What a beautiful day it is when words come to life! In my daily reading plan this week I was directed to the book of Nehemiah. Having studied it this summer, the reading was fresh and alive!
It was particularly poignant as I listened to the Daily Audio Bible podcast present the Nehemiah passage.
Ezra, a high priest and scribe, read the words of the law to the Jews after the demolished walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt under Nehemiah’s leadership. The people gathered and listened attentively for hours after the repair of the walls was complete. (I guess that was quite a podcast!)
In those days the literacy rate is thought to have been less than 10% throughout the world. Hearing was the only way that most would know God’s teachings and their history.
I appreciate our access to the scriptures and so many other writings. It wasn’t long ago when few people could read. Even today it is estimated that 18% of the world’s population over age 15 are illiterate. That is almost 1 out of every 5 people!
To think that I have dozens of versions of the Bible available at my fingertips! What a treasure….but even having the it at my fingertips and with me virtually all the time doesn’t make me immune from being like the Jews who intently listened to the word, repented and made serious commitments to God – then after life became comfortable and they were settled and satisfied many lost their ferver and devotion…May that not be you and me.
Oh Lord, forgive us for our apathy and forgive us where we don’t shine your light and live for your glory. Let us be your hands and feet in the world and help us rebuild where you call us to rebuild as Nehemiah did. Let us honor your word and your ways. Let us feed those who are physically and spiritually hungry. Let us look after orphans and widows in distress. Let us be a people who are devoted to you. Keep us from distractions that pull us away from your plan and direction. Give us strength.
Below are two often quoted powerful Nehemiah verses. (If you are on this scripture memorization journey with me you may want to consider them for memory verses).
This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Neh. 8:10 NIV
I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Neh. 6:3 NAS
Prayers that we do the great work we are called to do this day and every day. -Madge