Ezra gathers the entire congregation together and reads to them from the Book of the Law every morning for seven days. They weep as they process what they hear. Nehemiah points out that it is not a time to weep, but to celebrate, because they “understood the words that had been made known to them” (Neh. 8:12).
A fews weeks later, the leaders gather together to consecrate themselves to the LORD. They again read from the Book of the Law and “confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers” (9:2).
Ezra responds with a prayer that recounted Israel’s history. Four times in Ezra’s prayer he refers to Israel’s rejection of God’s Word:
Ezra’s prayer ends on a sad note, “Here we are, servants today! And the land that You gave to our fathers, to eat its fruit and its bounty, here we are, servants in it! And it yields much increase to the kings You have set over us, because of our sins; also they have dominion over our bodies and our cattle at their pleasure; and we are in great distress” (9:36-37). Ezra’s recital of Israel’s history demonstrates that the spiritual vitality of God’s people is directly related to their knowledge of and obedience to God’s Word.
Review Leviticus 23:33-43. What purpose would celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles annually serve?
How much time had passed since Israel had celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles? How did the lack of celebration of this feast contribute to Israel’s spiritual declension?
In Nehemiah 9:5-38 Israel’s history is recounted in their hearing. Note the Creation, Patriarch, Conquest, Judges, Kingdom and Divided Kingdom, and Captivity eras as you read. Describe Israel’s present situation at the conclusion of their history.
Review Deuteronomy 4:1-14. How does Bible literacy promote Israel as a nation?
IN THIS SECTION
Subscribe as RSS feed to the 365 Devotional Entries
The 365 Daily Devotion, written by Iva May, is a brief devotion drawn from the day’s reading of the One Year® Chronological Bible delivered to your email. Each daily devotion concludes with several questions that strengthen reading engagement.