August 21 – Bless the Lord; Amen!

There was a lot to be sorted out for the newly re-established city with its completed walls. Ezra and Nehemiah were a great team.  With Jerusalem now stable again, some of God’s people chose to live within her walls and were blessed to do so, and the rest returned to their towns throughout Israel. The most important thing in the lives of those who had traveled from exile was the re-institution of the holidays, and for God’s law to be read again in public.

They needed God’s wisdom and were ready to hear it.  The time was right and all of the Israelites who were old enough to understand gathered.  God’s law was read.  There was mass confession of sins, then great joy and celebration followed.  And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands.  And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

The joy of the Lord truly was their strength as they lived in blessedness, and for a time, close to Him.  Lord, You indeed are the great God of all, and worthy of praise and worship.  As we Your people read Your Story and see how You have called us as a people to worship You, may we honor You with obedience and thankfulness. May we often celebrate Your goodness to us.  May we see Your blessings as gifts we love to unwrap and delight in and share.  Amen.

Nehemiah 8:6 ESV