Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Key Prerequisites for a Revival – Nehemiah Chapter 8

The chapter climaxes with the Israelites sitting under booths - something they had not done since the days of Joshua the son of Nun. Before this scene occurred however, a couple of things are noticeable:

1. Unity of Mind and Purpose
From the get go in verse 1 they came together as "ONE MAN." This suggests unity of purpose; a singleness of mind. A similar instance of unification occurred on the Day of Pentecost, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Act 2:1. A key pre-condition to Acts 2:1 is Acts 1: 14, "These all continued with one accord in PRAYER and SUPPLICATION...." (emphasis supplied).

2. Godly Sorrow From the Conviction of the Word
When the law was read by Ezra the people wept when they heard it. But they were told not to weep, but to “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.” When the law works as it should - revealing our sinful state before a holy God, it should bring conviction and godly sorrow (2 Cor. 7: 10). This is not a sorrow of hopelessness however, because we have a forgiving God who stands ready to forgive and restore us. His heart was made plain through the life and ministry of Jesus and was hardly more beautifully testified of than through the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. The proverbial pronouncement of Jesus, which continues to echo with unfading resonance into our day is, "Neither do I condemn thee." John 8: 11. Is it any wonder that Jesus would say in Matt. 5: 4, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted?" May the reading of God's word bring conviction to our hearts today and always.

Father in Heaven, thank for the assurance of forgiveness and reconciliation with You. But more than the assurance of this forgiveness do we need the cleansing of the Holy Spirit so we shall not have need for any further pardoning, but shall constantly live in accordance with Your divine will. We ask you to unite us in the common cause of hearing Your Word and doing Your will. This is our desire through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.

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