Focus Verse: 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. (2)
Just as Nehemiah put Hanani and Hananiah in a position of leadership because of their integrity and fear of God, God is also looking for men and women of character who He can raise up to take charge for Him.
Focus Verse: 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. (12)
When we read or hear God’s Word with an intention to obey it, we will desire to understand it. And when we fully understand it, our joy will be great. At first, the Israelites cried as they listened to God’s Law being read. Only when they understood it were they able to celebrate with joy. God did not give us His Word to grieve us, but to strengthen us in His joy.
Focus Verse: 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. (3)
Reading God’s Law prompted the Israelites to confess their sins. It caused them to worship the Lord. It caused them to remember the miracles He had performed for them and the forgiveness, grace, compassion, abundant love, and great goodness He had shown them. God’s Word is a call to action. We can’t just read it without doing something about it.
Focus Verse: Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues. (4)
God is still calling His people to come out. He does not want us to share in the world’s sins, so that we will not have to share in its punishment. To come out from the norm is not an easy thing, but as followers of Jesus the Christ it is a necessary thing because He has saved us and called us to a holy life.