I liked today’s study – it had a good ending! Another point I thought was good, was that the people, as a community (for a short while at least) were united as one. I think that the divisions we see within the Christian community are extremely sad. A lot of energy is lost because of different divisions arguing over who has the better set of rules and traditions.
The following, from today’s study,Â is a well worth a second glance: “Nehemiah was a realist and did not leave anything to chance. He asks the leaders for a formal commitment, and when they agree to take an oath he validates their promise by a symbolic act. He shakes out the folds of his robe as a sign that God will reject the people if they fail to keep their promise.
As this is done the whole assembly responds with a loud ‘Amen’. In Deuteronomy 27:15-26 we read that when a spiritual commitment is made, the people who agree to it should respond by saying ‘Amen’ (so, be it). However, in this instance not only did the people say ‘Amen’ but they broke out in a spontaneous act of worship and praise.”
Â I think that Nehemiah’s symbolic act of shaking out the folds of his robe was formed during hours of prayer with God – ‘signs’ that God uses, comes from His Spirit – it’s not something born out of human imagination – do you agree? The whole episode gives you the feeling that God was there standing amongst His people – His presence always results in spontaneous acts of worship and praise. Perhaps that’s why we don’t see a lot of spontaneous acts of worship these days? What do you think?