In chapter 8 of Nehemiah, we find the people of Jerusalem are now physical restored and secure behind the city walls. But even more than this, Nehemiah knows the people need to be built up spiritually and hear once again the authentic Word of God…..enter Ezra, the faithful priest and teacher of the Law of Moses (Torah).
As Ezra teaches a new generation of returned exiles, he leads the people of God into a period of repentance, renewal and revival that is fed by a genuine hunger to hear and understand God’s Word. The chapter can be broken down into three headings:
- The People’s Hunger for God’s Word (v1-4)
- The People’s Response to God’s Word (v5-12)
- The People’s Obedience of God’s Word (v13-18)
The chapter ends on a note of high praise as the Jewish people rediscover the celebration of the autumn festival known as Tabernacles, a sign of God’s unchanging faithfulness to his people. The challenge for us today through this passage, is to seek to be faithful to God’s Word revealed to us in the Scriptures……like the two dejected disciples on the road to Emmaus, “didn’t our hearts burn within us as Jesus talked with us on the road and opened up the Scriptures”.