Nehemiah 8:9-12 (KJV)

9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

Sometimes we take certain blessings for granted.

Stop and think what it would be like if we couldn’t attend the church of our choice or read a Bible in our language.

During the 70-year Babylonian captivity, the temple and its sacrificial system weren’t available to the Israelites. And those born in that land didn’t understand the language of Scripture. So when the opportunity arose to hear God’s Word in Jerusalem, they were ready to listen.

Ezra read to them about the Lord’s promises to Abraham and his descendants, the covenants God made with the nation of Israel, and His requirements of faith and obedience. As the people listened with repentant hearts, they felt conviction and wept over their sins. But they also experienced joy because they were once again following the Lord’s commands.

The people trusted not only the words of Scripture but also the men who explained its meaning.

The Bible is our source of truth about God’s righteous character, mankind’s sinful nature, and the plan of salvation. In its pages, we discover that man has a sin problem but no way to solve it on his own. We also learn that God’s just nature requires a penalty for transgression.

Scripture goes on to reveal how divine justice was carried out against Jesus for our sin—that He died in our place, and through faith in Him, we receive forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. What an amazing provision from the God of love.

Good listening is essential, because faith comes from hearing God’s message (Rom. 10:17), and spiritual growth also depends on heeding what He tell us.

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