All the exiles from Judah are named. Ezra reads the law to the people. They weep, because they realize their sins. Nehemiah tells them to be happy and to feast, because it's a sacred day. The people tell God of their sin and repent of. The people sign an agreement to obey God's law. They cast lots to decide who will live in Jerusalem. It lists the names of everyone chosen. The wall is dedicated. All the people of foreign descendants are excluded from God's assembly. Tobiah's son-in-law, a priest, gives Tobiah a storeroom. Nehemiah, who has gone back to serve the king, returns and takes all Tobiah's possessions. Then he purifies the room and puts back what belong in it. He also rebukes the priests and Levites for neglecting the house of God, rebukes the people for selling and buying on the Sabbath, and rebukes some of the men for taking foreign wives. He also throws out Sanballat's son-in-law. He asks God to remember his deeds.
What I learned:
-God cares about each and every one of his people, as shown by the list of captives freed. The list also shows God's mercy in setting sinners free.
- The Israelites wept, grieved, and were repentant when told of their sins. This is the attitude we should have when faced with our sins.
-Nehemiah was an extremely faithful servant of God. We need to do our duties the way Nehemiah did his: faithfully and diligently.
-When Nehemiah was serving the king again, the people began to disobey and do wicked deeds. Without a leader, they went astray. The same with us. When we do not follow our Leader, Jesus Christ, we constantly steer crookedly and step off the path, but only when we keep our eyes on Jesus do we stay on the straight and narrow path.
Grace be with you,