Sunday, February 25, 2024

ISRAELITES SEAL A BINDING AGREEMENT

Nehemiah 10:1-39 / Keywords 10:29

all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the LORD our LORD.

 

10:1 [a]Those who sealed it were:

Nehemiah the governor, the son of Hakaliah.

Zedekiah, 2 Seraiah, Azariah, Jeremiah,

3 Pashhur, Amariah, Malkijah,

4 Hattush, Shebaniah, Malluk,

5 Harim, Meremoth, Obadiah,

6 Daniel, Ginnethon, Baruch,

7 Meshullam, Abijah, Mijamin,

8 Maaziah, Bilgai and Shemaiah.

These were the priests.


9 The Levites:

Jeshua son of Azaniah, Binnui of the sons of Henadad, Kadmiel,

10 and their associates: Shebaniah,

Hodiah, Kelita, Pelaiah, Hanan,

11 Mika, Rehob, Hashabiah,

12 Zakkur, Sherebiah, Shebaniah,

13 Hodiah, Bani and Beninu.


14 The leaders of the people:

Parosh, Pahath-Moab, Elam, Zattu, Bani,

15 Bunni, Azgad, Bebai,

16 Adonijah, Bigvai, Adin,

17 Ater, Hezekiah, Azzur,

18 Hodiah, Hashum, Bezai,

19 Hariph, Anathoth, Nebai,

20 Magpiash, Meshullam, Hezir,

21 Meshezabel, Zadok, Jaddua,

22 Pelatiah, Hanan, Anaiah,

23 Hoshea, Hananiah, Hasshub,

24 Hallohesh, Pilha, Shobek,

25 Rehum, Hashabnah, Maaseiah,

26 Ahiah, Hanan, Anan,

27 Malluk, Harim and Baanah.


28 “The rest of the people—priests, Levites, gatekeepers, musicians, temple servants and all who separated themselves from the neighboring peoples for the sake of the Law of God, together with their wives and all their sons and daughters who are able to understand— 29 all these now join their fellow Israelites the nobles, and bind themselves with a curse and an oath to follow the Law of God given through Moses the servant of God and to obey carefully all the commands, regulations and decrees of the Lord our Lord.


30 “We promise not to give our daughters in marriage to the peoples around us or take their daughters for our sons.


31 “When the neighboring peoples bring merchandise or grain to sell on the Sabbath, we will not buy from them on the Sabbath or on any holy day. Every seventh year we will forgo working the land and will cancel all debts.


32 “We assume the responsibility for carrying out the commands to give a third of a shekel[b] each year for the service of the house of our God: 33 for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, at the New Moon feasts and at the appointed festivals; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings[c] to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.


34 “We—the priests, the Levites and the people—have cast lots to determine when each of our families is to bring to the house of our God at set times each year a contribution of wood to burn on the altar of the Lord our God, as it is written in the Law.


35 “We also assume responsibility for bringing to the house of the Lord each year the firstfruits of our crops and of every fruit tree.


36 “As it is also written in the Law, we will bring the firstborn of our sons and of our cattle, of our herds and of our flocks to the house of our God, to the priests ministering there.


37 “Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and olive oil. And we will bring a tithe of our crops to the Levites, for it is the Levites who collect the tithes in all the towns where we work. 38 A priest descended from Aaron is to accompany the Levites when they receive the tithes, and the Levites are to bring a tenth of the tithes up to the house of our God, to the storerooms of the treasury. 39 The people of Israel, including the Levites, are to bring their contributions of grain, new wine and olive oil to the storerooms, where the articles for the sanctuary and for the ministering priests, the gatekeepers and the musicians are also kept.


“We will not neglect the house of our God.”


Footnotes

a. Nehemiah 10:1 In Hebrew texts 10:1-39 is numbered 10:2-40.

b. Nehemiah 10:32 That is, about 1/8 ounce or about 4 grams

c. Nehemiah 10:33 Or purification offerings


1. After reading the Law and praying with repentance and pleading for God's mercy, the Israelites wrote a binding agreement, with their names signed (9:38). The signers included the governor Nehemiah, the priests, Levites, and leaders of the people. Then the rest of the people agreed to obey the Law Moses brought to them according to God's instruction (29).

