OTS-2 - Nehemiah 8: Keys to Successful Restoration
Concerning the whole of God’s Word, the psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:160, “The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” When we are willing to consider all that God has said, we can come to the sum (or total) of God’s truth. One of the lessons from the Old Testament that can help us live better lives is found in Nehemiah 8. In the context of this historical background, God’s people had been sinning by being caught up in idolatry and worship practices of heathen nations. In Jeremiah 25: 9-12 God promised Israel that because of the sin of her idolatry, she would go into seventy years of hard captivity under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. We know that this took place in around 606 B.C., and ultimately was completed in 536 B.C. But just as God had promised that a captivity would occur, He also promised that a deliverance likewise would occur. In Isaiah 44:28 and in Isaiah 45:1, God promised that through His servant Cyrus He would deliver His people out of Babylonian captivity. When we open our Bibles to Ezra 1:1-2, we see the Jews returning to their homeland. In the book of Ezra, we the temple and morality restored. In Nehemiah, we see the walls of the city of Jerusalem being rebuilt, the Word of God being restored, and true worship being accomplished. Nehemiah 8 is all about Israel restoring the city of Jerusalem, the temple, the law of God, and ultimately the lost relationship that Israel had to God as a result of past sin and the captivity that ensued because of that sin.