Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Good Evening to All!
Then he (Ezra) read from it (the Book of Law) in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until mid-day, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. (Nehemiah 8:3 NKJV)
So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading. (9) And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. (10) Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength". (Nehemiah 8:8-10 NKJV)
Nehemiah had led the people to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem in fifty-two days, after it had been torn down for seventy years. After rebuilding the wall, and seeing God get them through all the obstacles of their enemies trying to keep this from happening, the people put their trust in God again and were ready to listen to His Law.
They grieved and felt guilty for not listening to Him in the past, but Nehemiah reassured them that their coming to this understanding was a reason to be happy, not to cry.
The people had a celebration feast to celebrate God bringing them through the wilderness.
The Law became more precious to the people after they experienced God's love. What's that old saying? "Hindsight's 20/20?
It wasn't until AFTER they got through their troubled times that they were able to stop and look back and see where God had protected them and taken care of them.
Can you imagine the blessings God would have poured out on them if they would have obeyed God, hadn't taken Him for granted or murmured and grumbled? If they would have seen and acknowledge what God was doing for them, it would have definitely had a different outcome.
The same goes for us today. When we go through hard times, whether it's spiritual, financial or even health, we can look back and see God's goodness upon our lives and situations. It doesn't matter what it is, God can and will help us if we call upon Him. Whether it recovering from a natural disaster, having financial problems, or marital problems, God can and will help IF and ONLY IF, He is asked.
When we look back on how God has helped us, we can see how our experiences have matured us. Instead of whining about the hardship or what we've been through, we should look at this as a positive experience. Reason one, because it has helped to make us a stronger person as well as increasing our faith in God and Reason 2, brought us closer to God, Himself.
When we delight ourselves in the Lord, when we study His Word and get to know Him better, it gives us joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength. To me the "joy" he is talking about here is not that giggly, giddy type joy, but a deep joy, the kind of peace deep down in our souls. The kind of peace that gives us soulful happiness. I truly think that is what he is talking about. This kind of joy gives us strength. This is the kind of joy helps us feel God with us all the time. I spoke of a circle the other night. Here is another one: The closer you get to God, the more joy you will feel, and the more joy you feel the closer you want to get to God.
Now I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think there is such a thing as being too close to God.
Here are the answers from Sunday's Bible Challenge: "Patriarchs":
1. c) he didn't; God simply "took him" Genesis 5:24
2. Abraham (Genesis 12:3, Romans 4:1, etc.)
3. c) Jacob (Genesis 49:1-28)
4. a) Samuel (Genesis 49:1-28)
5. d) Canaan (Genesis 49:29-30)
6. Egypt (Genesis 50:26)
7. c) Moses (Exodus 4:24)
8. a) by deliberately collapsing a temple on top of himself and his enemies (Judges 16:23-30)
9. d) a double portion of Elijah's spirit (2 Kings 2:9-12)
10. d) David (3 Samuel 24:1-16)
I hope you did well.
Good Night to All and May God bless!