Nehemiah 9:22-10:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19-10:13; Psalm 34:1-10; Proverbs 21:13
The rebuilt walls of Jerusalem served to provide a protected and sacred space within which the remnant of Judah could be rebuilt as the covenant people of God. The real issue is that the covenant relationship with the LORD was in disrepair.
In Chapter 8, we read how the scribe Ezra assembled the people within the rebuilt walls to hear afresh the reading of the Torah of God. The people responded with faith and a teachable spirit (8:1-8). The people restored the festival of the booths, something which had not been celebrated in Israel since the time of Joshua (8:17).
The restoration project in Nehemiah’s day is likened to a new exodus from bondage and a new conquest of the Promised Land. The remnant had wandered through the “wilderness” of the Babylonian exile because of their sin; and yet, God had proved faithful to show mercy to them–just as he had done in the days of Moses (9:1-38). Following a faithful confession of sin, the people made a vow of commitment to covenant faithfulness and offering of service to the LORD (10:1-39).
“We will not neglect the House of our God.” – Nehemiah 10:39
The testimony of the people was to keep covenant and maintain the Temple through faithful worship, offerings, and tithes.
In your own life, have you honored or neglected the house of the Lord? Is covenant restoration needed? Are there areas in your life that need to be torn down and rebuilt to the glory of God?
Prayer: Jesus, your desire for me is a restored and rebuilt life of covenant faithfulness in you. Make my life a restoration project that brings you glory, honor, and praise.
Fr. Charlie Holt+
The Church of St. John the Divine