Scripture: Nehemiah 8:16-18
So the people went out and brought them and made booths for themselves, each on his roof, and in their courts and in the courts of the house of God, and in the square at the Water Gate and in the square at the Gate of Ephraim. The entire assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and lived in them. The sons of Israel had indeed not done so from the days of Joshua the son of Nun to that day. And there was great rejoicing. He read from the book of the law of God daily, from the first day to the last day. And they celebrated the feast seven days, and on the eighth day there was a solemn assembly according to the ordinance.
Insights: These last few verses for this week show us the results of having a teachable spirit as it relates to insight. In other words, as one gains insight from the Lord, they are going to face a crises of belief (for more information see Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God material). The individual is going to believe God and trust Him or disbelieve God and rebel against Him. In these verses today we see the children of Israel choosing to believe God and the proof of their belief were found in their obedience. They actually go out there and do the craziest of things and gather branches of all kinds in order to build booths. As the passage indicates the Israelites had not held to this practice since the time of Joshua the son of Nun. As you will recall, he was the one who lead Israel into the Promised Land after Moses’ death. Now hundreds of years later these children of Israel obey God’s commands and what was the result? They experienced joy. In fact the text says, “there was great rejoicing (italics mine).” Beloved, the same truths apply today. If we will seek insight from God, He will show us what He desires. If we will obey His commands, we will experience great joy. It is also true that just as they were asked to do something crazy or odd, so often times God asks us to do things that seem unconventional in nature. I think the reason God asks us to do these odd kinds of things is to see if we really do trust Him. If the request was reasonable, then where is the proof of faith? So, God asks us to do the unexpected and uncomfortable in order to test our obedient faith. Beloved, pass the Lord’s tests and experience His joy.
- Are you walking in obedience to the Lord God?
- Are you experiencing the joy of such a walk?
Prayer: Father, let my heart be teachable, and as I have so often prayed, give me the courage to walk in obedience with You. As a result of such obedience may I experience Your joy in my life. Amen.