The power of the Word: Nehemiah 8

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Today’s reading: Nehemiah 7-9.

For the Word, for the Word was at the birth of the Beginning.
It made the heavens and the earth and set them spinning,
and for several million years,
it’s withstood all our “Forums” and “fine ideas.”
— It’s been rough,
It’s been rough, but it appears to be winning!

“Mass” by Bernstein and Schwartz

The  power of God’s word is one of the most fundamental  doctrines of the Christian faith. It is the creative power that made the universe out of nothing. It is the enlightening power that reveals truth, the commanding power that directs man’s ways, the healing power of Jesus, even the destructive power that wiped away the wickedness of Noah’s time. Most of all, God’s word is that thing to which we must all respond, either in obedience to our blessing or in rebellion to our condemnation.

The power of God’s word to move hearts was displayed when Ezra read the Law to the assembly of returned exiles.

  • There was sadness and mourning as they faced their sin.
  • There was revelation as they learned the history of how God had delivered their ancestors only to see them later reject him.
  • There was confession as the people admitted their sins.
  • There was conviction as the people chose to devote themselves to the LORD in a new and determined way.

Their hearts were moved and their eyes were opened. They looked at their desperate situation and saw it, finally, as God saw it.

“But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our forefathers so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.”

The good news is that God’s word not only opens our eyes to sin but opens our minds to the right way to live. The Holy Spirit can then take that truth, apply it to our hearts, and give us the desire to follow that path of blessing.

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