Our God is the God of History. He is also a God of order. Therefore, because history is governed by one God, we should expect to see some consistency in His actions throughout History. The lists and the information from Ezra 2 and 3 roughly parallel the Information and lists given in Nehemiah 7 and 8. So what is their significance?
The key is found in Ezra 3:1-2 and Nehemiah 8:1-2. In Ezra 3 we have the people gathering and the Altar re-established for the reformation of Worship under Jeshua, as commanded by Moses. In Nehemiah 8 we have the the children of Israel gathering and the scriptures taught by Ezra for the reformation of the Word, as commanded by Moses.
Clearly we are meant to sea them side by side. The Restoration of Worship and the Restoration of the Word. All of this will lead – as we will see in over the next few weeks – to the Reformation of Life. The Restoration of the Temple and the people is a kind of Beginning and the restoration of the Torah and the people is a kind of Consummation.
The Restoration of Worship occurred at the Feast of Booths. This Restoration of the Word occurs during the Feast of Trumpets. Which follows the pattern, as it happens, of the Exodus, where the people were commanded to be lead out into the wilderness in order to hold a feast to the Lord and later taken to Sinai for a consummation – a wedding.
In the Exodus, God invites His bride-to-be into the barren and empty wilderness in order to hold a feast – highlighting their dependance and His power to supply in abundance. At Sinai, He proposes marriage – a Covenant, which she accepts. (Ezekiel 16:4-8)
Now here is the question: Given the infamous history of God’s people, why does He bother to take them back? He does it simply because He loves us.
Moreover, This whole event looks forward to what He will ultimately do for those He loves. The event takes place on the 1st Day of the Seventh month. Which, by tradition, was the day God created the earth.
This is a God who delights in making all things, even us, new.
Lessons for little Saints…
1. Why did the people gather?
2. Who read the law?
3. Why did he read it?
4. What other event in the bible is this event in Nehemiah like?