Scripture: Nehemiah 8:7-11
Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, explained the law to the people while the people remained in their place. They read from the book, from the law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading. Then Nehemiah, who was the governor, and 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 or weep." For all the people were weeping when they heard the words of the law. Then he said to them, "Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." So the Levites calmed all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved."
Insights: There are two more foundational principles we find in today’s verses. First, the Bible was explained to those who heard it. The word “translated” means in Hebrew “to make something distinct, to separate it from something else so as to make it flow together in a meaningful fashion.” So, why did these Hebrews need their “Bible” translated? It was because they were born as Babylonian slaves. Hebrew became their second language. This truth applies to us as well. We need to have the Bible explained to us because Greek and Hebrew is not our first language; therefore, we rely on scholars who have gone before us who have put the Bible into English. Well, it is not enough just to know or even have the Bible explained to us. We must go further than that and this reality takes us to our final principle found in these verses. Second, the Bible was applied to the people’s lives. They wept because of their sin, but quickly Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites apply the truth of their forgiveness to the people. They help them understand and apply the truth so that their sorrow can be turned to joy. Don’t miss that key line of application which said, “send portions to him who has nothing prepared.” They were not to keep the applicable truth of their forgiveness to themselves. They were to go and tell this truth to others who had not heard. Are we not also command to go and tell the good news that Jesus Christ has saved us of our sins. Beloved, go and share Jesus’ love!
- Are you explaining the Bible to those around (family, friend, coworkers, etc.)?
- Are you actively living out what you have learned from the Bible in your daily life?
Prayer: Lord, teach me Your ways and empower me with the strength and conviction to live such truths out before a watching world. Let Your name be glorified through my obedience. Amen.