Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Worship Service!

Picture this as you read from Nehemiah 8:1-12

1 all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded for Israel.
2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.
3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.
4 Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.
5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up.
6 Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, "Amen! Amen!" Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground. 7 The LevitesJeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiahinstructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there.
8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear [a] and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, "This day is sacred to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep." For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.
10 Nehemiah said, "Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."
11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for this is a sacred day. Do not grieve."
12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

Doesn't this sound familiar, or shouldn't it? This is a worship service! I am struck by the words - Men, women and all who could understand - does this mean that there were children there that could understand? I tend to think so! Some children are at different places in their spiritual walk, just like some adults! I believe there are some children that have a better understanding of God and his work then some adults do!
Nehemiah also tells us 3 times this "is a sacred day". Also 3 times he tells us "do not grieve" (over our sin) "for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
They were instructed by the Levites and as it says in verse 12 - they now understood the words that had been made know to them."
I don't know about you, but this picture blessed my heart this morning! I hope it blessed yours too!
Remember the Word of God is alive and active (Hebrews 4:122)! Every part of it can be used to bless and instruct us even today (2 Tim 3:16)! The Old Testament is so rich in instruction! Always pointing to the Savior!

Be blessed today!


Mari said...

Nehemiah is a great book. I don't know if you've ever seen this but Cheryl's (from Cherdecor) husband has a blog on Nehemiah. Here is the address if you want to check it out:

Denise said...

Awesome my friend.

e-Mom said...

This is a wonderful portion of Scripture! I was just reading it myself. It's a high point in the history of Israel (amid far too many low points.) Thanks for sharing today. :~D