Nehemiah 8 – THE IMPACT OF GOD’S WORD
God’s Word is designed to have an impact on those who hear it, study it, believe it, and obey it.
By way of introduction, take your readers to Psalm 19:7-9 where we find that God’s Word impacts us by converting the soul, making wise the simple, rejoicing the heart, enlightening the eyes, and enduring forever.
The building of the walls of Jerusalem had been completed. It was now a time of worship and celebration. At the center of all of this was the Word of God, which, as usual, had an impact on sincere listeners.
READING OF THE WORD – Vss. 1-8
The people desired to hear the Word of God. Vs. 1
Ezra read the Word to both men and women and those old enough to understand. Vss. 2-3
The people were attentive. Vs. 3
The people stood up in respect for the Word. Vs. 5
The people worshipped God before they listened to the Word. Vs. 6
Ezra was assisted by others who helped the people to understand what they were hearing. Vs. 7
Vs. 8 gives a good description of expository preaching. “So they read in the book of the law distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.” There was reading, explanation and application.
REACTION TO THE WORD – Vss. 9-12
The initial reaction to the reading of the Word of God is sorrow because the people were under conviction due to their sins. God’s Word had done the convicting. Vs.9
The people were encouraged not to mourn because it was a day of joy. They were also encouraged to do good by sending food to those who had none. Vss. 10-11
The people did as they were told, and rejoiced because they understood God’s Word. Vs. 12
RESULTS FROM THE WORD – Vss. 13-18
The leaders came together to hear more of the Word of God. Vs. 13
They heard about the Feast of Tabernacles and celebrated it in obedience to God’s Word. Vss. 14-17, Leviticus 23:34-36, 39-43
A solemn assembly was called together to deal with sin (described in Chapter 9).