Focus: Nehemiah 8
Information can change our lives. If you need to unclog a sink, you can google the question, and a host of sites on the internet will tell you how to do that safely with step by step pictures. If you want to know how to plant a tree or fix your car, that is there as well. The people of Judah had finished the wall, but they had forgotten their God. What they required was information. The people needed to know who the God who helped them rebuild their walls was. They needed how God wanted his people to live so that they could thrive and be a strong nation again. They needed a revival, and that new life would start with God’s word.
If the Bible is going to help you, you have to read it v. 8 Having finished the wall, the leaders chose to assemble people by the water gate so that they could have the refreshment of the scriptures. This day marks a changing point in the Jewish nation. From this time on, the Jews would become the people of the book. They would read and study the Bible so that they built their lives on it.
Take time to celebrate God’s love v.9 When they heard the message, they realized all the pain that they had caused themselves by not being in the word. They felt the law and not the gospel. For this reason, Ezra told them to celebrate and not to weep. God gave his word so that we might know the depth of His love and commitment to the people of Israel.
God’s word can help you if you obey it v. 13 Reading the Bible is not enough. Ezra and the other teachers told the people to follow what they were learning. Like a map, the Bible is not very useful to you if you do not follow its directions. If you ignore it, you do not profit from its information. The wise person will hang on every word from God and make this wise advice their guide.
You want a better life, be in the word. The walls were up, and they were beautiful, but they would offer no protection if the people forgot God as their grandparents had done. If the nation was to thrive and to survive, they needed to be a people of the book who learned the Bible and taught it to their children. It needed to be the guide for the nation and the pattern for their future. Revival starts with the word of God. It brings God into your life so His power and love can help you. It is the source of His time-tested wisdom that will work in every situation.
If you want a better world, be in the word. It is hard to get a family member to go to church or know Jesus if you are not in the word. It is hard to be a person that has real character and the admiration of others without being in the word. Those who are in a deep relationship with the Lord in word and prayer are the only ones who can change the world and bring peace and harmony.