READ: Nehemiah 8:1-12
All the people went their way to eat and drink . . . and rejoice greatly. —Nehemiah 8:12
In a fast-paced culture of “eat and run,” few people make time to enjoy a
leisurely meal in the company of friends. Someone has even remarked that the only way to enjoy a seven-course meal today is to get it all
between two pieces of bread!
After many of the Israelite exiles in Babylon returned to Jerusalem to
rebuild the temple and the walls of the city, they gathered to hear Ezra read from the Book of the Law given by God through Moses (Neh. 8:1).
They listened to God’s Word for hours, while teachers among them “gave
the sense, and helped them to understand the reading” (v.8).
When they wept because of their shortcomings, Ezra, along with Nehemiah the
governor, told them this was not a time for sorrow but a time for
rejoicing. The people were told to prepare a feast and share it with
those who had nothing, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (v.10). Then “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” (v.12).
The spiritual banquet God has prepared for us in His Word is a cause for
great joy. It is worth taking time to savor. —David McCasland
Lord, give us a hunger and a thirst to know You more
that can be satisfied only by time spent with You in Your
Word. Help us to savor that time and, as we do,
to grow more in love with You each day.
Christ the Living Bread satisfies our spiritual hunger through the Living Word.