. But don’t we spend hours watching the Green Bay Packers, which offers us only passing happiness and sometimes utter disappointment? How much more shouldn’t we want to hear God’s Word, which brings us peace of mind, strength to live a happy, God-pleasing life, and above all, the hope of eternal life?
- 20 –Here’s an example of the third person, the Holy Spirit, in the Old Testament.
Wednesday, September22, Nehemiah 10
Vv. 35-39 — Notice how generously God expected the Israelites to support His Kingdom work in the Old Testament. While we are free from those laws (Col. 2:14-17), God still expects our whole-hearted support. He says He loves a cheerful giver. (II Cor. 9:7)
Thursday, September 23, Nehemiah 11
Vv. 1-2 — Because Jerusalem’s population had been decimated through the invasions of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia, it was built up again by those who willingly offered to move from areas outside of Jerusalem into the city. Many probably made great sacrifices in doing that. What moved them to do that was the Lord’s love for them. His sacrifice for them and for us in winning our eternal salvation was staggering! What He asks of them and of us is small in comparison. The rebuilding and repopulation of Jerusalem was important because it was the center of Christianity in the Old Testament.
Friday, September 24, Nehemiah 12
Vv. 27-30 — Normally, walls of cities were not dedicated with a religious celebration. All of Jerusalem, however, was important to ancient Israel. That’s because Jerusalem was the center of worship in the Old Testament. Its walls protected the temple and the worshippers in the city. It’s for this reason that we also dedicate to God our church buildings made of wood, stone and brick. We use that structure, its shelter and safety, to worship, praise and glorify God.
Saturday, September 25, Nehemiah 13
Vv. 1, 16-17, 26 — During the time when Nehemiah returned to Persia, corruption took its hold in Jerusalem. When he came back to Jerusalem, he cleaned house. There were 3 major problems he dealt with successfully. The first one was getting rid of Tobiah, an Ammonite, who was permitted to live in the temple by Eliashib, a priest. This was forbidden in the Mosaic Law (v. 1). Secondly, the Jews were working on the Sabbath Day (vv. 16-17) which was forbidden them in Ex. 20:10. Thirdly, Jewish men were not to intermarry with heathen women (chap. 10:29, 30). Nehemiah used Solomon as an example of its devastating consequences (v. 26).