2. They expressly agreed to keep their identity by not marrying their children to Gentiles, to keep the Sabbath holy, to give tithes and other offerings to God as instructed in the Law, and to support the priests and the Levites, honoring them as they serve the house of God (37).

3. Although their passion for keeping the Law became the foundation of the legalism of the Pharisees that Jesus had to battle, the motives of Nehemiah, Ezra, and other leaders in upholding up the Law were pure and sincere. Having returned from their exile, the Israelites took the initiative to restore the covenant relationship with God. They wanted to be right before God and honor him by carefully obeying the Law (29). They expressed their decision to remain in God and seek him by their willingness to follow God's will.

Prayer Father, you deserve all our fear and respect. Help me fully submit myself to you and obey your will letting go of my selfish desire.

One Word I promise to obey God

Saturday, February 24, 2024

PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE

Nehemiah 9:22-38 / Keywords 9:37

Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.

 

9:22 “You gave them kingdoms and nations, allotting to them even the remotest frontiers. They took over the country of Sihon[c] king of Heshbon and the country of Og king of Bashan. 23 You made their children as numerous as the stars in the sky, and you brought them into the land that you told their parents to enter and possess. 24 Their children went in and took possession of the land. You subdued before them the Canaanites, who lived in the land; you gave the Canaanites into their hands, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to deal with them as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness.


26 “But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they turned their backs on your law. They killed your prophets, who had warned them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. 27 So you delivered them into the hands of their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies.


28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.


29 “You warned them in order to turn them back to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, of which you said, ‘The person who obeys them will live by them.’ Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. 30 For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you warned them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you gave them into the hands of the neighboring peoples. 31 But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.


32 “Now therefore, our God, the great God, mighty and awesome, who keeps his covenant of love, do not let all this hardship seem trifling in your eyes—the hardship that has come on us, on our kings and leaders, on our priests and prophets, on our ancestors and all your people, from the days of the kings of Assyria until today. 33 In all that has happened to us, you have remained righteous; you have acted faithfully, while we acted wickedly. 34 Our kings, our leaders, our priests and our ancestors did not follow your law; they did not pay attention to your commands or the statutes you warned them to keep. 35 Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you or turn from their evil ways.


36 “But see, we are slaves today, slaves in the land you gave our ancestors so they could eat its fruit and the other good things it produces. 37 Because of our sins, its abundant harvest goes to the kings you have placed over us. They rule over our bodies and our cattle as they please. We are in great distress.


The Agreement of the People

38 “In view of all this, we are making a binding agreement, putting it in writing, and our leaders, our Levites and our priests are affixing their seals to it.”[d]


Footnotes

c. Nehemiah 9:22 One Hebrew manuscript and Septuagint; most Hebrew manuscripts Sihon, that is, the country of the

d. Nehemiah 9:38 In Hebrew texts this verse (9:38) is numbered 10:1.


1. As God had promised, the children of Israel entered Canaan as a people who had grown to be as numerous as stars in the sky. They conquered the kings of the land and prospered (25).

2. However, the Israelites were not able to maintain the blessing. They became arrogant to God's blessing and turned against God, so God put them in the enemy's hands. Then God would deliver them when Israel cried out in agony (29- 31). While God’s repeated grace proved his faithfulness, the Israelites became more stubborn and arrogant by treating the blessing lightly (35). In their prayer, they considered their history and confessed the sins of their ancestors.

3. The prayer went on to plead with God because of their great distress (37). If we remember our failures and unfaithfulness, we may feel ashamed to come to God asking for another deliverance. Of course, none of us deserve such grace. We only ask out of our trust in his love and faithfulness. Let us come before God and ask him to deliver us. Our God is merciful and hears our prayer.

Prayer Father, I gain the courage to confess my sins and repent because I trust you. Please help me trust you and hold to your word in both times of blessing and distress.

