Week 32: 01/08/2023. Thu
Beyond mourning, weeping (8:9) in response to God's Word (8:9) is celebration. God's people then forgot how to celebrate, eat, drink and give as joyous celebration of encountering the Holy God.
Now Nehemiah and Ezra encouraged them to consume and share food that the LORD had created—"eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength" (8:10).
They heard God's word being read to them at the square opposite the Water Gate (8:1), they were taught by interpreters who attended to them, they understood the will and heart of God. They then found themselves far from His standards. They wept. They have understood and repented.
It's time to be calm (8:11) celebrate and "make great rejoicing" (8:12). This celebration, interestingly, must affect the one who "has nothing ready" (8:10).
REFLECTION: Have you come to a place where you felt that you are blessed greatly materially and spiritual, such that you sense the disparity between you (having alot) and others (those who have relatively little)? Are you going to do something about it?