Friday, February 27, 2009


Nehemiah chapter 10 describes what the people decided to do after they had returned to the city of Jerusalem from exile and rebuilt the walls. After a time of rejoicing over the Law being read in the city the people make some promises to God. It is very interesting the things mentioned that they decided to rededicate to the Lord.

First, they promised not to give their daughters and sons to be married to people from other nations. One of the ways that they had fallen away from God is by marrying outside of the nation of Israel. Now that they were repenting of this they were promising that they would dedicate these relationships back to God and be faithful to what God had asked them to do.

Next, they promised to keep the Sabbath rest as holy to God. They said that they would not buy merchandise or grain from neighboring peoples on the Sabbath or any other holy day. They were promising to keep these holy days as an offering to God. They would dedicate these times to God. They would work hard on six days and give to God the Sabbath to honor Him.

Finally, they promised to give to God from the first fruits of their crops and herds. They had gotten out of the practice of setting aside their tithes and offerings to God and now were repentant of this and were dedicating their possessions to God. All of what they had God was to get the best.

So, how does this apply to us? Very simple. If you want to check your dedication to God. If you want to put God first. If you have walked away from God and need to put Him first again. If you would like to continue to grow in your relationship with God then do these three things. Put God first in your Relationships, Time and Money. Where do you spend your time? With who do you spend your time? And how do you spend your money? Are you putting God first in all of these areas? If not, maybe it is time to repent - to make these things right with God.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Recently at Two Rivers Church we have been looking at the book of Nehemiah. We looked at Nehemiah chapters 1 - 3 on February 1st and chapters 4 - 6 this past Sunday. We will not be continuing through the rest of the book at this time, so as promised I will continue some study and give some thoughts to the rest of Nehemiah here on this blog. As a side note, it has been several months since I last blogged in this space so I hope to get back into the swing of writing here on a weekly basis.

Nehemiah chapter 6 and the first part of chapter 7 describe the finishing of the walls under the leadership of Nehemiah. It only took 52 days to complete the task. Talk about Extreme Makeover Walls Edition. I wonder if they stood out there and all yelled, "Move that bus!" The rest of chapter 7 is filled with a list of those people who had been exiled from Jerusalem and were now returning. This list is essentially the same list found in the book of Ezra.

What happens starting in chapter 8 is amazing. The people asked Ezra to bring out the Book of the Law and he began reading it aloud. Verse 3 says that he read it aloud from daybreak until noon, standing on a wooden platform which was made for this occasion. And here is what is amazing, the people listened and were moved. In essence what happened was a revival. All of these people who had been exiled had forgotten about the things written in the Book of the Law. They had not been practicing their traditions and ceremonies while in exile. So now having come back to Jerusalem, they listened to the words of the Law being spoken aloud by the priest Ezra and they remembered what they had been missing and it changed their hearts. In verse 6 it says that at the reading of the words the people bowed down and began to worship God.

Here are a couple of my thoughts concerning this passage. First, isn't it interesting that revival begins with the reading of the Words of God. It was not the rebuilding of the wall, or even the great return and reunion of these people that drew them back to God, it was the power of the words of God. Second, the natural outcome of this revival was worship. The people heard the words of God and fell down and worshiped Him. Amazing.

May we seek God and His word personally and corporately and may those words change our hearts and draw us back to Him. May we have revival. And may God be worshiped.