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.