Half way point! We are getting there Isn’t God revealing some amazing things?
Chapter 7 doesn’t seem like there is much for us to get out of it… but there is!
The wall has been rebuilt and Nehemiah is personally assigning people roles. He put his brother (Hanani) and Hananiah in charge of Jerusalem. He specifically says that Hananiah “was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.” (v 2) He knows that he needs trustworthy leaders. Nehemiah instructs people when to open and close the gates and to have people guarding posts and their own houses. He understands that they are are target under attack. This gives us more of an understanding of his character: he’s wise and knows who to put in charge and how to be prepared.
“So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families.” (v5)
He knows that this city was rebuilt for a reason: for the exiles to return to Jerusalem. His work was for a greater purpose. Nehemiah has a heart to bring people home and bring them together. He searches the records to find who is lost.
My husband and I love entertaining. We have people over all the time. The bigger the party the better! There is no better noise in our house than people around the table enjoying meals together, laughing, talking, and getting to know each other: being a community! I can imagine Nehemiah saying “come on, we finished this wall, now lets get everyone back home to enjoy it!”
Chapter 8 starts with people gathered at the Water Gate. Maybe some foreshadowing of people coming to Jesus as the Water of Life? “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Ezra (the priest) comes forward and reads the Book of Law of Moses: aka Genesis to Deuteronomy. The people listened and understood. They began weeping because they realized their sins. This was a good sign that the Lord was working in their hearts and change was coming!
“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (v10)
Hear The Word. Let Him speak to you heart. Let your sins become evident to you. He will change your heart.