One Word Trust in God's love and faithfulness

Friday, February 23, 2024

GOD HAS REMAINED FAITHFUL

Nehemiah 9:6-21 / Keywords 9:7b

…who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham.

 

9:6 You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.


7 “You are the Lord God, who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and named him Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful to you, and you made a covenant with him to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Jebusites and Girgashites. You have kept your promise because you are righteous.


9 “You saw the suffering of our ancestors in Egypt; you heard their cry at the Red Sea.[b] 10 You sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh, against all his officials and all the people of his land, for you knew how arrogantly the Egyptians treated them. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11 You divided the sea before them, so that they passed through it on dry ground, but you hurled their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12 By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take.


13 “You came down on Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You gave them regulations and laws that are just and right, and decrees and commands that are good. 14 You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave them commands, decrees and laws through your servant Moses. 15 In their hunger you gave them bread from heaven and in their thirst you brought them water from the rock; you told them to go in and take possession of the land you had sworn with uplifted hand to give them.


16 “But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. 17 They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them, 18 even when they cast for themselves an image of a calf and said, ‘This is your god, who brought you up out of Egypt,’ or when they committed awful blasphemies.


19 “Because of your great compassion you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. 20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. 21 For forty years you sustained them in the wilderness; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen.


Footnotes

b. Nehemiah 9:9 Or the Sea of Reeds


1. The Levites led the worship and prayed to God, who had guided and provided for their ancestors throughout history. God, who created the world and gave life to all the living, chose Abraham to carry out his salvation plan (7). Together, they established a covenant relationship to bless Abraham's descendants (8).

2. Since then, God had faithfully led them to grow as his chosen people. He saved them from their agonies of slavery in Egypt. God rescued them when Pharaoh chased them. God guided them day and night (12). He gave them the Law so that they would grow to know right and wrong. He provided them with food and kept them from being hungry and thirsty. He led them to the promised land, which they were to take possession (15).

3. However, the arrogance and unfaithfulness of the Israelites led them to disobey God and despise the spiritual leader (17a). Yet, instead of abandoning them in the wilderness as they deserved, God remained gracious to them, bearing with them for forty years and providing for all their needs (21). The Israelites must have been comforted to remember God’s provision throughout their history despite themselves.

Prayer Father, thank you for your guidance and love for this undeserving sinner. I find peace as I remember your unchanging love.

One Word God is faithful

Thursday, February 22, 2024

CONFESSION AND WORSHIP

Nehemiah 8:13-9:5 / Keywords 9:3

They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD their God.


8:13 On the second day of the month, the heads of all the families, along with the priests and the Levites, gathered around Ezra the teacher to give attention to the words of the Law.

14 They found written in the Law, which the LORD had commanded through Moses, that the Israelites were to live in temporary shelters during the festival of the seventh month

15 and that they should proclaim this word and spread it throughout their towns and in Jerusalem: “Go out into the hill country and bring back branches from olive and wild olive trees, and from myrtles, palms and shade trees, to make temporary shelters”—as it is written.

16 So the people went out and brought back branches and built themselves temporary shelters on their own roofs, in their courtyards, in the courts of the house of God and in the square by the Water Gate and the one by the Gate of Ephraim.

17 The whole company that had returned from exile built temporary shelters and lived in them. From the days of Joshua son of Nun until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated it like this. And their joy was very great.

18 Day after day, from the first day to the last, Ezra read from the Book of the Law of God. They celebrated the festival for seven days, and on the eighth day, in accordance with the regulation, there was an assembly.

9:1 On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together, fasting and wearing sackcloth and putting dust on their heads.

2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.

3 They stood where they were and read from the Book of the Law of the LORD their God for a quarter of the day, and spent another quarter in confession and in worshiping the LORD their God.

4 Standing on the stairs of the Levites were Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani and Kenani. They cried out with loud voices to the LORD their God.

5 And the Levites—Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah and Pethahiah—said: “Stand up and praise the LORD your God, who is from everlasting to everlasting. ” “Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise.


