Brick by Brick
"Do not sorrow for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10
After begining our study with prayer, we usually read through entire chapter we will be covering.... Although this Friday night we decided to read first 7 verses because the next 66 were a written genealogy!
So, the wall was complete the doors were hung, amazingly after only 52 days (7 weeks, 3 days)! Nehemiah is now raising individuals to positions of leadership. Then God puts it on his heart "to gather the nobles, the rulers, and the people, that they might be registered by genealogy". They were recorded in seven groups: priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, some of the people (we chuckled at this one!), the Nethinims (Nethinim was the term applied to those who were set apart to do the menial work of the sanctuary) and all Israel. Nehemiah 7:2 said Hanaiah, the leader of the citadel was "a faithful man and feared God more than many." We made note it was obvious Nehemiah was looking at the character of these men in his leadership. They had to stand guard at their own station and in front of their own house. As woman, we can encourage our husbands to be leaders in our homes. Man looks at outward appearance but God the heart! This did not come up in the study, but as I type I am reminded importance of supporting godly character in our husbands. We should not take pride that our husbands are noticed in leadership within the church. Nor should it be our goal to be noticed. With that in mind...
- Are you praying for your husband daily?
- Encouraging him in the place were God has him?
- Are you trying to direct his steps and not let the Lord?
- Do you praise and complement him in is role has a husband and father?
"If any Jew was unable to trace their lineage to a Jewish relative who existed before the exile, they were not considered genuine descendants and could not be counted.... God called His people to be set apart to serve and worship Him, but time after time they refused to do so. He allowed them to be exiled to Babylon and then engineered the timing and circumstances of their return once again to their homeland. In renewing their covenant with Him, they renounced their former sin and committed themselves to walk in obedience to His word." (http://www.harvest.org/get_pdf.php/237.pdf , page3)
Of those who sought their listing and was not found, were excluded from the priesthood has defiled (vs64). Ouch. Praise the Lord for our heritage in Christ! See Psalm 119:111
- Are you the first generation Christian in your family?
- Do you have a heart to strive for multi-generational faithfulness, beginning with your own children? What steps are you taking?
Nehemiah 8, Ezra reads the Book of the Law of Moses from morning till about midday (6-7 hours!) All those who could understand where attentive. Those who could not understand the Hebrew text Levites possibly moved about and "gave them sense, and helped them to understand" (verse 8). "The depth of their conviction brought weeping and then rejoicing. They celebrated because they understood what had been known to them. When you hear the Word of God going forth, do you give it your full attention? Are you respectful and even humbled by what you hear?" (http://www.harvest.org/get_pdf.php/237.pdf , page4)
Worship became another big topic of our evening! Their response in verse 6 was very impacting and humbling to me:
Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands
and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the
LORD with their faces to the ground. Neh 8:6
Some of the questions we covered were:
- Why do you think worship plays and important part in the community of faith?
- How important is worship to you as a believer in Christ?
- Do you have reason to praise God today?
We were able to take time and share what verse personally stood out from Psalm 119: 1-40. What a blessing to bear one another burdens! May we all take hold of His written word daily and see Him conform us to His image. Lord you are our strength!
My soul melts from heaviness;
Strengthen me according to Your word.
Blessing on your week!