Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ezra Reads the Book of Moses

The exiles had returned to Jerusalem, Neh 7:66  The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, They were safe within the walls of the city. The doors were hung. Ezra the priest was about to read the book of the law for the first time, in their Holy City.

Neh 8:1  And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
Neh 8:2  And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
Neh 8:3  And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
Neh 8:4  And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
Neh 8:5  And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:
Neh 8:6  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground.
Neh 8:7  Also Jeshua, and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to understand the law: and the people stood in their place.
Neh 8:8  So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
Neh 8:9  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.

They stood for the reading of God's laws, from daybreak until noon. Ezra blessed the LORD and the people raised their hands with their heads down. The Law was read and it was made clear to them, by the teaching priests as to the meanings. They were given the understanding of what was read, for they did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit. This was a special time for them and they were all filled with tears. Tears of joy and tears of the conviction of sins, for without the law their is no knowledge of sin. Be assured that the law cannot save you.

James 2:10  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Rom 5:13  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
Rom 7:14  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

Sin and idolatry had brought judgement and ruin to the the nation. Now, by faith in God and the understanding of his laws they would be saved by faith. The law shows us our sin.  Faith in the promises of God would save them.

Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

I am saying these verses about faith, because we are not saved by attempting to keep the laws. We are saved by faith in Jesus who has redeemed us from the curse of death for our sins. Within the books of the law was the story of Abraham who obeyed God by faith in his promises. The law of Moses shows that Abraham obeyed God by faith. It was the lack of faith that caused most of the children of Israel to fail in their journey from bondage in Egypt to their promised land. Faith is the way we are to live for God. Faith and obedience. The law condemns but faith leads us to the promised salvation of God. Faith brings us to Jesus, the Salvation of God. We cannot come to our resting place without faith. Where Jesus leads us is our peace. He will bring us to be with him, by faith.

No comments: