Note: At North Baptist Church we are currently on a 31 week journey through the entire Bible. Called The Story, this journey finds us discussing the same Bible passage in our personal reading time, the sermon, Adult Bible Fellowships, and Small Groups. I figured I would post a few thoughts each week as I go through my lesson prep.
In this week of The Story we read about Nehemiah’s role in the return from the Exile. Nehemiah, who served the king of Persia in Susa, heard about the sad condition of Jerusalem and its protective wall (Nehemiah 1:1–3). The king dispatched him to Jerusalem in order to repair the walls. The reconstruction was fraught with opposition and issues—both internal and external—but the wall was rebuilt.
Fast forward to Nehemiah chapter 8; the wall is built, the people have returned, and they celebrate by the public reading of Torah. Ezra, Nehemiah, and the rest of the leaders are on stage, while the public is crowding around them, eager to hear God’s word. Levites are scattered about, helping the people understand what was being read.
The people reacted very emotionally to the reading of God’s word. They weeped at their sins and their disobedience to the Law. They rejoiced because they knew God had brought them this far. They worshipped God by declaring that day holy. When they learned they were to be celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, they celebrated that feast in such a mighty way that had never been done before (Nehemiah 8:17). When the guilt of their sins overwhelmed them, the people repented and returned to the Lord. Finally, after the reading of the Torah, the people recommitted themselves to God (Nehemiah 9–10).
In ABF this week we will look at some of the opposition Nehemiah and the returning exiles faced, and how we can learn to face opposition in our own lives.Tweet