Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Nehemiah 8

toggle collapse

The Spirit of God, Working through the Word of God, Brings Revival

J. Edwin Orr defined revival as: "The Spirit of God working through the Word of God, in the lives of the people of God." This chapter is a great example of this.

A. Hearing God's Word sparks revival.

1. (Neh 8:1-3) The people gather and ask Ezra to read God's Word.

Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel. So Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of men and women and all who could hear with understanding on the first day of the seventh month. Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law.

a. They told Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the Law: This demonstrates that the Spirit of God was at work even before the reading of God's Word. People do not gather together as one man for the things of God unless the Spirit of God has moved them, and they do not desire God's Word unless the Spirit of God has moved them.

i. If you attend to the hearing of the Word of God, it is evidence the Spirit of God is working with you. But it is still important to cooperating with that work and to not resist it. We need to cooperate and flow with the work of God's Spirit if the Word of God is going to do its full work in us.

b. The book of the Law of Moses: This refers to the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). This was Israel's instruction manual for how to walk before God.

c. Ezra the scribe … Ezra the priest: Ezra was the man responsible for having the temple rebuilt, and for returning God's people to worship. Nehemiah, in all his work of rebuilding the walls, just carried on the work Ezra had begun.

i. We know Ezra cared about God's Word, because he was a scribe - someone who copied the Bible by hand. We know he was a man devoted to God Himself, because he was a godly priest.

d. All who could hear with understanding: This shows us who needed to hear the Word of God. Everyone who could understand it needed to hear it.

e. Then he read from it in the open square: Ezra read God's Word from daylight to mid-day. For some six hours he read God's Word and the people listened.

i. This was a move of the Spirit of God. People who will be attentive to the Book of the Law for some six hours are people touched by the Spirit of God.

ii. From morning is literally, "from the light." These people gathered from dawn to hear God's Word. They were willing to sacrifice something to hear it - they wanted it, and like Jacob they would not let go until they had their blessing.

2. (Neh 8:4-6) How God's Word was received.

So Ezra the scribe stood on a platform of wood which they had made for the purpose; and beside him, at his right hand, stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Urijah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah; and at his left hand Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, "Amen, Amen!" while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

a. So Ezra … stood on a platform: They had taken the time to build a wooden platform so the Word of God could be heard. They did practical things so God's Word would have the greatest effect.

i. There are practical things we can do also to help God's Word have the greatest effect; when a room is comfortable, low in distractions, and the preacher is clearly heard, it helps God's Word have the greatest effect.

ii. But by far, the greatest preparation must happen in the heart. We must come, willing to forget about ourselves and our own agenda, and submit ourselves to God's Word - not the preacher's word, but God's Word.

b. At his right hand … and at his left hand: On the right hand and left hand of Ezra were men who were supporting him in his ministry of teaching God's Word. The ministry of God's Word has the greatest effect when people can see men who are in support of it and obedience to it.

c. When he opened it, all the people stood up: They had a respect for God's Word. They recognized it for what it was - the Word of God, not the word of man. They honored it.

i. This is evidence of two things. First, that the Spirit of God is at work; second, that something good is going to happen.

d. Then all the people answered: This work of the Word of God and the Spirit of God had three immediate results.

- The people thanked God (by saying Amen when Ezra blessed the Lord)
- They prayed (by lifting up their hands)
- They worshipped (by bowing down before Him)

i. Thanksgiving, prayer, and praise are all good measures of how the Spirit of God and Word of God are working in us.

3. (Neh 8:7-8) God's Word is presented so the people may understand.

Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, helped the people to understand the Law; and the people stood in their place. So they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading.

a. Helped the people to understand the Law: Special men were appointed to help the people understand God's Word. After the reading they needed to understand it because if they did not understand it, it would do little good.

i. Understanding needs to be the first goal of any preacher or teacher. When I stand to teach God's people, there are some things that I always need to remember:

- If you leave knowing five helpful hints to a better life, but do not have a greater understanding of God's Word, I have failed.

- If you leave having been amused by humor, entertained by anecdotes, or captivated by dramatic stories, but do not have a greater understanding of God's Word, I have failed.

- If you leave motivated to action, or praying a prayer, but it is not based on a greater understanding of God's Word, I have failed.

