Passage: Nehemiah 8:13~9:5  

Key verse: 9:3

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)

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 do his will?

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.