A Sweet Response to the Lord
Nehemiah 9:1-3, "...the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God."
This gathering of the children of Israel took place two days following the Feast of Tabernacles. There is a sweet combination of activities listed in today's passage. Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary states: "The word will direct and quicken prayer, for by it the Spirit helps our infirmities in prayer. The careful study of God's word will more and more discover to us our own sinfulness, and the plenteousness of his salvation; thus it calls us to mourn for sin, and to rejoice in him. Every discovery of the truth of God, should render us more unwearied in attendance on his sacred word, and on his worship."
Our relationship to the Word of God is important because it is through the Bible that God speaks to us. I need to hear from God, and that hearing takes place through Bible reading and through the intuitive leading of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God will, reveal our sinful condition, it will point us to Christ, it will bring us to a place of understanding our need for repentance, and it will drive us to our knees in dependence upon God. The children of Israel spent a fourth part of the day hearing the Word of God being read, and another fourth part was spent responding through confession and worship.
When was the last time you read something in the Word of God that led you to confession and repentance? When was the last time you were so spiritually desiring God that you spent time fasting? When was the last time you spent time worshipping God, and you weren't doing so in church?
Jesus prayed, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) I pray the Lord will work in my life in such a way that I daily spend time in His Word, and that I respond humbly in confession and adoration.
Your Friend & His,
Pastor Mike Abbott
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
1. When was the last time you responded to the Lord and how did you respond?
2. How did your response change you, or did you forget and do nothing?
3. What do you need to do today to become more like Jesus?