- If you leave admiring me, but do not have a greater understanding of God's Word, I have failed - and will be accountable before God for my failure.

b. Helped the people to understand the Law: It is important to see why God's people need special help in understanding God's Word.

i. First, because the things of God are spiritually discerned and not intellectually discerned. The Holy Spirit uses gifted teachers to bring spiritual discernment to us, helping us to understand what God's Word says.

ii. Second, because it was first written in a different language, in a different culture, in a different place, and at a far distant time. Teachers help us understand it all in our own day.

iii. Third, because our minds are often slow to understand things that will convict our hearts. We often need it spelled right out to us.

iv. Understanding isn't only necessary for those who haven't become familiar with the Bible. Sometimes if we have heard it ten times before, we really don't understand it for right now. When an art restorer cleans a painting, he reveals things that were always there, but the colors weren't as bright and the details weren't as clear, because they were obscured - then the real impact of the painter's work can be seen.

c. They read distinctly: The preacher must speak in a clear, easy-to-understand way. His main goal is to make the people understand, not to impress or entertain them.

d. They gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading: The preacher must communicate the sense of the passage of Scripture, and not his own agenda or favorite personal topics. The people must leave understanding God's Word better, not understanding the preacher's opinions better.

B. Response to God's Word makes revival flow.

1. (Neh 8:9-11) The people respond with weeping.

And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, "This day is holy to the LORD your God; do not mourn nor weep." For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, "Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, "Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved."

a. All the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law: The Word of God was doing its intended work. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us two things the Word of God is profitable for: reproof and correction. Sometimes it hurts to be reproved and corrected, and these tears were evidence of some of that pain.

b. Do not mourn nor weep: Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Levites did not want the people to mourn, even though it is a good thing to be sad under the conviction of the Holy Spirit through the Word of God. Yet if the sense of conviction is greater than the sense that God is doing a good and holy work, then tears are not good.

i. Our knowledge of our sin should never be bigger than our knowledge of Jesus as our savior. We are great sinners, but He is a greater savior.

ii. Therefore, the joy of the Lord is your strength - even when you are being convicted of sin. When we are convicted of sin we know that God is doing a work in us, so we can be glad and take joy.

c. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength: The people felt sad, because they were aware of their own sin. But they could walk in joy because God was doing a great work. Our emotions are not beyond our control; we can do God's will even when we don't feel like it.

2. (Neh 8:12) The people choose to rejoice.

And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them.

a. They understood the words that were declared to them: They went away praising God, because understanding God's Word brings such a sweet sense of joy.

3. (Neh 8:13) The leaders gather for more study of God's Word.

Now on the second day the heads of the fathers' houses of all the people, with the priests and Levites, were gathered to Ezra the scribe, in order to understand the words of the Law.

a. The heads of the fathers' houses of all the people, with the priests and Levites: Leaders have a special need to understand and walk in God's Word. Their ignorance or disobedience affects far more than themselves - it affects everyone they have and influence on.

4. (Neh 8:14-18) The people keep the Feast of Tabernacles.

And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses, that the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and that they should announce and proclaim in all their cities and in Jerusalem, saying, "Go out to the mountain, and bring olive branches, branches of oil trees, myrtle branches, palm branches, and branches of leafy trees, to make booths, as it is written." Then the people went out and brought them and made themselves booths, each one on the roof of his house, or in their courtyards or the courts of the house of God, and in the open square of the Water Gate and in the open square of the Gate of Ephraim. So the whole assembly of those who had returned from the captivity made booths and sat under the booths; for since the days of Joshua the son of Nun until that day the children of Israel had not done so. And there was very great gladness. Also day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God. And they kept the feast seven days; and on the eighth day there was a sacred assembly, according to the prescribed manner.

a. And they found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded by Moses: This was beautiful, simple obedience. Their attitude was that God said it, so we will do it. Even though tradition did not tell them to keep the Feast of Tabernacles (it had not been done since the days of Joshua), but they relied on God's Word, not on tradition.

b. That the children of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month: The Feast of Tabernacles was all about remembering how God had blessed and provided for Israel in the wilderness during the Exodus. They could see God's blessing and provision for them right then, and it made something old seem brand new to them.

c. And there was very great gladness: Because of their great obedience to God's Word, there was very great gladness. We often are deceived into thinking the path of gladness is in doing our own thing, but gladness and freedom come only through obedience.

d. Day by day, from the first day until the last day, he read from the Book of the Law of God: This revival began by the Spirit of God working through the Word of God; it continued that way also.

© 2006 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Did you forget your password?

Register a new BLB account

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login