Footnotes

b. Nehemiah 8:15 See Lev. 23:37-40.

a. Nehemiah 9:5 Or God for ever and ever


1. Ezra continued to read and teach the Law of Moses. The Israelites realized they had not kept the LORD's instructions in celebrating the Festival of the Seventh Month, also known as the Festival of Tabernacle (Lev 23:33-44; Dt 16:13-16).

2. According to LORD's command, the Israelites all went out, built temporary shelters, and lived in them for the seven-day celebrations. Their joy was great as they participated in the festivities, following the LORD's instructions (17). When we have a right relationship with God, obeying God’s command is no longer a burden but a source of joy, a way to please the LORD. Is your desire in being right before the LORD and doing his will?

3. However, keeping the Law was not enough for them. The Israelites separated themselves from foreigners and confessed their sins (9:2). Their repentance was sincere. They fasted, wore sackcloth, and put on dust on their heads. As they studied the Law of God, they realized the holy God and could not but confess their sins. Confession of sins and repentance is the beginning of worship (3).

Prayer Father, thank you for letting me come to you and praise your name. Thank you for allowing me to have a personal relationship with you so I can confess all my sins before you. Thank you for forgiving my sins and setting me free. I rejoice in the amazing grace I receive in you.

One Word We are free to confess and worship

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

THE JOY OF THE LORD IS YOUR STRENGTH

Nehemiah 8:1-12 / Keywords 8:10b

This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

 

8:1 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel.


2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.


4 Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam.


5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.


7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear[a] and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.


9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.


10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”


11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”


12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.


Footnotes

a. Nehemiah 8:8 Or God, translating it


1. After establishing the people's genealogical purity, Nehemiah had Ezra the priest read the Law of Moses. The first day of the seventh month was the beginning of the Jewish holiday to celebrate God's creation of the world. It was significant to have men, women, and children assemble to hear the word of God during this festival (2).

2. Ezra stood on a wooden podium facing the assembly. As he spoke, the people shouted, 'Amen! Amen!' and worshiped the LORD. The Levites were there to help them understand the meaning of the Law (8). It continued from early morning to mid-day and people listened attentively (3).

3. When the people heard the Law, people started weeping. They must have been remorseful to find themselves in sin, falling far from the holy Lord. Nehemiah encouraged the people not to grieve but to find their strength in the joy of the LORD (10). It was time to celebrate the new understanding of the word they received by the grace of the LORD (12). Despite their sin and inequity, they had a reason to rejoice when they realized the grace of the LORD.

 

Prayer Father, thank you for helping me find a joy in your words. I find my life and hope in your word. Help me to preach your word to those who are thirsty and help them to understand. Help us to celebrate and rejoice in your grace.

One Word I find my strength in your word

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

REBUILDING GOD'S PEOPLE

Nehemiah 7:1-73 / Keywords 7:3

I said to them, "The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses."

 

7:1 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the Levites were appointed.

2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most people do.

3 I said to them, “The gates of Jerusalem are not to be opened until the sun is hot. While the gatekeepers are still on duty, have them shut the doors and bar them. Also appoint residents of Jerusalem as guards, some at their posts and some near their own houses.”

The List of the Exiles Who Returned

4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it, and the houses had not yet been rebuilt.

5 So my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles, the officials and the common people for registration by families. I found the genealogical record of those who had been the first to return. This is what I found written there:

6 These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had taken captive (they returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own town,

7 in company with Zerubbabel, Joshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum and Baanah): The list of the men of Israel:

