Tag Archives: Ezra

The Response of Nehemiah

In Nehemiah 1, we read about a report that Nehemiah receives from Jerusalem. When he hears about what is happening to God’s people and to the state of Jerusalem, he weeps. Not only does he mourn for days, but he fasts and prays continuously. He is more than a little upset. He is unsettled. He is grieved.

When I read about this grief, this mourning by Nehemiah, I cannot help but wonder if we ever grieve like that because of the spiritual state of others. Are we uncomfortable because God is not honored, when we know He alone deserves all honor, glory and praise? Is it upsetting when we see something that once glorified God, now broken and in disarray? When we see brokenness, do we seek out God to heal, restore, and redeem?

Today we are not looking to rebuild a wall. Nehemiah took care of that great work. But God has put a vision in your heart. He wants to do great things through you to glorify Him. Seek Him. Ask Him to reveal this great work. Ask Him to strengthen your feet. Ask Him to help you speak boldly. Press forward and watch Him move in mighty ways.

“When I heard these words, I sat down and wept and mourned for days; and I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven.” – Nehemiah 1:4 [NASB]

 

 

All Ears

I love reading Nehemiah. It is so awesome to read of the restoration and to see the people returning to God. I cannot help but smile from ear to ear when I read about Ezra bringing forth the Law. The Bible says he read it aloud from daybreak until noon. Can you imagine that being done today? Some people shift in their seats when the pastor’s sermon goes over a half hour.

These people were so eager to hear the Word. The people “were all ears” it says. All ears. That’s amazing. I love it. Sadly it’s not something we hear of often today. The only people I see like this are those who struggle to get their hands on a Bible. In places like Kenya, they have a lack of Bibles so families or even an entire church share one Bible and pass it around. And they cannot wait to get their turn at reading God’s Word. They want to hear it that badly.

Today, I am praying for each one of you. I am praying that you will want to hear God’s Word with such intensity, that you would want to be “all ears” for His Word. If you have such a passion for God and His Word, it will overflow out to everything around you. That my friend is a beautiful thing. May we all be all ears.

 

“So Ezra the priest brought The Revelation to the congregation, which was made up of both men and women—everyone capable of understanding. It was the first day of the seventh month. He read it facing the town square at the Water Gate from early dawn until noon in the hearing of the men and women, all who could understand it. And all the people listened—they were all ears—to the Book of The Revelation.”

– Nehemiah 8:2-3 [MSG]

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So Much Noise

When you read Ezra 3, you see the Israelite people rebuilding the Temple and praising the Lord. As they stood before this rebuilt structure, there were two sounds present- shouts of joy and the sound of weeping. Some were shouting and rejoicing while others were crying. Some were joyous because the structure, the Temple of the Lord, was finished. It symbolized God being with them. Others had tear-filled eyes, perhaps remembering what God had done for them in the past—remembering the Temple that was destroyed—remembering the former glory. Perhaps they were weeping at the second chance—the chance to once again have a Temple of the Lord.

Reading of these emotions and of this outpouring of noise as a result got me to consider how noisy we get today. Do we make noise? Do we get emotional? Are we passionate for Jesus? I do not often hear people shouting for joy for what the Lord has done. I also do not hear crying or see tears remembering what God has done for people- whether it is tears of joy or tears from a remembered journey. So many people are quiet today. People are quiet about what Jesus has done for them. People are quiet when there is so much to share—so much to rejoice about—so many tears of joy that could be flowing.

Today make some noise. These people made so much noise that they could be heard from far away. Has anyone heard you today? Has anyone heard what Jesus has done for you?

“No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.” – Ezra 3:13 [NIV]

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