READING: Nehemiah 8:13-10:39
Not unlike what we saw in yesterday’s devotion, I love the progression in today’s reading in Nehemiah 8. I’ve highlighted in bold print what catches my attention:
- They [God’s people} found written in the law how the Lord had commanded through Moses that the Israelites should dwell in shelters during the festival of the seventh month.
- They proclaimed and spread this news throughout their towns and in Jerusalem, saying, “Go out to the hill country and bring back branches of olive, wild olive, myrtle, palm, and other leafy trees to make shelters, just as it is written.”
- The people went out, brought back branches, and made shelters for themselves on each of their rooftops and courtyards, the court of the house of God, the square by the Water Gate, and the square by the Ephraim Gate. The whole community that had returned from exile made shelters and lived in them.
- The Israelites had not celebrated like this from the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day. And there was tremendous joy.
The people heard the teachings of the Word, and they proclaimed that message widely. Having heard the message, they then obeyed and built shelters. As a result, they experienced great joy. So, here’s the picture: know the Word . . . proclaim the Word . . . obey the Word . . . and find joy!
The pattern has not changed—though too often we don’t know the Word like we should, don’t spread it like we should, and then don’t obey it like we should. We miss out on joy when we live that way.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you find joy in obeying the Word?
DAILY PRAYER: “Father, help me to rejoice in obedience to You.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Nehemiah 11:1-12:26, 1 Chronicles 9:1-34