8 the descendants of Parosh, 2,172

9 of Shephatiah, 372

10 of Arah, 652

11 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab), 2,818

12 of Elam, 1,254

13 of Zattu, 845

14 of Zaccai, 760

15 of Binnui, 648

16 of Bebai, 628

17 of Azgad, 2,322

18 of Adonikam, 667

19 of Bigvai, 2,067

20 of Adin, 655

21 of Ater (through Hezekiah), 98

22 of Hashum, 328

23 of Bezai, 324

24 of Hariph, 112

25 of Gibeon, 95

26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah, 188

27 of Anathoth, 128

28 of Beth Azmaveth, 42

29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth, 743

30 of Ramah and Geba, 621

31 of Micmash, 122

32 of Bethel and Ai, 123

33 of the other Nebo, 52

34 of the other Elam, 1,254

35 of Harim, 320

36 of Jericho, 345

37 of Lod, Hadid and Ono, 721

38 of Senaah, 3,930

39 The priests:

40 of Immer, 1,052

41 of Pashhur, 1,247

42 of Harim, 1,017

43 The Levites:

44 The musicians:

45 The gatekeepers:

46 The temple servants:

47 Keros, Sia, Padon,

48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,

49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,

50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,

51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,

52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,

53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,

54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,

55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,

56 Neziah and Hatipha

57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:

58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,

59 Shephatiah, Hattil,

60 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon, 392

61 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:

62 the descendants of

63 And from among the priests:

64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.

65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.

66 The whole company numbered 42,360,

67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers.

68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules,

69 435 camels and 6,720 donkeys.

70 Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics of gold, 50 bowls and 530 garments for priests.

71 Some of the heads of the families gave to the treasury for the work 20,000 darics of gold and 2,200 minas of silver.

72 The total given by the rest of the people was 20,000 darics of gold, 2,000 minas of silver and 67 garments for priests.

73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants, along with certain of the people and the rest of the Israelites, settled in their own towns. When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,


1. After rebuilding the walls and restoring the basis of the city, Nehemiah posted gatekeepers at the city gates. They were ordered to keep the gates closed during the time when residents were most vulnerable. He also implemented security measures in the city so the residents would take turns to keep watch around the city (3). 2. The census recorded in Nehemiah 7 is nearly identical to that of Ezra

2. A careful study of the genealogies of those who had returned shows the leaders' effort to restore the spirit and purity of God's chosen people. Upon examining the priests, those who could not prove their legitimate family records were excluded from the priesthood (63,64). It was necessary to follow the Law of God strictly to restore proper worship.

3. There were few people to occupy the city space provided (4). Beginning anew was essential in establishing a Holy Nation according to God's intention of choosing them as his people. Restoration of worship and the temple system was the beginning of the Israelites' settlement in the new city (73).

Prayer Father, thank you for building our hearts as a temple where you dwell. Please help us to be spiritually alert to guard against attacks from within and without and to keep ourselves pure before you.

One Word Guard and restore

Monday, February 19, 2024

ABRAHAM AND DAVID JUSTIFIED BY FAITH

Romans 4:1-8 / Keywords 4:5

However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.


Abraham Justified by Faith

4:1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]


4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:


7 “Blessed are those

    whose transgressions are forgiven,

    whose sins are covered.

8 Blessed is the one

    whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[b]


Footnotes

a. Romans 4:3 Gen. 15:6; also in verse 22

b. Romans 4:8 Psalm 32:1,2


1. By all accounts, Abraham was a great man. He was faithful and obedient to God, generous with his nephew and even visiting strangers, and he was a great general who achieved victory over King Kedorlaomer and rescued Lot and others. If anyone in Israel’s history could be justified by his own works, it would be Abraham. And if so, he would have a right to boast. But we are not justified by our own works. “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Abraham knew that righteousness comes when we believe the LORD, who sent Jesus Christ. So, Abraham learned that it is those who trust in the LORD that are made righteous, and not by good works.

2. Next, we see that King David learned the same thing. David was also a great man in Israel’s history. David discovered the blessing of the forgiveness of sins, not by doing good works, but through recognizing our sin before God and confessing it. He, too, found that we are made righteous by faith, not by works.

Prayer Father, thank you for your righteousness. Thank you that we don’t need to earn our own righteousness, but that you give it to us freely, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

One Word God justifies the one who has faith in Jesus

ISRAELITES SEAL A BINDING AGREEMENT Nehemiah 10:1-39 / Keywords 10:29 all these now join their brothers the nobles, and bind themselves ...